10 things to know about Consular Processing
1) The Department of State administers the application process and is performed by the National Visa Center and the immigrant visa is handled by the U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad.
2) The immigrant who is applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or a consulate should be at the 1) consulate where he or she is residing or has resided and 2) where he or she is physically located and intends to stay during the consular processing.
3) DS-260, the online immigrant visa and alien registration application is the form to be completed and submitted through the Consular Electronic Application Center website.
4) Immigrants must send photocopies of required documents to the National Visa Center. The original copies and photocopies of required documents should be submitted at the time of the interview at the U.S Embassy or Consulate where the processing is taking place.
5) The National Visa Center is a ‘pre-processing’ center, it only organizes visa applications to be sent to the consulate for adjudication by a consular officer.
6) If there are any changes at all from your end, the National Visa Center must be notified. NVC is usually good about contacting you if they need further information.
7) There is a fee for the National Visa Center to review the affidavit of support but no fee is required when the applicant applies for adjustment of status.
8) The fee for the immigrant visa application is $230, for the immigrant visa is $165, and the affidavit of support fee is $88.
9) The order in which consular processing is done happens in the following way:
1) Approved I-130 is sent to National Visa Center (NVC)
- In the employment-based categories, files a I-140 form
- Special immigrant statuses require you to file a I-360 form
- Approved petition will be sent to NVC where it remains until a visa number is available.
- Denied petition can be appealed.
3) Affidavit of support and immigrant visa application fees paid
4) DS-260 is submitted electronically
5) Medical exam by physician
6) Interview at the consulate or embassy
7) Payment of the immigrant fee
8) The issue of I-551 card
10) Consular processing is one of the alternative ways to be admitted to the United States as a permanent resident and it is a complex process. Make sure to seek the advice of an immigration attorney who has experience in handling Consular Processing.
This information is made possible by the USCIS, DHS and your Karim Law Immigration Team. This post designed for general information only, and nothing on this post should be construed as formal legal advice, or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship, or a guarantee, warranty, or prediction about future results.