Consular Processing Lawyer in Hackensack, New Jersey Providing Help with Your First Steps to Citizenship
With so many visa options, each with its own application process, it can be difficult for a prospective new United States citizen to know how to begin the immigration process. Often, the first steps to your journey begin before you leave your home country. A knowledgeable immigration lawyer can guide you through consular processing to ensure that the first steps you take are the right ones.
What is Consular Processing?
Consular processing is the immigration process to apply for Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status while outside the United States. These visa cards are often green in color, leading to them frequently being referred to as “Green Cards” in general discussion. To be eligible for a Green Card, individuals must first determine their 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 and this will often happen while you are still living outside the United States.
This is a different process than an Adjustment of Status, which may take place when an individual is already present and authorized to be in the United States. The Law Office of Nita Kundanmal will be available to assist you with this first step of your journey, helping you to avoid confusion or lapses in status.
How Do I Begin the Process?
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.
What if My Application is Denied?
A visa application may be denied for a number of reasons, with these ranging from something as simple as forgetting to include a supplemental form to more complex issues unique to your particular case. When a visa is denied, the United States Consulate Officer processing your case will generally inform the applicant what information is missing from their application or what provided information disqualifies them. This allows for certain amendments to be made to an existing application if the individual qualifies. Some other denial decisions may be appealed, but this is not an automatic process, and the applicant must seek it out.
While some application problems may appear to be simple amendments, hiring an immigration attorney will help ensure that your case is amended or appealed accurately. An immigration attorney will be able to help you decide if your case would be eligible for appeal, or if it would simply be more effective to file a new request.
How can I get Help With Consular Processing?
If you have any questions about Consular Processing while present in the U.S., please contact the Law Office of Nita Kundanmal by phone at (201) 883-9800. We are prepared to handle all aspects of family and employment immigration law throughout the United States and are available during our regular hours. Please take note of the current time in the United States when arranging a call; our firm operates in Eastern Standard Time (EST).