The process for applying for an immigrant visa based on family relationship, including marriage, at a U.S. consulate or embassy abroad is called consular processing. With consular processing, if the foreign national is granted an immigrant visa, he or she will be allowed to come to the United States and once they arrive at a U.S. port of entry and processed, they will be admitted to the United States as a permanent resident or a conditional permanent resident. The foreign national will be admitted to the United States as a conditional permanent resident if the immigrant visa is based on a marriage that occurred within two years of the interview date at the U.S. consulate or embassy. The foreign national's passport will be stamped at the port of entry with an I-551 stamp as proof of permanent resident status and will receive the actual green card in 1-2 months by mail.

Going through consular processing, requires the US citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident, (referred to as the Petitioner) to file an I-130 Family Petition for their relative along with supporting documentation to prove their US legal status in the United States, and their relationship to the relative, (referred to as the beneficiary). Filing the I-130 petition is the first step to obtaining an immigrant visa. After USCIS approves the I-130 petition, the file is sent by USCIS to the National Visa Center, (NVC), where the visa application, financial forms, certain civil documents and payment of fees to the NVC will need to be completed before an interview is scheduled at the US consulate or embassy.

Here's How We Can Help You

If the foreign national is pursuing consular processing abroad, we are involved every step of the way. Here's what we do for our clients who retain us:
  • We review your eligibility for the immigrant visa and identify any potential legal issues that may affect your eligibility.
  • We help you gather the necessary documents in support of the family petition and immigrant visa application.
  • We prepare and submit the family petition, immigrant visa application, supporting documents and correct filing fees in the proper processing order and with the appropriate U.S. Government office
  • We handle all communication with the appropriate U.S. Government office up until the interview is scheduled
  • We prepare our client thoroughly for their interview.
For more information about whether a foreign national is eligible to apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy, contact the Law Offices of Raul Ray at (408) 279-5793.
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