Consular processing is a method that immigrants use to gain entry into the United States. This process is handled by U.S. embassies and consulates abroad, rather than USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). During consular processing, applicants must prove that they are eligible to receive a visa. It is accomplished by submitting documents and undergoing an in-person interview at the embassy or consulate. In addition, applicants must demonstrate that they have ties to their home country, which will guarantee their return afterward. Consular processing is available to most individuals who are eligible to receive a visa. This includes those seeking family-based visas, employment-based visas, and certain humanitarian programs. It is important to note that some individual countries may have additional requirements for obtaining a visa.
How long does it take?
The time it takes to complete consular processing depends on several factors, including the type of visa being sought and the individual’s country of origin. Processing times may range from a few weeks to many months.
What Is the Difference Between USCIS and Consular Processing?
The main difference between USCIS and consular processing is that USCIS deals with applications to enter the United States from within, while consular processing deals with applications to enter from outside the U.S. An individual who is already in the United States on another visa may be eligible for adjustment of status through USCIS, but must go through consular processing if they are outside of the country.
Applying for a Visa Through Consular Processing
Applicants need to submit an I-130 petition, along with supporting documents such as birth or marriage certificates. They may also need to provide evidence of financial stability and if they have status in the United States. After submission, applicants attend an in-person interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate, where they answer questions about their background and family history. If approved, they will receive a packet of information by mail containing instructions for entering the United States and picking up their passport from the embassy or consulate.
Benefits of Consular Processing
Consular processing provides some benefits to applicants that other forms of immigration do not. One such benefit is that it may provide the ability to enter the United States without first obtaining permission from USCIS. This can save time for those who travel frequently or need to enter the country quickly. This also allows applicants to remain in their home countries while they wait for a visa. This can provide added stability and security during the immigration process, as individuals are able to prepare for their move ahead of time.
Overall, consular processing is an important option for individuals seeking to enter the United States from abroad. Understanding the process and knowing what to expect can help ensure that applicants have a smooth experience when going through consular processing.
If you have questions relating to immigration, we would be happy to review your case, guide you through the necessary legal procedures, and answer any questions you have about your application.