In our previous articles, we have discussed various ways to get your Green Card Visa where we majorly discussed Family-Based Green Card & Employment-Based Green Card. Under this method, someone who is a US resident either your relative or Employer should sponsor your Green Card Visa. But apart from this, we will discuss the other way through with you can apply for an immigrant visa. That is Consular Processing.
Consular Processing (CP) is one way an individual may apply for an immigrant visa. Green card consular process is much similar to the application for Adjustment of Status (Form I-485), however, the candidate doesn’t need to be truly present in the United States to document the consular process. I-485 must be recorded if the candidate is truly present in the US.
Consular processing incorporates a meeting procedure which the candidate can take at a US Consulate in their nation of origin or home country.
To apply for consular preparing, candidate’s I-140 must be approved and the visa number (green card priority date) must be current.
Who can apply for consular processing?
You are outside the US; or
You live in the US yet prefer to process at a US consulate abroad.
Steps involved in Consular Processing?
The accompanying steps are involved in consular processing:
You can mention that you will pick consular processing at the time of documenting your I-140 petition ( If you decided that you will apply for Adjustment of Status (AoS) at the time of recording the I-140 and choose to go for consular processing rather, you should document Form I-824 with the USCIS. This is to demand consular processing and there is an application charge of $465 payable with a money order or cash request)
The USCIS will advance the data about your I-140 approval to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC will send an Instruction Package for Immigrant Visa Applicants (Packet 3) to you when your visa number opens up
You and your family complete the forms in the bundle and return it to NVC
NVC will process the forms
NVC will inform the State Department Visa Office once the processing is finished and demand them to allocate a visa number to you and your family
The NVC will plan an immigration visa processing appointment that you and your family should join in. This will be at the US Consulate that gives the worker visa. If there is no issue, you and your family will be given immigrant visas.
Documents required for Consular Processing
The following documents might be required for consular handling:
- Approved I-140 petition.
- The receipt notice for Form I-824 (in particular if demonstrating to apply for consular processing in the beginning ) or the approved notice for Form I-824 (in particular if later mentioned about consular processing)
- Proof that your last home was in the host nation of the post
- Form DS-230: Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Part I (Biographic Information) and Part II (Sworn Statement)
- Birth Certificates: One duplicate copy for every individual named in your application
- Police Clearance Certificate: every candidate named in your application must have authentication from the police authority expressing whatever their records appear about that candidate. This declaration must cover the whole time of your stay in any country.
- Court and Prison Records – if relevant
- An offer letter from your employer
- Medical Report: All candidates must undergo a medical assessment from one of the approved doctors
- Identification: Each candidates’ international IDs must be legitimate for 6 months before the visa issue date. Minor kids ought to have their passports
- Verification of Relationship with spouse and young children: this may incorporate marriage declaration (alongside evidence of the end of a past marriage, if relevant), birth certificate and so on.
- Photos: Visa photos must meet the new necessities
How long will the process take?
From the date the immigrant visa is available, a normal of 5 to 13 months processing time is normal – obviously, this may fluctuate depending upon the number of pending cases at that specific time.
Consular Processing & Adjustment of Status
The time duration for Consular Processing is quicker than the Adjustment of Status
Consular Processing must be done in the (remote) nation of residence or nation of birth; If you apply for adjustment of status, you should live in the United States.
As an outsider who applies for Consular Processing, you have no advantages of work visa and advance parole. As a rule, on the off chance that you apply for AoS, you may likewise apply for the advantages of work visa and advance parole.
On the off chance that you apply for Consular Processing, you should show up for the meeting and clinical test at the department of the home country or nation of birth; if you apply for AoS you should take fingerprints and Physical test in the US.
Consular Processing Interview Process
All candidates for consular processing are expected to go through an interview process. The NVC or the Consular Section will send Information for Immigrant Visa Applicants instructing you to gather the documents that will be important for the interview. This will be done before the planning of the interview. You should submit documents like birth and marriage certificate, biographic information, police records and sworn statement of help. There will be a list of required documents in the Packet Four. There might be an Immigrant visa charge related to this which is payable with a money order or request draft.
