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Consular Processing Lawyer

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Consular Processing Lawyer

Consular processing is an alternative way for immigrants to receive their green card. A person who has applied for consular processing must wait until their visa is accepted. An interview will be followed with a consular processor before leaving their home country, which is how it differs from adjustment of status. There are some situations in which petitioners for employment-based visas or immigrants from special categories can use the processing method. It is typically used by people who file immigration petitions for wives and children. Before choosing how to file the petition, it has a few advantages over a standard adjustment of status that should be taken into account.

Adjustments Taken Into Account

First, not all visas permit the intended immigrant to adjust status. If your fiancé enters the country on a visitor visa and you two decide on your own to get married while she/he is here and do so, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will apply an assumption of willful misrepresentation if you enter the country within 90 days of your non-immigrant visa application. This is manageable, but it should still be taken into account. An advantage to keep in mind is that consular processing, generally, is faster than adjustment of status. That means that you can get your green card faster than if you apply in the United States. Consular processors do not have discretion to deny petitions like USCIS officers, so they must have a clear factual basis to deny a petition. The flip side is that it is harder to appeal a decision by a consular processor for that reason. You and your loved ones will benefit most from the white form of green card procedure. It is essential to discuss your situation with a consular processing attorney.

Basis For Filing  

Numerous forms of immigration petitions may be processed through consular services. United States citizens and lawful permanent residents can file for immediate family, as long as that family lives in a country with a United States Consulate. Employers can file for employees from the United States, but it must be for I-140 workers, not temporary workers. These types of workers include those with extraordinary abilities in athletics, arts, or business, those who need an advanced degree or a college degree to do their job, and skilled and unskilled workers with multiple years of experience, though the priority of each varies. In some circumstances, some special immigrants, such as Violence Against Women Act self-petitioners, can file form I-360 for themselves while abroad, or have someone file for them in the United States.

Consular Processing: Step by Step

The first step of consular processing is to file the petition, whether it’s an I-130, I-140, I-360 etc. In order to construct a legitimate petition, you must submit a filled-out form together with any supporting documentation that is needed. After reviewing the petition, USCIS will decide whether to approve it, refuse it with a justification that can be appealed, or ask for additional proof if necessary. USCIS forwards the petition to the National Visa Center for additional processing after it has been appealed. Once the NVC receives the petition they will notify you of the case creation. After paying the application fees for the petition and affidavit of support review, the next stage is to submit an affidavit of support. Proving the intended immigrant won’t become a financial burden on society. In order to qualify, you need to earn an annual salary that is 125% of the year’s Health and Human Services Poverty Guidelines for your household size plus the intending immigrant. If you do not make that, you can use five times the difference between your annual salary and 125% of the HHS guidelines in assets to make up the difference. You will need to submit three years’ worth of taxes and either paystubs or an affidavit from your employer verifying your income. If you do not make enough to qualify, you may need to find a cosponsor who is willing to be responsible for the intending immigrant on your behalf.

Approving Process

Once the NVC approves the I-864, the next step is to fill out form DS-260. The DS-260 asks many personal details, such as the biographical details of your parents, information about where you have lived, and about the education and work you’ve done. For specific DS-260 instructions, check out this link. You will then need to submit several required civil documents, including police certificates, military records, marriage certificates or divorce certificates, court records, birth certificates, etc. After receiving those, the NVC will review your petition and set up an interview for you. You must bring a full physical exam, any previously submitted original or certified civil documents, and, if not already provided, the sponsor’s most recent tax returns to the interview. The consular officer will evaluate your petition and offer a decision. If your application is accepted, you will have to wait until a visa is provided to you before you may go to the US. To achieve the greatest outcomes, you should speak with a consular processing attorney who can advise you on the necessary paperwork, the best way to present your case, and the precise sequence of actions to take.

For more information about the petitions you need to file in order to file for consular processing, check out these links.