Consular processing is a method by which a beneficiary of an approved family-based, employment-based or other immigration petition can apply for a visa through a U.S. Embassy or consulate in a foreign country. Consular processing is one of two paths for obtaining an immigrant/ non-immigrant visa to the United States through family-based or employment-based immigration, the other path being adjustment of status. If the applicant is outside the U.S., the only path for immigrating to the U.S. is to use consular processing.
There are two different entities involved in the immigration visa consular process system–
Once you know that you qualify for consular processing you’ll usually have an immigrant petition filed on your behalf, depending on which category you fit in.
A U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident may petition certain family members to live in the U.S. and receive a green card. The entire process begins when the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident files Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of the beneficiary (intending immigrant). The purpose of Form I-130 is to establish an eligible relationship so that the relative may apply for a green card. A similar process is available to U.S. citizens that want to bring a fiancé (as well as any children of the fiancé) to the U.S. for marriage. This process begins with the U.S. citizen filing Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé (e). This path is not available to the fiancés of lawful permanent residents. for those in employment-based categories, the U.S. employer will need to file an I-140, Petition for Alien Worker.
After submitting the appropriate petition based on your immigration status, you’ll need to wait for a decision–whether it be an approval or denial. If you are approved and you reside outside the United States, USCIS will send the approved petition to the Department of State’s National Visa Center. The petition will remain there until an immigrant visa number is available for you.
Once the Visa Center receives the approval from USCIS and your priority date becomes current (or a visa becomes available) the next step is your consular interview. You will need to complete a DS-160 or DS-260 “Online Non-immigrant/Immigrant Visa Application” and bring a printout of the confirmation page with you to the interview. In most cases, USCIS will also require the petitioner to file Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. In addition, you will need to bring the following items to your interview appointment:
Choosing between adjusting of status and going through consular processing can be difficult. Having SKJ Juris’ experienced Immigration Support team at your side can save you both time and money as well as help you handle any unexpected situations for your end-clients.
Our Immigration Support Services can best address the details pertaining to the immigration case on behalf of our Attorney-clients. SKJ Juris has an excellent track record when it comes to cases involving family-based consular processing and adjustment of status. We also specialize in a range of employment-based immigration visas including H1-B, L1, EB-1, EB-2, O-1, PERM, EB-4, EB-5, and DV Visas. Contact us to receive a comprehensive consultation and learn more about our firm’s offerings.
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