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A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO CONSULAR PROCESSING

If you are outside of the United States, you may apply at a U.S. Department of State consulate abroad for an Immigrant Visa in order to come to the U.S. and be admitted as a permanent resident. This method is called “Consular Processing”.

Already in the United States? You can apply for permanent resident status here. This process commonly known as adjustment of status. For more information, see the Adjustment of Status page.

Timeline For Consular Processing

1. Determine The Basis For Immigration

Before you can do anything else, you must find out if you are eligible to apply for a Green Card (lawful permanent residence). Eligibility is usually established when a relative or employer files a petition for you.  Depending on your circumstances, you may also become eligible by first obtaining refugee or asylum status, or through a number of other special provisions. To see the many different ways to get a Green Card, go to the Green Card Eligibility Categories page.

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2. File the Immigrant Petition

When you know what category you believe best fits your situation, you usually will need someone else to file an immigrant petition for you.

Although you usually file immigrant petitions with USCIS domestically, sometimes you can file a Form I-130 petition for an immediate relative (spouse, child, or parent of a U.S. citizen) with a USCIS field office, U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. Situations where this may be applicable include:

  • If you, the petitioner, are a U.S. citizen and
  • There is an international USCIS field office located in the country in which you reside, or,
  • If you reside within the consular office’s jurisdiction for countries in which there is no USCIS field office and exceptional circumstances (PDF, 61 KB) exist that warrant the local filing.
  • Members of the military
  • Emergency situations
  • Situations involving the health or safety of the petitioner
  • When in the national interests of the United States

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3. Await the official decision on your petition

USCIS will let the petitioner know about its decision in an official notification. If the petition is denied, the reasons will be set forth in the notification, along with information about your ability to appeal.  If the petition is approved and you live outside the United States (or live in the United States but want to apply for your immigrant visa abroad), USCIS forwards the approved petition to the Department of State’s National Visa Center. The petition is held there until an immigrant visa number becomes available for you. See the Visa Availability & Priority Dates pages for more information.

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4. Wait for Notification from the National Visa Center

The National Visa Center (NVC) is tasked with collecting visa application fees and supporting documentation. The NVC notifies 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 inform you when you must submit immigrant visa processing fees (also known as “fee bills”) and supporting documentation.

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5. Go to Your Appointment

Once a visa is available or your  priority date is current (earlier than the cut-off date listed in the monthly Visa Bulletin), an interview will be scheduled. The consular office will also review all of the relevant information about your case and make a determination about your eligibility for an immigrant visa.

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6. After Your Visa is Granted

If you are granted an immigrant visa, you’ll get an information packet from the consular officer.  This packet is known as a “Visa Packet.” Do not open it. At this time, you should pay a USCIS Immigrant Fee, which is used to process your immigrant visa packet and produce your Green Card. It is best to do so online after you receive your visa packet and before you leave for the United States. When you arrive  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 then decide whether to admit you into the United States as a lawful permanent resident. If you are admitted, you will have lawful permanent resident status and be able to live and work in the United States permanently.

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7. Get Your Green Card

If you paid the USCIS Immigrant Fee, you will receive your Green Card in the mail after you arrive in the United States. If you do not receive your Green Card within 45 days after you get here, please call the  USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 or make an InfoPass appointment to visit your local USCIS field office. If you did not pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee before you arrived in the United States, you will need to pay the fee before USCIS will send you a Green Card.

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How I can Check my case status?

You may check your case status online or call our USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 to check the status of your Form I-485

What is concurrent filing?

Not long time ago USCIS’s, implemented a new rule allowing the filing of an I-485 and a Form I-140 petition at the same time and provided a visa number is availablity at the time of filing. Concurrent filing associated with EB-1and EB-2 beneficiaries.

How long will I have to wait for approve my application?

Once you file your Application for Adjustment of Status on Form I-485, the length of time it will take depends upon the current processing time and that can vary depending upon your location. It depends on whether your Green card application is employment-based or family-based or other immigration category.  Employment-based adjustments can take anywhere from six months to two years to be approved. Family-based, it could take at least 12-18 months or longer before your I-485 application could be adjudicated. 

Can I leave the country while my adjustment is pending?

Yes, but only if you have received advance parole (referred as a travel document). Once you eligible to apply for an adjustment of status, You can apply for advance parole with form I-131 at the same. Once their travel documents are approved, even with pending adjustment applications, you be able to travel (as long as their adjustments remain pending).

Contact Attorney J.Greenberg

    APPLICATION REVIEW

    Check your Eligibility, Register, Begin your Forms, Sign & Pay when you’re Ready.

    Our innovative online system allows you to figure out exactly which case or immigration benefit you

    are likely eligible for, just by answering a few simple questions. After that, our system will allow you to register in our online client portal for free; with the assigned case you’re likely eligible for. You’ll be able to begin working on your case for free, by filling out our easy to understand forms (that become official USCIS forms) automatically, with our software. If you like our system and want to retain us for our Attorney Application Review service, you will be able to sign our representation agreement electronically and make your first payment.

