Bringing foreign nationals into the United States through Consular Processing is a way for a family member or employee to become a Lawful Permanent Resident in America (obtain a green card). Getting a green card for a relative or worker can be a long, complicated process. For most people, the best thing to do is hire a Consular Processing Attorney. The Orlando immigration attorneys at the Rivas Law Firm can help you smooth the way in getting a green card for a relative or worker. If you are sponsoring someone for a green card, call 407-644-2466 to speak with a Central Florida Immigration Attorney.

Sponsoring a Foreign National for a Green Card

A non-citizen must have a sponsor who will petition the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to grant that person Permanent Residence Status. 

Someone sponsoring a relative must file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.  A petition for a relative must also include an Affidavit of Support to guarantee that the new resident won’t be relying on social welfare programs like Medicaid or Food Stamps. (If the person does receive public assistance, the sponsor may be required to pay that money back.) 

A sponsor of an employee for U.S. permanent resident status must first file an Application for Permanent Labor Certification with the U.S. Department of Labor. The certification assures that the foreign national will be providing a skill or service that the domestic labor supply cannot meet. The sponsor then files a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker

These are just the basic Green Card Eligibility Categories. There are many variations, each with its own rules and requirements. An experienced Orlando Consular Processing Lawyer will know which way to sponsor a foreign national for Permanent Residence Status.

Consular Processing

If the USCIS approves the petition for the foreign national you are sponsoring, they will notify you. They then send the approved petition to the Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC), which will assign a visa number when one becomes available. The NVC will notify both the sponsor and the candidate when they receive the visa petition. They will also notify you when to expect a visa number and when to pay immigrant visa processing fees (fee bills) and further documentation. 

When that is all done, the candidate will undergo an interview at the Consular Office or Embassy in their country. If the interview goes well, the office grants the Immigrant Visa and issues a “Visa Packet.” The immigrant must not open the Visa Packet. It will be opened by the  U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the U.S. point of entry. Before leaving for America, the foreign national must pay a USCIS Immigrant Fee. If the CBP officer admits you, you will then have lawful permanent resident status and be able to live and work in the United States permanently.

The citizenship lawyers at the Rivas Immigration Law Firm in Orlando are ready to help you through the process of bringing a foreign national to America through the Consular Process. To get started, call 407-644-2466 and talk with one of our immigration attorneys.