“Consular processing” or “visa processing” means applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad in order to come to the United States and receive a permanent resident card (green card).
Consular processing steps:
- I-130 petition: Family based visa processing always begins with this petition, which is filed with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and tells the government that the petitioner (U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident family member) wants the beneficiary (foreign national family member) to receive an immigrant visa. In some cases, USCIS schedules an in-person interview about the I-130.
- National Visa Center processing: The National Visa Center (NVC) is an office of the Department of State. After USCIS sends the approved I-130 petition to the NVC, the NVC asks the visa applicant to pay visa application fees, and collects the immigrant visa application (Form DS-260) and civil documents like birth and marriage certificates. Form DS-260 is very extensive and asks many complicated questions. If the applicant does not answer all the questions correctly, the immigrant visa can be denied. When you work with Maris Immigration Law to complete your consular processing, we carefully complete all the National Visa Center paperwork for you, making sure that everything is done right the first time.
- Interview at U.S. Consulate abroad: The visa applicant must appear in person for a visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. During the interview, the consular officer will review the case and ask questions to make sure the applicant meets all the requirements to come to the U.S. The consular officer decides whether to approve the visa application. If the applicant does not do a good job of answering the consular officer’s questions, or does not have all of the right paperwork, the visa can be delayed or denied even after all of the time and money he or she has spent to get through the first two steps in the process. The attorneys at Maris Immigration Law always make sure that their clients are ready for their consular interviews. We practice the questions that the officer might ask, give our clients instructions and information about what will happen at the interview, and carefully prepare packets containing all of the documents the applicant will need to bring to the consulate.
Immigrant visa approvals: If the consulate approves the immigrant visa application, the applicant receives a visa in his or her passport which permits entry to the U.S. as an immigrant. After entering the U.S., the immigrant will receive a permanent resident card (green card) in the mail, and the process is complete!
Immigrant visa denials: If the visa is denied, the applicant may need a waiver of inadmissibility. The attorneys at Maris Immigration Law have extensive experience preparing these types of waivers. If the applicant is denied but is not eligible for a waiver, then the only option is to argue that the visa denial was wrong. The experienced immigration attorneys at Maris Immigration Law can review your case, and if appropriate, help you to fight an erroneous visa denial.