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Consular processing and your green card

If you are interested in becoming a permanent resident in Florida or elsewhere in the United States, there is more than one way for you to achieve your goal. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, you may be able to get a green card through a method known as consular processing. This pathway may be open to you if you are currently a resident of another country or are living in the United States but applying for the immigrant visa abroad. At Cuevas and Garcia, P.A., Attorneys at Law, we often answer questions about this means of becoming a permanent resident.

When you have applied for a green card through a U.S. Department of State consulate abroad and your petition has been approved, you must wait for an immigrant visa number. Just before the number is available, you will hear from the National Visa Center so you will know when to submit your fees and documentation for your visa. You must attend an interview at the consular office, and upon approval, you will receive a visa packet to be submitted unopened to a Customs and Border Protection officer.

If you do not follow all the guidelines carefully, your application could be denied. For example, you must meet the requirements for achieving a green card, such as fitting into an eligible immigrant category. In most cases, you will need to have someone else file a petition for you. An employment-based petition is typically filed by a U.S. employer. A family member who is a permanent resident or citizen of the United States would need to file a Petition for Alien Relative form for you if you are seeking a green card based on family relationship. If there is a denial, it will be accompanied by the basis for the negative result, and you may be within your rights to appeal the decision.

When you have submitted your visa packet and undergone the final interview, you may become a permanent resident. You will then receive your green card in the mail. To learn more on this topic, visit our page on naturalization law. 

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