When a foreign national is seeking lawful permanent residency (LPR) in the United States through a family member, the relative sponsoring them must file a petition to initiate this process. If the petition is approved and a visa number is available, the next step in the applicant’s case is to formally apply for a green card.

When a foreign national still reside in their home country and wishes to pursue permanent residency to live in Bolingbrook, they can apply for a green card at their local embassy or consulate in their country of origin. However, there are several hurdles to overcome before an applicant’s green card case even reaches Bolingbrook family-based consular processing.

If you have questions or concerns about consular processing or any other aspect of the green card application process, you should consult with a lawyer knowledgeable in immigration matters. An immigration attorney could carefully review your case and identify any factors that may pose a challenge to your application’s success.

Requirements to Initiate Consular Processing

Before consular processing ever begins, the U.S. citizen or permanent resident sponsoring the foreign national’s green card has to submit a Petition for Alien Relative. This document notifies USCIS of the applicant’s intent to seek lawful permanent residency and contains proof of their family relationship with their sponsor. Only after USCIS approves the petition and the applicant is issued a family-based visa number will the individual’s case move to consular processing.

The timeline from when the applicant’s initial petition is granted to when they can apply for a family-based green card through consular processing to live and work in Bolingbrook varies significantly. The reason for this is that family-based green card applicants fall into two categories: family preference relatives and immediate family members.

Family preference relatives, such as the married child of a U.S. citizen, will typically wait much longer before an immigrant visa number is issued than the husband or wife of a U.S. citizen will, because the spouse is classified as an immediate family member. There is no upper limit on the green cards issued to immediate family members in a given year, but there is a limit for family preference relatives as well as caps on the number of applicants granted from certain foreign countries.

The Various Stages of Family-Based Consular Processing

Once a green card number is available for the applicant, their case will move over to a division of the State Department called the National Visa Center. There will be additional paperwork that the applicant must complete prior to their meeting with a consular officer. Once these documents are completed, the case will be transferred to the applicant’s local consulate or embassy.

Additionally, the applicant will need to undergo a health exam. The health exam’s purpose is to identify any medical conditions that could impact the applicant’s admissibility. Depending on the applicant’s medical history, they may also be required to receive certain immunizations to comply with U.S. immigration law.

When the day of the applicant’s appointment arrives at the consulate or embassy, they must ensure all required papers are with them, including their passport. The individual will usually be told whether their application is approved or denied within several days of their interview.

If the consular officer approves their application, the foreign national will be issued an immigrant visa. The final stage of consular processing is when the individual’s family-based green card is sent to their Bolingbrook address, which should be within about a month of their arrival into the country.

Enlist a Bolingbrook Attorney’s Help for Family-Based Consular Processing

Bolingbrook family-based consular processing does not guarantee the final outcome of someone’s case. Although many family-based visa applications are approved, there are cases where the consular officer may decide to reject someone’s application.

By working with a qualified lawyer, you can rest assured that your immigration case is being handled with the utmost concern and that you have a legal advocate on your side at every phase of the consular process. An attorney could determine your eligibility to pursue a family-based visa, help you submit the required documentation, and advise you throughout your case. Call our office today to schedule a confidential legal review of your immigration case.

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