At the point when your case shows up at the Consular Section, and if your Green Card Priority Date is current, you will be scheduled for a meeting. If you can’t make this interview, or you realize your documents will be inadequate, you ought to tell the Consular Section immediately to be rescheduled. Arrangements are planned around 5 to 6 weeks ahead.
You will be informed of the scheduled interview through the mail and should go to the Consular Office on the morning of the interview at the booked arrangement time, bringing your passports, all-important documentation as mentioned, and bank drafts to pay for every individual applying for a visa. It would be ideal if you write your name, address, and phone number on the back of each draft. On the off chance that no issues emerge, worker visas are commonly approved on the t=same date and or later that day.
On the off chance that the application is approved, the individual will be given an immigrant visa, which is valid for 6 months. In case that individual doesn’t enter the US inside that timeframe, the visa will terminate and the chance to move will be lost.
If the application is denied, the guideline consular official at the post-surveys it. If the official wants, he can hear the second point of view from the State Department. In any case, if, after this point, the denial is maintained, there is no appeal available to the candidate.
Arrival at Port of Entry
When going into the USA, based on this immigrant visa you don’t have to fill I-94. You enter the US with your worker visa, identification, the documents given by the department sealed envelope given by the office. At the port of section, after your basic interview, you might be taken to the immigration office at POE where an immigration official will audit the report and issue an I551 stamp ( temporary green card stamp) this stamp is substantial for one year. You will get a genuine Green green card through mail within a few months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can apply for Consular Processing?
Any person (who meets the necessary criteria) can apply for green card consular processing once their visa request has been affirmed by USCIS. For immigrants living abroad, this is regularly the go-to technique since it is altogether progressively hard to enter the U.S. while trying to finish their application.
What is the cost involved in Consular Processing?
For green cards, there is a distinction in the necessary expenses. the major difference is that adjustment your status requires an I-485 application with an expense of $750-$1,140 relying upon how old you are.
Then again, green card consular processing requires that you complete the DS-260 and pay the $230 as well as as the $88 expense for the Affidavit of Support. You may likewise need to pay the $85 biometrics expense.
What happens if my priority date isn’t current when my I-140 is approved?
Suppose that you find that your I-140 is approved yet your priority date is not current, at that point the I-140 will be kept on record with the National Visa Center until the priority date gets current. Right, when your priority date becomes current the National Visa Center will send you Packet 3 and afterwards forward your file to the best possible consular post.
Can I switch from Consular Process to Adjustment of status?
In case that you’ve stated consular processing initially and wish to change to AOS, you have to record the adjustment of status application with USCIS and inform the consular as well as the National Visa Center of your choice to switch.
I have applied for Adjustment of Status (AoS) initially how can I choose to go for consular processing now?
If you decided that you will apply for Adjustment of Status (AoS) at the time of recording the I-140 and choose to go for consular processing rather, you should document Form I-824 with the USCIS. This is to demand consular processing and there is an application charge of $465 payable with a money order or cash request
How can I check the status of my application?
When you’ve applied your green card application to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, you can check the status of your application on the Consular Electronic Application Center website. You’ll have the option to see what stage your application is at, and in any event, when your visa is being printed.
What if I’m not able to decide about Consular Processing or Adjustment of Status at the moment?
At the point when an I-130 (Family Based) or I-140 (Employment-Based) immigrant petition is filed, suppose that you are uncertain about whether you might want to do Adjustment of status or consular processing or need to have choices open, the most ideal path is to mention at the base of the application (with red colour pen so it is visible)
When the petition is confirmed, in case you choose to do Adjustment of Status, simply document it with USCIS, and no time is wasted. Suppose that you choose to do consular processing, NVC is as of now processing the application for you.