Consular Processing For Green Card Status In San Jose
While many foreign nationals apply for permanent residency status (a “green card”) while in the U.S. on an immigrant visa, this is not the only path available. People currently living in their country of origin can begin the process of obtaining a green card before setting foot in the United States. With proper legal counsel, it is possible to get through this process relatively quickly.
Our immigration attorneys have been helping clients for more than 20 years. Our lawyers can help you establish eligibility for permanent residency in the U.S., file your petition and prepare for your appointment at the consular office. Whatever your reasons for becoming a U.S. resident, Yemi Getachew Immigration Law Office, P.C., can help you.
If you are seeking a green card to become a permanent resident of the United States, you have probably heard the term “consular processing” used in many discussions. As immigration attorneys helping people obtain their green cards, the law office of Yemi Getachew wants you to understand this path. When you know what to expect, it makes the process of working with an immigration lawyer go more smoothly, with the best possible outcome for all involved.
Are you confused or overwhelmed by all the documents and processes involved in getting a US green card? We are here to help you. Call Yemi Getachew Immigration Law Office P.C. today at 408-292-7995, or reach out online to let us know how we can assist with your case and set up an initial consultation.
What Is Consular Processing?
Consular processing is one of two methods used when a foreign national applies for a green card to be a lawful permanent resident of the United States. Unlike adjustment of status, which is the other path available, consular processing is used when the person seeking a green card is not yet living in the United States.
The consular processing path may also be used when someone elects not to pursue a green card by way of adjustment of status. Sometimes this is the only option open to them if their visa to stay in the US has expired or if they have entered illegally and been required to leave. So, consular processing sometimes is the only path available.
With consular processing, you go to the US embassy or consulate in your country to apply for your green card. You complete the application, submit all required forms and documents, and attend an interview at that location. You will also be required to have a medical exam performed in your country of residence.
How Does Consular Processing Work In San Jose?
There are predetermined steps to using the consular processing method to apply for a green card. These are set by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- Determine your immigration basis. Usually, this is through a petition filed by an employer or family member. However, there are other ways to file for permanent residency, including declaring refugee or asylum status. This is why it can be helpful to work with an immigration attorney from the very start of the process, as there can be paths available to you that you may not know about.
- File the petition. This includes family-based immigrant petitions, employment-based immigrant petitions, special categories, and humanitarian programs.
- Await a decision on your petition. If approved, the USCIS will forward the petition to the Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC). Unless it is an immediate family petition, it stays there until an immigrant visa number is available for you. There is a wait for these numbers, and delays are possible due to current pandemic restrictions. You can check which cases are currently under review on the State Department NVC Timeframes website, which updates weekly.
- Attend your appointment. Once notified that a visa is available or you have a current priority date, the consular office schedules an interview with you. You will be required to fill out the appropriate paperwork and provide any requested documentation pertinent to your individual case. Then, your case will be processed, and a decision will be made if you are eligible for a visa. Meanwhile, notify the NVC of any changes in your application: change of address, reaching the age of 21, or changing marital status (getting married or divorced or death of a spouse).
- Watch for a visa packet. If your visa is granted, you will receive a visa packet. Do NOT open this. Pay your requested fees, preferably online, and hold onto your visa packet until you reach the US. Once you arrive in the United States, you give the unopened visa packet to Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) at your point of entry.
Await your green card in the mail. Once you have been admitted to the United States, it is assumed you have lawful permanent resident status and can live and work here permanently. Your official green card will be sent to you in the mail, provided you have paid all required fees.
Are There Advantages to Using Consular Processing for a Green Card?
Sometimes there are advantages to using consular processing, as you are able to work in your home country and don’t have to worry about your visa status in the United States until a decision is reached about your case. If you are not granted a visa, there are no worries about being forced to leave the US. These considerations should not be taken lightly.
Don’t put your chances of getting a green card at risk by trying to do it all yourself. Call us today at 408-292-7995, or contact us online to schedule your consultation.
The Process Of Getting A Green Card While Abroad
To be eligible for permanent residency application via consular processing, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident family member or U.S. employer generally must file a petition on your behalf. We can help you sort your options for gaining eligibility. Once that is done, we will help you file the appropriate petition, based on who is sponsoring your application. We are familiar with advance parole, returning resident visas, fiancé visas and many others.
Before your interview at the U.S. consular office nearest you, we will help you prepare. You will know what to expect and what questions you are likely to receive.
Obtaining green card status through consular process can be complex and time-consuming. An experienced attorney’s assistance is the best way to shorten the process and maximize the chances of success. We can help you reunite with family, advance your career or achieve your other dreams of living in the United States.
Should You Consult a San Jose Immigration Attorney for Consular Processing?
You should definitely consult an immigration attorney if you are pursuing your green card via consular processing. Even though your attorney cannot be with you at the consulate for your interview, they can walk you through the process in advance, so you know how everything works.
They can help you make sure all your paperwork is filled out correctly, including your family-based petition at the start of the application. If there are exceptions or special conditions for your application, an immigration lawyer will know about them, so you’re not missing possibilities that are open to you.
If you work or have family duties, obtaining your green card can be time-consuming and full of questions that require even more hours out of your busy day. An immigration attorney can take many of those tasks off your plate, helping you get organized and removing the mystery from the green card process.
For assistance with consular processing for you or a family member, call the law offices of Yemi Getachew today. Our experienced staff can help you navigate obtaining a green card, and we have an excellent record of success.
Contact Yemi Getachew Immigration Law Office, P.C., at 408-292-7995 to discuss obtaining permanent resident status for yourself, a family member or employee. Know your options and what is required before you get started.