Marriage and Family Visas: How does the Consular Processing Interview Work?

Applicants that are waiting abroad to obtain permanent residency, will need to go through Consular Processing in order to obtain the Immigrant Visas at the end of the process. How does it really work?
During the interview, the consular official will confirm the information contained in the DS-260 application, screen for any applicable ground of inadmissibility, review the supporting documents, confirm that the medical exam does not reveal any health-related problem that could prevent approval or require a waiver, and determine whether the applicant is likely to become a public charge.

If the applicant is inadmissible for a ground that is waivable, the applicant will submit the waiver form and supporting documentation to the LockBox in the United States that process such waivers. Typically 6 months or so for processing time. The consular officer has the right to inquire into the validity of the marriage or the relationship that forms the basis of the immigrant petition.

When an immigrant visa is issued, it is usually valid for six months. In order to obtain permanent resident status, the immigrant visa holder must travel to the United States and be admitted within the visa validity period. Additionally, in order to obtain a visa, the applicant must present a passport that is valid for at least 60 days beyond the validity of the immigrant visa. Immigrant visa holders in the first– and second- preference categories should be warned by consular officials that they are admissible in those categories only if they remain unmarried at the time of application for admission at the port of entry.

If an immigrant visa is refused, the consular officer will inform the applicant of the reasons for the denial, including the provision of law or regulation on which the refusal is based. If the reason for the refusal may be overcome with the submission of additional documents, and the applicant indicates an intention to submit the additional evidence, the file will remain open for up to one year.

Once the applicant has obtained the necessary documentation, the interview should be rescheduled. However, if no action is taken on the case for one year after the interview, registration., eligibility to apply for an immigrant visa—will be terminated. The consular officer at the post should notify the applicant of the termination and the right to have the registration reinstated within one year by demonstrating that the failure to act was due to circumstances beyond his or her control.

If the consular officer is requesting information or documentation that you believe is inappropriate or unnecessary, try to contact them directly of have your lawyer do a follow up on your behalf.

Consular Officers are often fair, but tough. Their job is to wed out the fake cases from the legitimate ones. Be prepared and honest, and you can pass any Consular Interview with success.