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Consular Processing

General procedures

Updating UH records

General procedures [top]

After the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves the I-140 immigrant petition, it forwards the approval to the National Visa Center (NVC), which is organized under the U.S. Department of State (DOS). The NVC processes all immigrant visa petitions it receives from USCIS and retains them until the cases are ready for adjudication by a consular officer abroad.

Consular processing requires a visa interview at a U.S. consulate abroad, a background check, and a medical examination in the country where the individual is applying for the immigrant visa. The DOS administers this process, but the specific procedures vary from country to country. Consular processing is the employee’s responsibility. Applicants who need assistance with consular processing should consult with an immigration lawyer, particularly if family members will also be going through the process.

The general process is as follows:

  1. When the person’s priority date is current, the NVC will send a Form DS-3032 Agent of Choice and Address to him/her. He/She must complete this form and send it back to the NVC.
  2. Once NVC receives the DS-3032 from the applicant, NVC will mail the Immigrant Visa (IV) fee bill to the agent of choice. The individual should designate himself/herself as the agent and send payment of the bill to the NVC.
  3. Once the IV fee is paid, NVC will send the Instruction Packet of forms and information to the agent. The exact contents of the Instruction Packet will depend on where the applicant will be interviewed for a visa. For instance, the Instruction Packet sent to people applying in China differs from the one sent to applicants in France. Some of the information in the Instruction Packet can be downloaded from the NVC website.
  4. The individual collects all the documents he/she will eventually be required to bring to the visa interview.
  5. The individual mails Form DS-230 Part I to NVC using the envelope enclosed in the Information Packet that was sent to him or her. He/She must also include any other requested documents to be sent along with the DS-230 Part I. Only the documents required to be submitted with Form DS-230 Part I should be submitted at this time.
  6. NVC will complete all necessary administrative processing of the immigrant visa application. NVC may request that the person provide additional information if he/she has incomplete or missing documents.
  7. Once NVC has finished administrative processing, it will send the individual’s immigrant visa file to the proper U.S. embassy or consulate and notify the individual by mail that this has occurred.
  8. Approximately 1 month before the scheduled interview appointment with a consular officer, the individual will receive an appointment letter containing the date and time of the visa interview along with instructions for obtaining a medical examination.
  9. At the time of the interview, the individual will need to bring all the original documents or certified copies he/she was instructed to collect.
  10. NVC cannot guarantee when it will schedule the visa interview appointment. The individual should call or write to NVC if the circumstances of his/her application have changed (e.g. change of address, change of marital status, death of applicant, birth or adoption of additional children, or if NVC has requested additional information). At the time of the visa interview, the individual must bring originals or certified copies of all documents listed in the Information Packet. Ideally, he/she should assemble these documents before submitting Form DS-230 Part I to be sure that he/she is fully prepared for the interview. These documents should not be mailed to the NVC with Form DS-230 Part I, but are to be brought by the applicant to the eventual visa interview. See the NVC website for a list of documents that should be taken to the interview. Please note that Individual Information Packets may require other documents.
  11. If the immigrant visa is approved after the interview, the individual and family members (if applicable) must enter the U.S. using the immigrant visa within 6 months. At the port of entry, the immigration inspector will enter an I-551 immigrant stamp in each person’s passport. This stamp can be used as temporary evidence of lawful permanent resident status until the permanent resident card is processed and mailed to the individual’s U.S. address.

Updating UH records [top]

After an employee receives his/her Permanent Resident Card ("Green Card") from USCIS, he/she should send copies of both sides of the card to his/her UH personnel officer and to FSIS. This document is required to properly record an employee’s immigration status in the UH personnel system and to close his/her immigration file.

FSIS does not keep immigration files indefinitely, so employees should keep their own copies of their immigration documents.