Those seeking family-based immigration opportunities often need to coordinate international efforts. While you may live in the United States because you are a citizen or a permanent resident, the member of your family that you hope to bring into the country might still live abroad.
If you have a green card and want to help your spouse or unmarried children enter the country or if you are a citizen with a fiance, spouse, parent, child or sibling still living in another country, consular processing will likely be part of the immigration process for your family.
What will that entail?
You have to initiate the process
In family-based immigration scenarios, the permanent resident or citizen helping a loved one will have to submit paperwork to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The petition that you submit will be subject to review, and you will receive notice about whether or not the USCIS approved your request. Rejections come with an explanation, while approvals will require that your loved one visit the consular office.
Your loved one must attend an appointment
There is a waiting process even after the approval of your petition. You’ll have to wait for a visa to become available in most cases, although some people can schedule an appointment based on a priority date in the response they receive from the USCIS.
At that point, the family member that you hope to bring to the United States will schedule an interview at the nearby consular office. The interview process will then determine whether or not your loved one receives a visa.
This process can be particularly stressful because the interview process will then determine whether or not your loved one receives a visa. People may worry about how they will present themselves because your loved one likely will not be able to have a lawyer present with them during the interview.
The best opportunity for success comes from careful advance preparation
With the right support and follow-through, those hoping to help loved ones enter the United States can make use of consular processing. Exploring every opportunity for family immigration, including consular processing, will help those currently separated from their families remedy that issue.