    Schedule and have your Initial Consultation with your Attorney

    After you have made the minimum payment, you will be prompted to schedule your initial

    consultation with your attorney. Your attorney will then contact you on the date and at the time you select. During the Consultation, your attorney will verify that you are indeed eligible for the case our software assigned, and that it is the best option for you. They will then instruct you on how to properly continue to fill out your assigned Immigration Forms, and about any required or recommended supporting documentation for your case type. Your attorney will also seek to address any questions or concerns you may have, about your individual process and petition

    Finish completing your Forms, your Attorney Checks your Petition, and you Submit

    You will use our innovative software system to continue to fill out the necessary forms for

    your case, and any supporting documentation. Then when you have completed everything, your attorney will check your USCIS forms for accuracy, completeness, adherence to USCIS standards and procedures, and any possible ineligibility/inadmissibility grounds that might come up. Your attorney will tell you how best to address any problems with your petition that they observe, and then you will make the necessary and/or recommended changes. If you elected for the add-on service of having your attorney check your supporting documentation, they will also give you feedback on that. Once you have made the proper changes, you will print your petition, sign where indicated, and then send it off to USCIS in the pre-addressed and pre-paid envelope, we provide. From there, you’ll only have to make sure to respond to any ensuing correspondence or requests from USCIS, should there be any.
    How our Legal Services Work page

    Our online tool makes it so easy to complete your immigration paperwork

    Start my Application

    FULL REPRESENTATION

    Check your Eligibility, Register, Sign (or Schedule a Consultation First).

    Begin by answering one of our online Eligibility Quizzes. If all goes well, our software will tentatively

    assign you a case. You will then be able to register, create your profile, and request an individualized price quote for your case–all for free. We will get back to you with an individualized price quote shortly. You can then sign our electronic retainer at the quoted price (subject to certain reservations). Or, if you prefer, you can schedule and pay for a consultation, before signing. If you choose to make us your attorneys by signing right away; you will use our secure online system to make your first payment, and then you will still be prompted to schedule a consultation. To ethically and most effectively serve you, our Full Attorney Representation Service always begins with a consultation.

    Have your Initial Consultation with your Attorney and let them get to work.

    Your attorney will contact you as scheduled, for your consultation. They will verify your eligibility for

    the case our software pre-selected, and make sure it is actually the best option for you. Your attorney will detail the steps for handling your specific immigration matter, and render you any necessary and pertinent legal advice. Addressing your questions, and requesting any documents and information that you’ll need you to provide (such as birth certificates), will also be priorities of the consultation. If you did not already retain Zontlaw formally, your attorney will send you a price quote (with the $150 dollar consultation fee deducted from the cost of your representation); after the consultation. You can then formally sign and retain us as your attorneys. After you make your first payment, your attorney will proceed to the next step. If you have already retained us, you’ll make your first payment if you haven’t already (the one after the $150 minimum), and your attorney will automatically proceed to the next step.

    Your Attorney Compiles your Case, you Sign, and your Attorney Submits.

    Your attorney prepares all necessary USCIS forms and any supporting materials in their power. If

    there is supporting documentation that only you as the client have access to (ex: former employer letters), they will tell you exactly what you need to do and provide you with samples, so you can get the correct documentation. Once everything is ready, your attorney will compile your case into a professional legal petition, with a cover letter and a table of contents that will please USCIS and/or the other immigration authorities. They will check everything again, and send it to you to print and sign, via our secure online system. You will print and sign your completed case, and mail it to us in the envelope we provide. Your attorney will verify that you signed in the correct places, and they will send it off to the correct USCIS Dropbox, processing center, or other authority. It is possible that USCIS or other immigration authorities may request additional documentation/clarification regarding your petition. Your attorney will handle any such requests, communicating with you as required.
    How our Legal Services Work page

    Our online tool makes it so easy to complete your immigration paperwork

    Start my Application

    MORE FEATURES

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    Personalized Guidance and USCIS Fees and Instructions on where to file, free shipping label to USCIS

    Up-to-date Forms

    Our experienced immigration professionals check the website content daily to keep up with changes in laws or forms required.

    Comprehensive forms

    Answer a few simple questions and our innovative system will generate a complete form and ready to be presented

    Error Checking

    Our team of professionals will check all your answers to make sure that they are accurate, complete and ready to be submitted

    Evidence Checklist

    Once you assemble and upload all required documents, we will check if the evidence is correct and will provide a cover letter.

    IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY JULIA GREENBERG

    choose your attorney

    With more than a decade in the field, Julia Greenberg has earned a reputation as a highly successful immigration attorney. Since 2006, she has represented countless corporate and individual clients in complex matters ranging from removal (deportation) to asylum, family, business and investor’s petitions, and employment-based cases.

    Authorized to practice in immigrant courts throughout the United States, Ms. Greenberg may also appear before the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Northern, and Eastern districts of New York, and the New York Supreme Court. Ms. Greenberg takes pride in helping clients who have been unable to get satisfactory results elsewhere. Her honesty and compassion, combined with her expertise and vast knowledge of immigration law make her a formidable opponent in court – resulting in a long list of satisfied clients and positive referrals.

