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Consular Processing

Once the immigrant petition is approved, the alien has the option of completing the final step in the immigrant visa (green card) process either through consular processing or through adjustment of status. You will indicate on the I-130 or I-140 petition whether you will be seeking consulate processing and which embassy you wish to designate. If you request consular processing, then upon approval of the underlying petition, the NVC mails a packet entitled "Instruction Package for Immigrant Visa Applicants". The alien completes the enclosed forms (Form DS-230 Part I) and other documentation and sends the completed packet back to the National Visa Center for transfer to the appropriate embassy. In certain cases the applicant can send the completed packet directly to the embassy or consulate designated. The consulate will then notify the alien with the date of his/her interview and medical exam. The packet which contains the interview date is now called "Appointment Package". This packet will also contain important information concerning the documents which must be brought to the interview along with forms (Form DS-230 Part II) which must be completed and brought to the appointment interview.

At the appointment interview the alien will provide originals of all required documents. An interview will be conducted. Once the consular officer is satisfied that the alien is qualified, the alien will be issued an immigrant visa to enter the United States. The visa will be valid for six months. The alien must enter the US within the six-month period. The alien registration card (commonly called the 'Green Card") will be sent in the mail to the alien after entry into the United States.

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