What is Consular Processing?
The phrase “Consular Processing” means the overall process of notifying the U.S. Department of State that someone intends to immigrate to the United States, identifying the Petitioner and Sponsor, describing and substantiating the relationship between Petitioner and Beneficiary, proving sufficient financial resources relevant to the type of visa being requested, completing the Immigrant Visa (IV) Application, submitting an Affidavit of Support, and attending a consular interview.
What Happens in Consular Processing?
First, someone in the U.S. petitions for an immigrant, usually a family member, or an employer or organization.
The petition is made through Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) and may also be followed by certain applications for waivers, labor certifications, or proof of selection in the USDoS Diversity Visa lottery.
Second, the National Visa Center (NVC) will begin to assemble your immigration file, based on the information provided either in the petition or in the DV application. Typically, this begins when the NVC sends a Choice of Address and Agent form (DS-3032). Next, the NVC will issue fee bills for each IV applied for, and, if the petition is family-based, for the Affidavit of Support.
Paying the USCIS Immigrant Fee
After the consular interview, and after receiving the Immigrant Visa, but before entering the United States, the IV holder should contact USCIS to pay the Immigrant Fee charged to process the LPR packet and produce the Green Card (Form I-551).