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Consular processing refers to the method used by individuals outside of the United States to apply for and obtain a U.S. visa. The process, however is different for immigrant and non-immigrant visas.

A. Consular processing for Immigrant Visas:

For immigrant visas, Consular processing is one of the two primary methods to obtain a green card, with the other being "adjustment of status" which is pursued by individuals who are already in the U.S. and wish to adjust their status to that of a permanent resident without leaving the country.

A simplified breakdown of consular processing for immigrant visas usually is as follows:

  1. Petition Submission: It starts with a qualifying relative or employer in the U.S. filing a petition on the applicant's behalf with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). For family-based visas, this is typically the Form I-130, while for employment-based visas, it's often the Form I-140.

  2. Petition Approval: Once USCIS approves the petition, they send it to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC will notify the petitioner and the beneficiary (the person seeking to immigrate) when the visa application can be submitted.

  3. Application Submission: The beneficiary then completes the visa application, usually using Form DS-260 for immigrant visas, pays the appropriate fees, and submits the necessary supporting documentation.

  4. Interview: After the NVC has processed the visa application, the beneficiary will be scheduled for an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their country.

  5. Medical Examination: Before the interview, the applicant typically needs to undergo a medical examination by an approved panel physician.

  6. Visa Issuance: If the interview is successful and the consular officer determines that the applicant is eligible, the immigrant visa will be placed in the applicant's passport.

  7. Travel to the U.S.: The beneficiary can now use the immigrant visa to travel to the U.S. Upon arrival, they will undergo inspection by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). If admitted, they will enter as a permanent resident and can live and work in the U.S. indefinitely.

  8. Green Card: After admission, USCIS will mail the actual physical green card (permanent resident card) to the beneficiary's U.S. address.

B. Consular processing for Non-Immigrant Visas:

Non-immigrant visas also undergo consular processing. In fact, most non-immigrant visas, such as tourist visas (B-1/B-2), student visas (F-1), and work visas (e.g., H-1B, L-1), are primarily obtained through consular processing.


Here's a general outline of the consular processing procedure for non-immigrant visas:

  1. Application Submission: The individual seeking the non-immigrant visa (the applicant) typically begins the process by completing the appropriate application form. For most non-immigrant visas, this is the Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application.

  2. Pay the Visa Fee: After completing the DS-160 form, the applicant usually needs to pay the appropriate visa application fee.

  3. Scheduling an Interview: Once the fee is paid, the applicant can schedule an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country or where they are currently residing. Note that some applicants, such as children and senior citizens, might be eligible for an interview waiver under certain conditions.

  4. Prepare Documentation: The applicant gathers all required documents, which typically include a valid passport, a printout of the DS-160 confirmation page, fee payment receipt, passport-sized photos, and other documentation specific to the visa category being sought (e.g., I-20 for F-1 student visas, I-797 for H-1B visas).

  5. Attend the Interview: The applicant attends the visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate. A consular officer will review the application, ask questions to determine the applicant's eligibility for the visa, and may request additional documentation or information.

  6. Receive the Visa: If the consular officer approves the visa, the applicant's passport, usually containing the visa sticker, is either returned to the applicant directly or is available for pickup at a designated location. In some cases, the visa might be delivered by courier.

  7. Travel to the U.S.: With the visa, the individual can travel to the U.S. Upon arrival, they will be inspected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). If admitted, they can stay in the U.S. for the duration and under the conditions stipulated by their visa category.

Our Consular Processing Services Include:

  • Immigrant Visa Applications: We assist clients in preparing and submitting immigrant visa applications, ensuring that all documents are accurate and complete for a smoother interview process.

  • Non-Immigrant Visa Guidance: From tourism and business visas to student and work visas, our team provides end-to-end support in application, documentation, and interview preparation.

  • Petition Review & Submission: Our team will meticulously review and submit petitions to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and coordinate with the National Visa Center (NVC) on your behalf.

  • Document Preparation: Ensuring that all necessary documents are correctly prepared, translated, and submitted in the right format is crucial. We take this daunting task off your plate, focusing on accuracy and timeliness.

  • Interview Coaching: We provide essential guidance on how to handle consular interviews, offering mock sessions and detailed insights into potential questions and the best responses.

  • Addressing Inadmissibility Issues: If you face challenges due to prior visa denials, health-related issues, or other grounds of inadmissibility, our attorneys can advise on waivers or alternative solutions.

  • Tracking and Status Updates: Stay informed throughout the consular processing journey. We regularly update clients on application status, potential delays, and any changes in regulations that might affect their cases.

  • Post-Interview Guidance: After your consular interview, we'll guide you through the subsequent steps, ensuring that you understand the processes for visa issuance, fee payments, and any other post-interview requirements.


For expert assistance and a seamless consular processing experience, you could contact or book an appointment with us.



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McLean, VA 22102

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