Consular Processing

Immigrant Visa Processing

Consular processing may be used when an individual is outside of the US or is ineligible to adjust status, or when a person prefers consular processing for strategic or convenience reasons.
Usually the place of last residence abroad, not country of nationality, is the designated place.

Out of District Processing

If an applicant is visiting a third country for a legitimate business reason (attending a conference, symposium, or meeting), then this applicant may petition the U.S. embassy located in that country for a visa. The acceptance of this type of visa processing case is discretionary for the U.S. Consulate located in this third country. In the applicant's native country, it is mandatory for the U.S. Consulate to provide consular processing service to the applicant.

Non-Immigrant Visa Processing:

This is a two-step process. First, the applicant must seek to obtain a visa at the U.S. consulate or embassy unless he or she is visa exempt. The applicant must present himself at the embassy or consulate and submit a DS-160 form. After obtaining the visa the client may be admitted into the U.S. at the border or pre-flight inspection station by a CBP officer. If admitted, he or she may be given an I-94 card, or have a page of their passport stamped. This card or stamp will govern the terms of his/her stay in the U.S. If entry is denied, the non-immigrant may be put to exclusion proceeding to remove him/her from the U.S. If a consular post has issued a visa, however, it is prima facie evidence of admissibility sufficient to shift the burden of producing evidence to the DHS at an exclusion hearing where admissibility is questioned.

Those who are filing under H, L, K, O, P, or Q status need prior approval at Citizenship and Immigration Service Centers of petitions before applying at a consular post. F, M, and J status need certification from school/ program sponsor.

Generally, an applicant is required to go to the consular office of his/her residence, and the applicant must make a personal appearance unless waived. However, all consular posts can issue non-immigrant visas.
In order to enter the U.S., the applicant not only needs a valid visa, unless exempt, but also a passport valid for 6 months beyond the expiration date of the visa, unless there is an agreement between the U.S. and the applicant's home country. An applicant for an admission may have his/her visa in an invalid passport if it is a multiple entry definitive visa and he or she is in possession of a valid passport.

For information related to Consular Processing, including Administrative Appeals, conditions and requirements for Consular Post Applications, and Immigration Court Services, among other issues, please feel free to consult with us.