Consular processing is a way for those outside the United States to apply for an immigrant visa. They have to go through a United States consulate to complete the process. If you or a loved one are interested in going through consular processing, a green card immigration lawyer in NYC can help.

What is the Reward for Going Through Consular Processing?

Admittedly, consular processing is not the quickest or easiest task to complete. We think that it is worth it though, because once you have completed this process you get a green card. This means that you are a permanent resident. You would not have to worry that a change in marital status or employment could upend your life in the United States and change your status. There are more than a few hoops to jump through in order to get there, but we think this reward certainly makes it worthwhile to learn more about consular processing.

What Are the Steps for Going Through Consular Processing?

There are a few steps you have to take before you can get your green card through consular processing. You must:

Determine your basis to immigrate: You need to see if you are eligible to apply for a green card. Most of the time immigrants get this eligibility thanks to a petition that has been filed by a family member or employer in the United States, but there are many more ways to become eligible.

File a petition: Once you know how you are eligible to immigrate, you have to fill out the correct immigrant petition. This can be a lot of paperwork, so having a lawyer can be advisable.

Wait for a visa number: If USCIS approves the petition, it is sent to the National Visa Center. Then you need to wait for a visa number to become available. Once it is, you will be notified and must pay any processing fees.

Attend an interview: The consular office will look at your application, talk to you, and then determine whether you are eligible for a visa.

After this, you can be approved and given a packet called a “Visa Packet.” You do not open this. Instead, you give it to the customs officer when you arrive in the United States at a port of entry. Once they allow you into the country, you can live and work in the United States.

When Do I Get My Green Card?

If you have paid your USCIS immigration fee, you should receive your green card in the mail soon after your arrival in the United States. If you do not receive your green card within 45 days of your arrival, you would have to contact USCIS to clear up any issues and get your green card sent out again.

Contact an Immigration Attorney

If you have any questions about consular processing or the immigration process, we can help. Contact the Law Office of Cheryl R. David and schedule a consultation. We can tell you more about your options and how we can assist you and your family members.