Are You Eligible for Consular Processing?
The initial step of consular processing is to identify your immigration category, which means the type of green card that you meet the requirements for. You can then start your green card process by filing a green card application with the USCIS green card office. Here are the different types of green cards:
A relative who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident sponsors you for a family-based green card.
A U.S. employer sponsors you for an EB1 visa, EB2 visa, or EB3 visa, or you are in a special category of workers, such as EB5 visa investors, religious workers, or physicians who qualify for EB2 NIW or EB1A green card.
You win the DV lottery 2024, a yearly diversity visa program that gives DV green cards to people from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S.
You get refugee or asylum status, or you are a survivor of human trafficking, crime, or abuse. You can then apply for a humanitarian green card or a NIW green card based on your national interest waiver.
You are part of a specific group of people who have a close connection with the U.S., such as former U.S. government employees, international organization employees, or Iraqi or Afghan translators. You can then apply for a special immigrant green card.
Also, if you already have a green card, you may need to renew it periodically by renewing a green card or, renewing a permanent resident card.
File the Immigration Petition for Consular Processing
After determining your basis to immigrate, the next step to help your relative or employer get a U.S. green card is to file the Immigration Petition. You have to complete a certain form and send it to USCIS with the necessary documents and fees. This form shows your relationship or employment to the person who wants to live in the U.S. forever. There are various types of immigrant petitions, based on the category and preference of the person you are supporting. These are some of them:
Family-Based Immigrant Petition:
If you are a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident and you want your relatives to join you in the U.S., you have to fill out Form I-130( Petition for Alien Relative) and show evidence of your kinship. Your relatives can belong to one of two categories of family-based immigrants: immediate relatives (husbands, wives, parents, or children under 21 of U.S. citizens) or preference relatives (single or married children, brothers, sisters, or spouses and children of lawful permanent residents).
Employment-Based Immigrant Petition:
If you are a U.S. employer or worker and you want to work or hire in the U.S. depending on your abilities, education, or investment, you have to submit Form I-140 (Petition for Alien Workers) and demonstrate your credentials or the employment offer. Your employment-based immigrants can fall into one of five preference groups: priority workers, professionals with higher degrees or outstanding skills, skilled workers or professionals, special immigrants, and investors or business owners.
Special Immigrant Classes:
If you belong to certain groups of people who have a special connection with the U.S. or are eligible for humanitarian protection, you have to complete Form I-360, (Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant) and satisfy the particular requirements for your category. Some types of special immigrants are religious workers, translators, international organization workers, Afqan or Iraqi nationals, and mistreated spouses or children of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.
If you are a person who needs protection or assistance from calamities, persecution, critical medical conditions, or other emergencies, you do not have to submit a petition, but you have to seek a particular program or benefit that matches your situation. Some types of humanitarian programs are refugee or asylum status, temporary protected status, humanitarian parole, and deferred action for childhood arrivals.
Wait for The USCIS Decision
USCIS will inform the petitioner of its decision. If it is negative, it will also explain the grounds for rejection. The petitioner can still appeal the decision with the help of our immigration lawyers in Orange County at the Law Office of Tuan Le. Once the petition is accepted and USCIS lets you know, it forwards the petition to the Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC). Then it will stay there until the petitioner gets a visa number.
Wait for The Notification from The National Visa Center
The petitioner and beneficiary will get a notification from the NVC when the visa petition and the visa number are ready. This agency collects the service fee for visa applications and other documents that support them. The NVC will also inform when the fee bills for the immigrant visa and the other details have to be paid.
Attending the Appointment for Consular Processing
When the visa is ready or the priority date is up to date, the consular office will schedule an interview for you. The consular office will finish the case processing and determine if the beneficiary is eligible for an immigrant visa. After that, you should prepare for the interview by reviewing the [interview guidelines] and bringing the [required documents].
Notification of Changes to the NVC
You must tell the National Visa Center if you move, get married or divorced, or turn 21 years old since these changes may change the visa availability or the beneficiary’s qualifications.
Obtaining the Visa for Consular Processing
The beneficiary will get an information packet (visa packet) from a consular officer along with the immigrant visa. This packet must not be opened. The individual has to pay the USCIS immigrant fee to get the Green Card. Moreover, the fee should be paid after getting the visa packet, but before coming to the US. Then, the immigrant has to give the visa packet to the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the entry point in the US. After that, this officer will check you and decide if you can become a permanent resident in the US. This will be the final step to get permanent resident status.