Consular processing is a process in which someone who wants to immigrate to the United States goes to their local United States embassy to finish their application for a Green Card. This act happens once that person becomes the beneficiary of an approved immigrant petition.
When you get your immigrant visa number, you should then look into applying for lawful permanent resident status, which is your Green Card, at your local U.S. consulate or embassy instead of having to come to the United States to complete the process.
An alternative pathway to permanent residency
This method is an alternative way to get your Green Card instead of having to go to the United States first. Those who are in the United States may have to complete their processing in their home countries, but since you are already in yours, you can simply handle the process from there.
You will be notified by the National Visa Center first
If you and the petitioner know that your visa petition was received and that you have an immigrant visa number, then the National Visa Center will reach out to you to discuss your processing fees and how to provide any supporting documentation needed to complete the process.
When a visa is made available, you’ll receive a notice from the consular office and be scheduled for an interview. At the consular office, your case will be decided. If the consular office agrees with the documentation you’ve provided, then you will be granted an immigrant visa.
The consular office will give you a “Visa Packet,” which is a packet that you should not open. You need to pay a fee to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to get your Green Card. Pay this fee before you leave for the United States. Then, give your packet to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer when you arrive. Once you are admitted, you will be legally able to stay and work in the United States permanently. Your Green Card will be mailed to you in the United States, so make sure the address you provide is accurate.
This is a long process, but support is available. Getting the right supporting documents and following this process can help you get to the U.S.