    Outside of court, Ms. Greenberg often addresses Congress regarding relevant legislation. She also devotes her spare time to making presentations at local events, where she answers questions for New York’s immigrant community.Ms. Greenberg is a member of the New York City Bar Association, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), where she is a member in good standing in its New York Chapter. Ms. Greenberg is also fluent in Russian.

    CUSTOMER REVIEWS

    Zontlaw Julia Greenberg IconZontlaw Julia Greenberg

    1733 Sheepshead Bay Road Suite 22, Brooklyn

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    • Avatar nana bulia ★★★★★ 5 months ago
      Today I’m really thrilled with the fact that I achieved success in my immigration case and it wouldn’t have been without a great professionalism of my immigration lawyer Mrs. Julia Greenberg. Compassion is Julia’s one of many other excellent … More qualities as a lawyer. She focuses on how others feel. Without compassion, you cannot put yourself in your client’s shoes or fully understand the issues your client faces. A lot of thanks to her and the best wishes in her carrier and personal life.
    • Avatar Konstantin ★★★★★ 2 months ago
      From the beginning to the end an exceptional service. We had a marriage on US citizen case. Outcome is a green card without even going on the interview. If you have immigration question, look no more. They will get the job done.
      Thank
      … More you Julia, you're the best !
    • Avatar Adaptor ★★★★★ 6 months ago
      Julia is a very professional lawyer. Helped throughout the process and was always attentive. Thanks to her, I won my case.
      Best service!
    • Avatar randa elkhashab ★★★★★ a year ago
      This firm is just amazing ! I wouldn’t have picked a better immigration lawyer. Julia is amazing she is very understanding and took care of my husbands and I case very throughly. My case was a bit complicated and she helped us manage it … More . She helped us prepare very well . Julia was also very responsive at all times . I recommend her team in a heart beat to anyone who needs help in immigration matters. Amazing results!
    • Avatar Kate Burtsev ★★★★★ a year ago
      All through our immigration process, which took about 5 years, Julia Greenberg demonstrated professionalism, exemplary work ethics and deep knowledge of immigration law. She was always available and provided thought through answers to our … More multiple questions. In my opinion, what really distinguishes Julia from other immigration lawyers we have worked with is that she is willing to go the extra mile for her clients. The fact that the prosecutor in our case complimented Julia for her outstanding effort serves as the best proof of her professionalism.
    • Avatar Sheroz Temurov ★★★★★ 2 years ago
      Julia Greenberg is a marvelous attorney based on my experience. Not only is she very professional and quick to react, she is also comprehensive which is a big thing for me. She has been diligent with my case and has been with me every step … More of the way, which has not only made this easier, but also less stressful. To every wondering whether or not to go to her, I recommend that you do because she is excellent at her job which makes her an excellent attorney. I’am so thankful for her and thankful for everything she has done.
    • Avatar Misha Kols ★★★★★ a year ago
      I had a great experience with Julia throughout my case. Fast and efficient.
    • Avatar Igor Tsublionak ★★★★★ a year ago
      Julia is one of the most professional people I've ever met. Help me with my immigration case without a flaw.
    • Avatar Jelena Palaic ★★★★★ a year ago
      Great attorney. Don’t wait, hire Julia and help yourself. Quick on respond, reliable and very professional.
      Knows what she is doing.
      Thank you Julia very much!
    • Avatar Levan Tsurtsumia ★★★★★ 11 months ago
      I am an athlete whose I-140 was initially denied by the USCIS. I was lucky to find Julia, who in just couple of days was able to correct my case and  gather, review necessary documents and file a timely appeal. In just 3 months after she … More did it, my case was approved. Thanks to Julia I am now designated to be extraordinary in the eyes of USCIS.
      Totally recommend you guys to contact Julia, she is the best Lawyer as good person.
    • Avatar Tatiana Tereknina ★★★★★ a year ago
      Julia is fantastic! She is efficient, honest and trustworthy! Our case was lost and after countless attempts to reach USCIS, I finally called Julia. She managed to resolve our issue very fast. I highly recommend Julia and her team!
    • Avatar Leanor G ★★★★★ a year ago
      Julia is a lawyer with a big heart.
      I worked with Julia directly. Calls, correspondence were only with her. I felt strong support. It is very difficult to find a lawyer who are really involved in your case. But Julia is the right lawyer.
      … More With her you are in good hands.
      As Julia says, I will fight to the end.
    • Avatar KKProject Inc ★★★★★ 11 months ago
      It was a pleasure working with Julia! She is a very professional immigration layer and is very responsive, which was very important to us.
      Julia helped us with the citizenship case delay and picked up the marriage case. Both cases were
      … More successfully completed by her, while the previous layer has failed to do.
      Highly recommended!
    • Avatar Julia Gutsul ★★★★★ 9 months ago
      Highly recommended!!!!
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      If you have any questions regarding immigration – just call to Julia Greenberg!
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      … More all the best and good luck 🌞

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