One way for a foreigner to acquire lawful permanent residence in the United States is immigrant visa processing at a U.S. Consulate abroad. This is known as consular processing. In order to be eligible for consular processing, you must live outside the U.S. and have a “priority date” that is “current” (in other words, an available visa without a waiting period).
Once you have all of your “ducks in a row,” you will need to attend a mandatory interview. You will receive information instructing you to gather the necessary documents for your interview.
The Important Interview
Once your case arrives at the Consular Section and your priority date is current, you will be scheduled for an interview. It is important to attend this interview with all of the necessary information and documents to avoid both delay and denial of your permanent U.S. residency status.
If you cannot attend the interview or know that you will not have complete documents, you should immediately notify the Consular Section to reschedule your interview.
Scheduling the Interview
The Consular Section generally schedules interviews five or six weeks prior to the schedule date. They notify applicants of their scheduled appointments via mail. Once you have received your interview date, you should plan to arrive at the Consular Office early in the morning with all of your requested documents and ready to pay the issuance fees.
If there are no problems with your case, you may be granted your immigrant visa on the day of your interview or later the same day.
After the Interview
Once you have received your visa, you will have six months to lawfully enter the United States. If you do not enter the country within this time period, your visa will expire and you will not able to immigrate to the U.S.
For more information about obtaining an immigrant visa through consular processing or to schedule a complimentary consultation with immigrant attorney Michael S. Carrillo, call Legalize Me toll free at 800-554-8778.