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Houston Immigration Lawyers > Blog > Immigration > What Is Consular Processing And Why Is It Important?

What Is Consular Processing And Why Is It Important?


Consular processing is a procedure that allows immigrants, who live outside of the United States, to apply for a green card. Being aware of this procedure, and its importance, makes going through consular processing easier.

 What Is Consular Processing? 

Consular processing is the procedure through which immigrants are processed for a green card, while currently residing outside of the United States.

Going through the consular processing procedure, and being processed, allows an immigrant to obtain their green card and, in turn, to live as a permanent resident within the United States

Just as an example, if an immigrant wants to move to the United States, and has gone through the other relevant immigration procedures, then consular processing is the last stage of this overall process.

If an immigrant lives within the United States or is not qualified for a green card – due to their employment, for example, or marriage to a United States citizen – then consular processing is not available.

To go through the consular processing procedure, a variety of steps must be taken. Some of the most important steps that underlie consular processing are as follows:

  • Submit a recent medical exam that clarifies an immigrant’s medical health.
  • Conduct an interview at a United States embassy or consulate.
  • Go over an immigrant’s current employment and familial situation.

Right after an immigrant completes the steps above, a consular officer will determine whether or not the immigrant can receive the green card that they have applied for.

Since consular processing occurs at the end of the immigration process, it is only available to immigrants who have completed every other step in the process.

 Why Is Consular Processing Important?

The importance of consular processing lies in the fact that it allows those who live outside of the United States to obtain a green card and, in turn, that it serves as the end of the overall immigration process.

Given this fact, it is important that an immigrant going through consular processing does so in the proper manner, so as to ensure that they are able to receive their green card.

Outside of the above, consular processing allows an immigrant to obtain a green card slightly faster than if they went through an Adjustment of Status, which is only available to those who are in the United States.

 Are You Eligible For Consular Processing? 

To be eligible for consular processing, an immigrant must first qualify for a green card. Some of the ways in which an immigrant can qualify for a green card are as follows:

  • Being married to a United States citizen who can sponsor the immigrant.
  • Being employed at a United States company and having that employer sponsor the immigrant.

Someone who doesn’t meet either of these eligibility requirements will find it very difficult to go through the consular processing procedure. But, if an immigrant does meet one of these requirements – their employer sponsors them for a green card, for example – then they are eligible for consular processing.

Speak With A Houston Immigration Lawyer Today 

Going through consular processing can be confusing. Speak with a Houston immigration lawyer at BBA Immigration today and we will walk you through the process and assist you in obtaining a green card.




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