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Consular processing of a family-based visa application is the procedure used when an applicant seeking lawful permanent resident (LPR) status is located outside of the United States. However, in order to take advantage of consular processing, the applicant must first meet the prerequisites.

If you are looking to understand more about family-based consular processing in Aurora—or if you need assistance with an application—you might benefit from consulting a knowledgeable immigration attorney. If any step of the process is incorrect, this might lead to delays or even be grounds for a denial. Because of this, the skill of a seasoned family immigration lawyer may be essential.

Establishing Eligibility for Consular Processing

An applicant seeking a green card that demonstrates their status as an LPR must first obtain an immigrant visa. To do so, the applicant must usually have a qualified family member file a Petition for Alien Relative with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Immediate Relatives

Depending on the proximity of the family relationship, it may take a considerable time for USCIS to complete the process of reviewing a petition and deciding whether to grant approval. Those considered “immediate relatives” of U.S. citizens, namely spouses, unmarried minor children—including adopted children)—and parents, for example, are classified as higher in priority and should, therefore, enjoy faster processing of both the immigration petition and visa application.

Other Family Members

Other family members eligible for a family-based immigration visa include spouses of LPRs, unmarried children of LPRs, brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, and adult children of U.S. citizens, including their spouses and minor children. Applicants in these categories are ranked lower in priority, however, and are vying for a limited number of available spaces each year.

Applicants may have to wait a considerable time for processing of the immigration petition and for a visa to become available. When they receive notice that their visa number becomes available, they are then eligible to begin the application process at a U.S. Department of State consulate.

Consular Processing of a Visa Application

USCIS forwards immigrant petition information to the State Department’s National Visa Center (NVC), who should notify an applicant when an immigrant visa number will soon be available. At that point, information—which can be submitted by mail or, in some countries, through the Consular Electronic Application Center—will be collected by NVC for pre-processing

At this time, the applicant will be asked to pay the required fees, complete a visa application, either online or on paper, and submit copies of supporting documentation. Usually, there are several types of documentation needed, including financial documents—such as the Affidavit of Support. The NVC requests that these be submitted together in one package so that they can be promptly forwarded to the consulate for processing.

If or when all information has been approved, the applicant will receive a notice regarding the time and place of an interview. Before appearing at the interview, the applicant and other family members applying together must undergo a medical exam by an authorized doctor in the country where the interview will take place.

Interview at the Consulate or Embassy

The next stage in family-based consular processing in Aurora involves the interview. Applicants must bring the original versions of the required documents to this meeting, such as passports. Furthermore, many consulates and embassies require applicants to register for a courier service to return these documents after processing.

It is important to remember these documents. If an applicant fails to bring any required piece of documentation, consular processing could be delayed or even result in denial.

The consulate or embassy where the interview will take place should send out instructions before the interview date. Family members, such as spouses and children applying to immigrate together, will all be interviewed. Fingerprints may be taken as well. After the interview, the consular officer should notify the applicant as to whether the visa will be approved or denied.

Further Information Regarding Family-Based Consular Processing in Aurora

Consular processing of family-based visa applications can be an intimidating procedure. Moreover, even minor mistakes might jeopardize approval and at the very least, cause unnecessary delays.

For these reasons, many applicants seeking family-based visas elect to retain an experienced attorney for assistance with each step of this confusing process. Help during this time might make an immigration procedure more comprehensible, as well as potentially expedite the entire process. To learn more about family-based consular processing in Aurora, call today.

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