You have the option of seeking permanent resident status in the U.S. either by filing an Adjustment of Status application with the USCIS or by opting for Consular Post Processing. At the time of filing the Immigrant Visa Petition (FormI-140/Form I-130), you are required to indicate which route you want to proceed with listed below are the steps involved in Consular Immigrant Visa Processing:
- You select the consular post in the country of nationality (citizenship) or country of last residence. You must have lived within the district’s jurisdiction in order to apply at a particular post. The principal applicants residence is determinative, not the spouses.
- Once I-140 /I-130 petition is approved, the USCIS sends the file to the National Visa Center (NVC) in Portsmouth, NH (State Dept.). The NVC does the initial processing.
- If the Priority Date (PD) is not current, the NVC keeps the file and conducts no further processing on the case. Once the PD becomes current; NVC sends Packet 3 to the applicant, which must be completed by each intending immigrant and returned to the NVC. Packet 3 consists of.
- DS 230 Part I
DS 169 Checklist
- DSL 1083 Immigrant Visa Supplemental Information Sheet (Police Certificates) –varies between consulates
- Vaccination requirements
- Affidavit of Support
- Upon receipt of Packet 3, the Consulate orders a visa number, schedules the principal and family member for an interview, and issues Packet 4. If the PD retrogresses in the meantime, no interview may be scheduled. The PD must be current at the time of the interview and when the Immigrant Visa (IV) is issued. Packet 4 consists of:
- Interview appointment letter
General Instructions on IV application procedure and IV fees.
- DS 230 Part II
- Tax form –IRS 9003
Medical exam information
- Medical Exam and Interview. All applicants must take the medical exam regardless of age.
- If the case is approved, the Consulate issues the immigrant Visa which is valid for 6 months, and gives the applicant a sealed envelope, which the applicant must carry at the time of entry into the U.S. The applicant must enter the U.S. before the IV expires.
- When the applicant arrives at the US port of entry, he/she is referred to secondary inspection. The sealed envelope is given to the USCIS officer, the applicant if fingerprinted and then issued an ADIT (I-551) stamp, as proof of lawful permanent resident (LPR) status. This ADIT stamp is valid for 1 year and the applicant is considered to be an LPR as of that date.
- The USCIS mails the actual (Permanent Resident Card) green card to the applicants mailing address in the US, within 1-3 months from the time of entry.
Please note that the above listed information is not intended to be a substitute for specific legal advice regarding an individual matter. We strongly encourage you to work closely with qualified legal counsel when pursuing any immigration benefits. If we can be of further assistance to you, please contact our office via phone at (408) 567-9445 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org