Consular Processing for Green Card Applicants
Consular processing is a method for obtaining a green card for foreign nationals who are applying outside of the United States at a US Embassy or US Consulate . Here's what you need to know about the consular processing:
Step 1: File a Petition for Alien Relative or Alien Worker
The first step in the consular processing is for a family member or employer to file a Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) or a Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The I-130 form is used for family-based immigration, while the I-140 form is used for employment-based immigration. Both petitions establish the relationship between the sponsoring family member or employer and the foreign national.
Step 2: Wait for USCIS Approval
Once the I-130 or I-140 petition is filed, USCIS will review the petition and supporting documents. If the petition is approved, USCIS will send the approved petition to the National Visa Center (NVC), which will process the case further.
Step 3: Wait for Priority Date to Become Current
The National Visa Center will not start processing the case until the priority date on the petition becomes current or will be current in the near future. The priority date is the date that the petition was filed with USCIS and is used to determine when a visa number will be available for the foreign national. The priority date must be before the cut-off date listed in the monthly Visa Bulletin published by the U.S. Department of State in order for the case to proceed.
Note: Priority dates for immediate relatives of US citizens are always current and will be processed immediately.
Step 4: National Visa Center (NVC)
Once the priority date becomes current, the NVC will send information to the foreign national or the attorney of record necessary to log in into the NVC portal, pay the fees and to submit the required information and documents.
Step 5: Interview is scheduled at the US Embassy or Consulate
After all the fees are paid and the information and documents are received, the NVC will schedule an interview for the foreign national at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country.
Step 6: Prepare and attend the Interview
The foreign national should schedule a medical exam with a designated physician and bring the results to the interview. In addition, the foreign national should register for a passport delivery and follow country specific requirements. To prepare for the interview, the foreign national should review their application and supporting documentation to ensure that they are familiar with the details of their case. Additionally, the foreign national should be prepared to answer questions about their background, immigration history, and the plans for their stay in the United States.
Step 7: Receive the Immigrant Visa and Enter the United States
After the interview, if the consular officer approves the green card application, the foreign national will receive their passport with the immigrant visa stamped in it. The foreign national should enter the United States during the validity of the immigrant visa, which is usually six months. Once in the United States, the foreign national should receive their physical green card in the mail.
Our Commitment To You:
Navigating the consular processing can be complex, time consuming and it requires the knowledge of country specific rules and procedures. We stay up-to-date with the latest developments in U.S. immigration law and have a deep understanding of the complexities and nuances involved in consular processing. We provide personalized attention to each client, offering guidance and support throughout the entire process, from initial consultation to the immigrant visa approval. The Immigration Law Firm of Marcin Muszynski, Esq. can assist you in guiding you through this process.