Consular Processing

For individuals who will not file for adjustment of status in the United States their application will get transferred to the National Visa Center (NVC) after the application is approved. The NVC is responsible for collecting visa application fees and supporting documentation. The NVC will notify the petitioner and you (the beneficiary) when the visa petition is received and again when an immigrant visa number is about to become available. They will also notify you when you is time to submit the immigrant visa processing fees (commonly referred to as “fee bills”) and supporting documentation.

Once a visa is available or your priority date is current (earlier than the cut-off date listed in the monthly Visa Bulletin), the consular office will schedule you for an interview. The consular office will process your case and decide if you are eligible for an immigrant visa. If you are granted an immigrant visa, the consular officer will give you a packet of information. This packet is known as a “Visa Packet.” Do not open this packet. You will also need to pay a USCIS Immigrant Fee. USCIS uses this fee to process your immigrant visa packet and produce your Green Card. It is recommendable to pay the fee online after you receive your visa packet and before you depart for the United States.

When you arrive in the United States, you should give your Visa Packet to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the port of entry. The CBP officer will inspect you and determine whether to admit you into the United States as a lawful permanent resident. After the CBP officer admits you, you will then have lawful permanent resident status and be able to live and work in the United States permanently.