What Is Consular Processing?

Many individuals who are overseas have the opportunity to apply for a visa or lawful permanent residency (green card) in the United States. This can occur because a family member in the U.S. petitioned on their behalf, because a U.S. employer obtained a proper labor certification and approved petition, or because they were selected through the diversity immigrant visa lottery.

Because it is extremely rare for individuals to get permission to enter the U.S. for visa or green card processing, most people who live in foreign countries will have to go through consular processing. If you live in the U.S. unlawfully due to visa expiration or illegal entry, you most likely are ineligible to exit the country to go through consular processing to adjust your immigration status to a lawful resident.. For this reason, anyone illegally in the United States should thoroughly discuss their situation with an experienced immigration attorney before leaving the country to go through consular processing.

What Does Consular Processing Entail?

Once a petition has been approved, you will have to fill out and submit certain forms and your case will be transferred to the National Visa Center, the Department of State’s central office for handling all overseas cases, which will then schedule you, after many documents are submitted and fees paid, to the Embassy or Consulate nearest where you live. You must have a direct interview over there. The exact process may vary from case to case.

You should receive notice of the time and date of your interview and you should make arrangements if travel is necessary to get to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Make sure to leave plenty of time in case any travel complications or delays arise. Make sure you bring all required paperwork to the interview, as a clerk will likely check to ensure you have all the necessary forms.

You will then have a meeting with a U.S. Consular official, who will review your forms and likely ask you questions to verify the information provided. You should have prepared for this by closely reviewing your forms so you give the same answers. The official will also likely ask questions about your reasons for coming to the U.S., which may include trying to determine if a marriage is valid. In a few days after your interview, you will hear whether your visa was approved or denied. Anything you wrote on the requited online form for your case can be asked again and whatever you state in that form or at your interview can and will be used against you in the future if the information is incorrect or untruthful.

Consult With A Skilled Florida Immigration Lawyer Today

The process of overseas consular processing can be complex and you want to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible to increase the chances of a visa or green card approval. At the Law Offices of Alex T. Barak in Hollywood, Florida, we assist people who have petitioned for loved ones to come to the U.S., people out of the U.S. who are applying for consular processing, as well as people in the U.S. who need guidance on how to adjust their immigration status. If you need any type of assistance, please contact an experienced Immigration attorney at (954) 399-7778 as soon as possible to discuss your situation.