Consular processing is one of two pathways to permanent resident status in the United States. This process applies if your immigrant petition has been approved and an immigrant visa number is available – and you are located outside the U.S. In this situation, you can apply at a U.S. Department of State consulate to come to the U.S. and be admitted as a permanent resident. If you are already in the U.S., you would apply for permanent residency through an adjustment of status.

Whether you are looking to become a permanent resident or are sponsoring a family member, our Boston consular processing attorneys at Gorton Law LLC can help. With our immigration law experience and our resolve to help our clients achieve their goals for living and working in the U.S., we are prepared to deliver the results you need.

Consular Processing: What to Expect

What can you expect during consular processing? The exact steps may vary depending on whether your immigrant petition is approved or denied, visa availability, and whether USCIS requests additional information before approving your petition, but the process typically follows a general timeline.

The following is a general overview of consular processing for family-based immigration:

  • The first step is to determine whether you are eligible for a green card.
  • For family-based immigration, the next step will be for your family member to file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on your behalf.
  • USCIS will then approve or deny the petition. If it is approved, you can go on to the next step. If it is denied, you may be able to appeal this decision.
  • The National Visa Center (NVC) will notify you when they receive your visa petition and when a visa number is about to become available to you. The NVC will also inform you when fees and supporting documentation are required.
  • Once a visa is available or your priority date is current, the consular office will schedule an interview with you to determine whether you are eligible for an immigrant visa.
  • If the consular office grants you a visa, you will need to pay a USCIS Immigrant Fee, and you will be given a “Visa Packet,” which you should not open. You will give this packet of information to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the port of entry into the U.S. When you come to the port of entry, the CBP officer will inspect you to determine whether you can enter the U.S.
  • Once granted admission to the U.S., you will have your permanent resident status to permanently live and work in the U.S.
  • You should then receive your green card in the mail, within 45 days of entering the U.S.

Contact Our Malden, MA Firm – Also Serving Everett, North Boston, Medford & the Surrounding Areas

Consular processing can be complicated and difficult to navigate, but with our skilled team on your side, you can feel confident that the right steps are being taken to secure your green card. At Gorton Law LLC, we welcome the challenge of resolving complex immigration issues for our clients. We work hard to streamline proceedings and help our clients fulfill their dreams of immigrating to the U.S.