Consular Processing Lawyers in Southfield
Working to Obtain a U.S. Green Card in Your Home Country
Those wishing to obtain lawful permanent resident status (a green card) in the United States may do so in one of two ways: adjustment of status or consular processing. The avenue you will need to pursue will depend on your circumstances, primarily your location.
If you are currently in the U.S. legally on a visa, you can pursue lawful permanent residence via adjustment of status. If you are currently living outside of the U.S., you can work to obtain your green card through consular processing. You will need to first secure an approved immigrant application before visiting the U.S. consulate office in your home country.
At Brown Immigration Law, we can assist you at each stage of consular processing. Whether you are a U.S. citizen who needs help sponsoring a relative in a foreign country or you are a foreign national who needs assistance in preparing for your interview at the U.S. consulate, we can help. Our Southfield-based consular processing attorneys assist clients throughout the United States and around the world.
Request an appointment with our firm by calling (248) 232-2559 or by submitting an online contact form.
How Consular Processing Works
There are a few steps you must take if you wish to obtain a green card through consular processing. It is important that you follow all of the necessary steps, properly file all applicable paperwork, and attend all required meetings and interviews. Any errors or missed steps can result in delays or even the denial of your application.
The steps involved in consular processing are as follows:
- First, you must establish that you are eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence in the United States. Ensure that you meet all of the green card eligibility requirements before beginning the process. You may become eligible for a green card if a family member or employer files a petition on your behalf.
In most cases, you will need someone else—either a U.S. citizen,
lawful permanent resident, or U.S. employer—to file an
immigrant petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on your behalf.
- For a family-based immigrant petition: The filing relative must be either your spouse, unmarried child under the age of 21, or parent (if you are unmarried) and must be either a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident. U.S. citizens may also petition for parents and siblings, as long as the citizen is over the age of 21, as well as fiancé(e)s. Refugees admitted to the U.S. within the past two years may petition for a spouse or child who was unmarried and under the age of 21 at the time the refugee first applied for asylum. Your relative will need to file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
- For an employment-based immigrant petition: Your employer must be a U.S. company and will need to file a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker with USCIS on your behalf. You may file your own employment-based petition (Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur) if you plan on investing significant funds into a U.S. business.
- For another type of petition: If you fall under a special category, you may be able to file your own petition, including Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow/Widower, and Special Immigrant. Someone else can also file this petition on your behalf. If you are taking part in a humanitarian program, you may not need an immigrant petition in order to apply for a green card.
- Once your immigrant petition has been filed, USCIS will either approve or deny your petition and will notify you of the decision. If your petition is approved, USCIS will send it to the Department of State-operated National Visa Center.
- After receiving your approved petition, the National Visa Center will notify you that your petition has been received. Once an immigrant visa number is about to be available, the National Visa Center will again notify you. They will also request immigrant visa processing fees (“fee bills”) and additional documents, if necessary.
- The U.S. consulate office in your home country will schedule an interview with you once a visa becomes available or at such time that your priority date is current. Prior to your interview, you will need to submit to a medical examination and receive applicable vaccinations from an approved doctor. You may also need to register for courier service and will need to further prepare for your interview by gathering all applicable documents and bringing them with you to the interview.
- After the interview, the consular office will determine if you are eligible to receive a visa. If approved, you will receive a Visa Packet; do not open this packet. You will need to provide your unopened packet to U.S. Customs and Border Protection upon your arrival to the U.S. You will also be required to pay a USCIS Immigrant Fee. It is a good idea to pay this fee online prior to arriving in the U.S.
- Once you have been admitted into the country by U.S. Borders and Customs Protection and you have paid your USCIS Immigrant Fee, you will receive your green card by mail. This grants you lawful permanent residence, as well as the ability to obtain employment in the U.S.
Contact Brown Immigration Law Today
If you need assistance with any stage of consular processing, including denied petitions or never receiving your green card, our firm can help. Our Southfield consular processing lawyers have 70 years of experience; we understand the law and how to navigate the U.S. immigration system. We assist U.S. citizens, employers, and foreign nationals on a national and international scale.
Contact us online or by phone at (248) 232-2559 to schedule an appointment for a case evaluation today.
Our Legal Team