The process of obtaining a U.S. Green Card can be confusing, especially if you need to go through consular processing at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to successfully complete the process.
We’re excited to announce that Alvva now supports Green Cards via consular processing for spouses outside of the U.S.! We know that visa journeys can be complex, so if you’d like support preparing your Green Card documents, get started today.
Consular processing is the process of applying for a U.S. visa from outside the United States, as opposed to adjusting status within the U.S. It involves attending an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country or country of residence.
Consular processing is required for visa applicants who:
Consular processing is the most common path for employment-based green cards, diversity visas, and family-sponsored green cards.
Consular processing involves the following main steps:
This process can take 12-16 months in most cases. The wait time depends on the visa category and country.
Despite best efforts, some challenges can come up when going through consular processing:
What are the income requirements for consular processing?
For family-based green cards, the sponsor must meet 125% of the U.S. Federal Poverty Guidelines. For employment-based green cards, it depends on the visa category.
How long does consular processing take?
The time range is wide - from a few months to several years depending on the visa type, demand, and country. Cases can take 6-36 months total for consular processing, but in general, the process takes 12-16 months.
Can I travel outside the U.S. while my case is pending?
It's best not to travel internationally once the NVC is processing your case. Unexpected issues can arise, and traveling abroad could lead to denial.
Does my family need to do consular processing too?
Yes, your spouse and unmarried children under 21 will need to complete consular processing for their green cards.
What documents will I need for my visa interview?
Requirements vary by embassy but you'll likely need your passport, birth certificate, police certificates, medical exam results, proof of finances, and civil documents.
Can I work in the U.S. after getting my visa?
Yes, your immigrant visa allows you to live and work permanently in the United States once you enter and complete processing.
Consular processing has more steps compared to adjusting status within the U.S. But being prepared with the required documents and working with an experienced immigration law firm will help avoid pitfalls. Don't let the complexities deter you from getting your Green Card abroad. With diligence and patience, you can successfully complete consular processing. Let the experts at Alvva guide you through the process for the best chance of success. Take a couple minutes to see if you’re eligible today.