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Consular Processing

Consular processing is the process by which beneficiaries of an immigrant petition outside of the U.S., or who have chosen consular processing, rather than adjustment of status, apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate overseas.  Consular processing requires the immigrant visa petition to be first completed and approved.   The applicant may make an appointment at the U.S. embassy or consulate in his/her home country, where a consular officer adjudicates the case.  If the case is approved, an immigrant visa is issued by the U.S. embassy or consulate. The visa entitles the holder to travel to the United States as an immigrant.   At the port of entry, the immigrant visa holder immediately becomes a permanent resident, and is processed for a permanent resident card and receives an I-551 stamp in his/her passport. The permanent resident card is mailed to his/her U.S. address within several weeks.  The primary advantage of using consular processing is that it tends to be faster than adjusting status here in the U.S. Consular processing typically takes between 6 months and one year, while adjustment of status often takes an average of 1 to 2 years.

To learn more about adjustment of status, please click here.  To speak with an attorney at The Callan Law Firm, P.C., click here.  To learn more about consular processing, please visit the USCIS web page.


The Department of State will gather fees and numerous documents before the case is scheduled for an immigrant visa interview for consular processing.  The interview is held at a U.S. consulate abroad. Typically, only the beneficiary will be permitted into the U.S. consulate for the interview.  When the case is approved, an immigrant visa will be placed in the applicant’s passport. The applicant will become a conditional or permanent resident of the United States upon being admitted to the United States.

An attorney at The Callan Law Firm, P.C. can help you with the process of filing for an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate. We prepare and file I-130 petitions, check your case for visa availability, prepare applications for the Department of State, review supporting documents to ensure it meets the documentary requirements of the Department of State, and prepare you for the interview at the consulate.

In addition, if an applicant for consular processing has triggered any grounds of inadmissibility due to past crimes, immigration violations, fraud, or unlawful presence in the U.S., we also prepare waiver applications.  To learn more about applications for a waiver, click here.  To schedule an appointment with an attorney, contact us now.