DC Family-Based Consular Processing Immigration Lawyer

Consular processing is one of the paths to permanent residency that the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides to those seeking to obtain a green card. If you’re in possession of an approved immigrant petition and have a visa number available, you may be able to apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate abroad to come to the U.S. as a permanent resident. This process can be tricky, but consulting a DC family immigration lawyer may make the process smoother.

The Process

The first step to entering the U.S. as a green card holder is for the U.S. citizen or Legal Permanent Resident (green card holder) file a family-based petition for the intending immigrant via U.S.C.I.S. form I-130. To do this, you must first determine which of the following specific immigrant categories you fit into:

  1. An immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, this includes spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents of U.S. citizen petitioners 21 or older;
  2. A family member of a U.S. citizen fitting into a preference category, this includes unmarried sons or daughters over the age of 21, married children of any age, and brothers and sisters of U.S. citizen petitioners 21 or older
  3. A family member of a green card holder, this includes spouses and unmarried children of the sponsoring green card holder
  4. a member of a special category, this can include a battered spouse or child (VAWA), a K non-immigrant, a person born to a foreign diplomat in the United States, a V non-immigrant or a widow(er) of a U.S. Citizen

Once your immigrant petition is approved and you have a visa immediately available (which, for some family-based preference categories could take years), your case will be transferred from U.S.C.I.S. to the National Visa Center (NVC) for processing. Once you have paid your immigrant processing fees and submitted all required documents to the satisfaction of the NVC, your file will be transferred to the U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country. The embassy or consulate will then schedule you for an interview at which a consular officer will make a final determination on your admissibility to the U.S.

You can learn more details about the consular processing application process by clicking here or speaking with a qualified immigration lawyer.

After the Interview

Once you’ve been granted an immigrant visa, you will be given a packet of information, which should not be opened. You must keep the packet secure until your arrival in the U.S., at which point you will give it to the Customs and Border Protection officer upon entry. After taking your packet, the officer will conduct a final interview and inspection, and, if you’re deemed admissible, you will enter the U.S. as a permanent resident. This new status will give you the opportunity to live and work and in the U.S. permanently unless you violate the terms of your Permanent Resident status

Finding the Right Immigration Lawyer

Applying for a green card from abroad through consular processing can be a confusing and lengthy journey. The advice, knowledge, and connections a consular processing immigration lawyer bring to the table can be essential to the success of your case. When looking for an immigration lawyer to help you with your application, never settle—work only with an attorney who listens to you, addresses your concerns, and has the experience to meet your immigration needs.

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