The Consular Process is an immigration process that legalizes your status from abroad, meaning you have to attend an immigration interview at a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate. The process begins with a petition that has been filed for an intending immigrant. Once the petition is approved, the National Visa Center begins the Consular Process.
The National Visa Center contacts the petitioner and the beneficiary of the petition once it is approved. The first step is to pay the fee bills. It usually takes about two days for the fee bills to reflect that they have been paid.
Once the fee bills are paid, you will be able to fill out the immigrant visa application online. Additionally, the National Visa Center requires copies of certain supporting documents and financial documents be sent before the case gets forwarded to the U.S. Consulate or U.S. Embassy.
If you require an unlawful presence waiver, file it before you are scheduled for an interview. You do not want to leave the U.S. until you have the unlawful waiver approved. The unlawful presence waiver would be required for anyone that has been unlawfully present in the U.S. for more that 180 days and has to return to their native country to file for their green card.
Before the interview, you have to make sure you have gone to a medical exam by an approved doctor. If the exam is conducted by a doctor that is not approved, the medical exam will not be valid. Additionally, ensure you have a recent police clearance letter before you attend the interview.
At the interview, you will be asked questions about your criminal and immigration history as long as other questions that may cause you to be inadmissible to the U.S. If everything goes well, you will receive your passport with you immigrant visa stamp. If for whatever reason you are denied, you may be eligible to a waiver to allow you to enter the U.S.