One of the two ways to apply for lawful permanent resident status is after an immigrant petition is approved and an immigrant visa number is issued through consular processing. This process refers to individuals who are still in their home country applying to immigrate to the U.S at their respective consulate abroad.

Detailed Description:

Once you are the beneficiary of an approved immigrant petition, you are able to apply for legal permanent residence status outside of the U.S. at an U.S. Consulate abroad. To do so, you must follow the steps below:


  1. Determine your basis to immigrate. Before applying for a Green Card, be sure to check if you are eligible.

  2. File an immigrant petition for the correct category based on your situation.

  3. Wait for a decision on the petition. You will receive a notice from USCIS detailing whether or not your petition has been approved.

  4. If your petition is approved, the information will be sent to the National Visa Center, where you must submit processing fees and any requested supporting documentation.

  5. Go to your interview appointment. The consular office will conduct the interview, process your case, and decide whether or not you are eligible for an immigrant visa.

  6. If your visa is granted, you will be given a “Visa Packet” to be submitted after you arrive in the U.S. before an U.S. Customers and Border Protection officer at the port of entry.

  7. You will receive your Green Card in the mail after arriving in the U.S. if you paid all the required fees.


As the aforementioned steps are only a summary of the consular processing procedure, it is important to retain a lawyer to get personalized help regarding your case. While there are many common issues and experiences, every individual case is unique and requires a detailed review of the beneficiary’s background and consider all case circumstances. At Jia Law Group, our attorneys have a successful track record facilitating consular processing for our foreign-based clients. We can guide you through any questions or complex problems.


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