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While many people immigrate to the United States through sponsorship by a citizen or permanent resident family member, countless others need to navigate the family-based visa application process while still residing in their country of origin. This specific option is known as consular processing and there are a few important things to understand.

Accomplishing family-based consular processing in Naperville is generally much easier with support from a family immigration attorney who has years of experience with these cases. In many situations, retaining seasoned legal counsel could make a substantial difference in your odds of getting the visa you need.

How Does Consular Processing Work for Families?

It is worth noting that consular processing, for most families, is virtually identical to applying for adjustment of status from within the U.S. The primary differences are where certain stages of the process take place and where documents will travel before they are evaluated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

To start, a prospective immigrant who is currently residing in another country will need an eligible family member who already lives in the U.S. to serve as his or her sponsor, a responsibility that includes starting the visa application process on the prospective immigrant’s behalf. The sponsor can usually accomplish this by submitting Form I-130 and relevant accompanying documentation to the nearest USCIS field office.

That said, consular processing for a family member can alternatively begin with the sponsor submitting these forms and documents to the nearest international USCIS office, U.S. embassy, or American consulate. However, this is only possible for people sponsoring an immediate family member like a spouse, children, or parent.

If you need help figuring out where to start with your family-based immigration application, our knowledgeable lawyers in Naperville could outline the first stages of consular processing and answer any remaining questions.

Completing Consular Processing for a Sponsored Family Member

After the sponsor fulfills his or her duties, the prospective immigrant that he or she is representing are sponsoring cannot proceed with consular processing until the National Visa Center evaluates the submitted Form I-130, notifies that a visa is available, and schedules an interview. Once an applicant receives this notification and pays all the necessary fees, he or she must attend their scheduled interview at the prescribed date, time, and location, typically at the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy.

Following the interview, an applicant should expect to wait several months before receiving a final verdict on his or her application, during which time he or she must notify the National Visa Center if they turn 21 or make any changes to their address.

If a prospective immigrant is granted an immigrant visa, he or she will receive a visa packet in the mail that should not be opened, along with a notification about a required USCIS fee. After paying this fee, the approved applicant should receive his or her Green Card in the mail, which he or she must present along with their visa packet to a Customs and Border Protection officer when arriving in the U.S. through a lawful port of entry.

Navigating these remaining stages can be stressful, time consuming, and emotionally taxing. Thankfully, our compassionate attorneys in Naperville are here to help you protect your future plans and overcome the challenges associated with family-based-consular processing.

Retain an Attorney for Help with Family-Based Consular Processing in Naperville

Even though the steps involved in consular processing are fairly similar to those required for adjustment of status, successfully applying for and obtaining a family-based immigrant visa while outside the United States is still a uniquely complicated endeavor. Without support from a legal professional familiar with every step of this process, you would likely experience procedural hurdles or serious setbacks.

Therefore, family-based consular processing in Naperville is not something you should try to handle alone. Call today to learn how a dedicated immigration attorney could help you get started on your case.

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