Consular processing is the immigration process to apply for Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status while outside the United States. To be eligible for a “Green Card”, individuals must first determine the basis to immigrate to the United States. For most people, this involves being sponsored to immigrate through a petition filed by a family member or employer.
Filing the Immigration Petition
If applying for immigration based on family or employment status, the family member or employer must file the immigrant petition. In some situations, one may be able to file a petition on one's own behalf, including as an entrepreneur or for humanitarian reasons,
After the petition is filed, the USCIS will notify the petitioner whether the petition has been approved or denied. If the petition is approved, the petition will be sent to the Department of State's National Visa Center (NVC), where it will remain until a visa number is available based on one's immigrant category.
When a visa number becomes available, the NVC will notify the petitioner and applicant. They will also schedule an interview. After an interview with the consular office, the consular office will decide if the applicant is eligible for an immigrant visa.
If an immigrant visa is granted, the consular office will give the individual a “Visa Packet,” (not to be opened). Upon arrival in the United States, the individual is to give the Visa Packet to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer.
After paying the USCIS Immigrant Fee, the individual should receive his or her Green Card in the mail within 45 days.
If you have any questions about Consular Processing while present in the U.S., contact the Law Office of Nita Kundanmal. We handle all aspects of family and employment immigration law throughout the United States.