Consular Processing for Immigrant Visa and Non-Immigrant Visas

Consular Processing for Immigrant Visas

Consular processing is a method through which foreign nationals can obtain an immigrant visa (green card) by applying at a U.S. Consulate abroad. This process requires an interview with a consular officer, making it crucial for applicants to thoroughly evaluate their situation beforehand. Our experienced immigration lawyers can assess whether any grounds of inadmissibility apply to your case and determine if a waiver of inadmissibility is available to facilitate obtaining a green card through consular processing. We specialize in handling complex waiver cases.

Steps Involved in Consular Processing for Immigrant Visas:

  1. Approval of Immigrant Petition: The process begins with the approval of an immigrant petition by the USCIS.
  2. Notification to the National Visa Center (NVC): Upon approval, USCIS sends a notice to the NVC.
  3. Payment of Visa Fees: The NVC will then send a notice containing the visa fees, which must be paid in full.
  4. Instruction Packet: Once the NVC receives the required visa fees, they will send an instruction packet containing several forms, a list of documents, and further processing instructions.
  5. Submission of Forms and Documents: All completed forms and requested documents must be returned to the NVC.
  6. Interview Scheduling: If the visa number in your preference category and for your country of chargeability is current, the foreign national will be scheduled for an interview with a U.S. Consulate abroad.
  7. Medical Examination: You will be required to submit a medical examination report from an approved physician at the time of your interview.

Foreign nationals who are maintaining their nonimmigrant visa status in the United States have the option to immigrate via consular processing or through Adjustment of Status within the U.S. Both options have their pros and cons. Consular processing may offer faster processing times compared to Adjustment of Status, but any missing documents or additional information requests by the consular officer could delay the process. Additionally, you may not be able to return to the U.S. until processing is complete.

In certain situations, such as when a foreign national or their dependent has worked in the U.S. without USCIS employment authorization or has failed to maintain status for six months or longer, consular processing may be a viable option for obtaining an immigrant visa. It is essential to consider all legal aspects before making this decision and to discuss it with an experienced immigration attorney.

Our consular processing attorneys can also assist if your application for a work visa or immigrant visa is placed on hold under INA 221(g) at a U.S. consulate/embassy around the world.

For further information about our ability to help resolve your immigration problems, contact us for reliable advice.

Consular Processing for Non-Immigrant Visas

Consular processing for non-immigrant visas involves obtaining visas for temporary stays in the U.S. such as work, study, or tourism. This process also requires an interview at a U.S. Consulate abroad.

Non-Immigrant Visas Eligible for Consular Processing:

  • B-1/B-2 Visas: For business and tourism purposes.
  • F-1 Visa: For academic students.
  • J-1 Visa: For exchange visitors.
  • H-1B Visa: For specialty occupation workers.
  • L-1 Visa: For intracompany transferees.
  • O-1 Visa: For individuals with extraordinary ability or achievement.
  • P-1 Visa: For athletes and entertainers.
  • R-1 Visa: For religious workers.
  • E-1/E-2 Visas: For treaty traders and investors.

Steps Involved in Consular Processing for Non-Immigrant Visas:

  1. Visa Application: Begin by completing the appropriate visa application form (e.g., DS-160 for most non-immigrant visas).
  2. Payment of Application Fees: Pay the required visa application fees.
  3. Scheduling an Interview: Schedule an appointment for an interview at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy.
  4. Preparation for Interview: Gather all necessary documentation, including passport, application confirmation, fee receipt, photo, and any supporting documents relevant to your visa category.
  5. Interview with Consular Officer: Attend the interview where the consular officer will assess your eligibility and purpose of visit.
  6. Additional Information or Administrative Processing: If additional information is needed or if the application is placed under administrative processing, further steps may be required before a decision is made.

Our attorneys can assist in:

  • Reviewing your personal circumstances and documentation
  • Providing advice on how to present your case effectively during the interview
  • Addressing any issues that may arise, including potential holds under INA 221(g)

Our goal is to ensure you receive reliable, professional assistance throughout the consular processing of your non-immigrant visa. Contact us for expert guidance and support.


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