Consular Processing Attorneys in Corpus Christi, Texas
Consular processing refers to the steps that someone living abroad who wants to immigrate to the United States must undergo to receive a green card for lawful permanent resident (LPR) status in the United States.
The process generally begins with a U.S. citizen or someone with LPR status filling out a Form I-130 petition on the foreign national’s behalf with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Other routes include an employer filling out an I-140 petition for certifying that a job awaits the immigrant or the immigrant winning the diversity lottery.
These petitions, once approved, are then transferred to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to the foreign national to begin the green card process.
If you’re a U.S. citizen, green card holder, or employer in or near Corpus Christi, Texas, looking to help a foreign national obtain a green card and lawfully enter the United States, rely on the immigration attorneys at The Torres Law Firm to help you navigate the process. We also proudly serve clients in Dallas and Fort Worth.
The Consular Process
As detailed above, the first step is for someone to file a Form I-130 or I-140 or for the foreign national to have been chosen in what is called the diversity lottery. The lottery, of course, requires the foreign national to initiate the process.
The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV Program) makes up to 50,000 immigrant visas available annually, drawn from random selection among all entries of individuals who are from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. The DV Program is administered by the U.S. Department of State (DOS).
Once the I-130 or I-140 petition has been approved or the DV Program has chosen the foreign national, the National Visa Center (NVC) will notify the consulate or embassy nearest to the foreign national. The NVC will also notify the foreign national to submit the processing fees and supporting documentation. This includes filling out a Form DS-260.
At the same time, the NVC most often requires the U.S. petitioner to submit a Form I-864, Affidavit of Support.
The next step is for the embassy or consulate to schedule an appointment. Before the appointment and the interview involved take place, however, the foreign national will be required to see a USCIS-approved physician for a medical exam.
The government uses the interview as an opportunity to verify the contents of the immigrant’s application after the immigrant has sworn to tell the truth. The interviewer also will check their medical, criminal, and financial records to see whether they’re inadmissible.
If the petition is based on marriage, the consular officer will also ask personal questions designed to reveal whether the marriage is the real thing or represents a fraud to get the immigrant a green card.
Most petitions are approved. The interviewing consular or embassy official can deny the immigrant if it is determined that the USCIS erred in approving the initial petition.
U.S. consulates are tasked with ensuring that all intending immigrants to the U.S. are admissible; that is, that they are not subject to any grounds of inadmissibility such as criminal convictions, terrorist activities, previous immigration fraud, and so on. Denials cannot be appealed.
Once the embassy or consulate approves the green card, the foreign national will be given what is called a “Visa Packet.” Upon arrival in the United States, the immigrant will present the packet to the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agent who will examine the contents. The agent has the final say upon the validity of the packet and the immigrant’s right to enter the United States, but once that is granted, the immigrant will be admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident.
Consular Processing Attorneys Serving Corpus Christi, Texas
The Torres Law Firm has helped countless U.S. citizens and green card holders in the United States petition for a foreign relative or spouse to enter the United States through consular processing. Contact us immediately if you want to petition for a loved one living abroad to obtain a green card and join you in the U.S.
We proudly serve clients in and around Corpus Christi, Texas, and also in Dallas and Fort Worth.