The human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) synthesizes its genomic DNA in cytoplasm as soon as it enters the cell. The newly synthesized DNA remains associated with viral/cellular proteins as a high molecular weight pre-integration complex (PIC), which precludes passive diffusion across intact nuclear membrane. However, HIV-1 successfully overcomes nuclear membrane barrier by actively delivering its DNA into nucleus with the help of host nuclear import machinery. Such ability allows HIV-1 to productively infect non-dividing cells as well as dividing cells at interphase. Further, HIV-1 nuclear import is also found important for the proper integration of viral DNA. Thus, nuclear import plays a crucial role in establishment of infection and disease progression. While several viral components, including matrix, viral protein R, integrase, capsid, and central DNA flap are implicated in HIV-1 nuclear import, their molecular mechanism remains poorly understood. In this review, we will elaborate the role of individual viral factors and some of current insights on their molecular mechanism(s) associated with HIV-1 nuclear import. In addition, we will discuss the importance of nuclear import for subsequent step of viral DNA integration. Hereby we aim to further our understanding on molecular mechanism of HIV-1 nuclear import and its potential usefulness for anti-HIV-1 strategies.