Consular Processing FAQs

Monday, August 28, 2023 - 05:24

Difference between H-1B consular processing and change of status


I am on my STEM OPT, and it is valid till July 2024.

My H1B was picked(March 2022) and approved(August 2022) last year.

However, my H1B was approved under the Consulate processing and received ( I-797 B). So, I asked my employer about it and got to know that I can change to H1 status whenever I intend to or after my stem opt expires.

I am planning to go to India in Oct for stamping. So I asked my employer to change my status to H1B, and they mentioned COS is not needed, I can directly go on STEM OPT and get my H1B visa stamped. It will automatically change the status to H1B.



Video URL

Friday, June 17, 2022 - 02:14

Employee is outside The US. How to continue a green card through consular processing?


I have a valid I-140 from my old employer and have not ported it to my current employer. Currently, I am not staying in the US, and my dates have become current.
I have below clarifications:
Can we file for Consular processing GC from abroad through my previous employer if they are open to hiring me back. At the same time I don't want to impact my current job as the old employer does not have their presence outside the US.  As per my knowledge, I cannot file GC through CP; however, if I move back to the US will I be able to file I-485 without joining my old employer?


Video URL

Monday, December 20, 2021 - 09:15

Options to remain in status: F-1 visa expired, H-1B approved for consular processing, but not stamped


My son got his H-1B approved on consular processing this year which also happens to be the first year on OPT. His F-1 Visa expired in June and he is unable to travel to India for lack of slots for H-1B stamping I wish to know the following:

  1. Is there a time limit for getting the approved H-1B visa stamped?, and
  2. If for some reason he is unable to travel next year as well can he extend his stem opt to remain in status?


Video URL


Friday, September 25, 2020 - 10:56

Changing Status During a Pending Application - Authorized Period of Stay


Currently, I am On My H1B, filled H1 extension on time, before I -94 expiry, ( Perm, I-140 Approved ). When H1 extension pending in normal process can I apply for a change of status to F1 by using the H1 receipt number? While I am on F1 if my Priority date is current, can I Adjust my status / file (i-485) when I am on an F1 visa? Will it be an issue If I am F1 visa to Adjust my status if priority date is current?


Watch the Video on this FAQ:

Changing status during a pending application - authorized period of stay

Video Transcript

There is an assumption if old status has expired and you have an application pending you are just in authorized period of state. And by the way, if you have an employment based green card going on and your dates become current you can file a I-485 that is if you are protected by section 245(k). 245(k) says we will forgive you being out of status or unofficially employed for up to 180 days if you are an employment based applicant or their derivative so if your old status expired, F-1 is pending, but the old status expired less than 180 days ago you can file I-485. FAQ in detail...


Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

Thursday, April 25, 2019 - 01:35

Multiple Years of CPT


My employer has filed my h1 and asked for a change of status with H1 filing and got an RFE(As i am filing from CPT-F1 to H1) relating to
--Maintenance of Status<br>
--CPT Related<br>
--Multiple years of CPT at the same Education level<br>

The lawyer is asking me to change from Change of status to Consular Processing and go to India and stamped and come back.


Watch the Video on this FAQ: Multiple years of CPT

Video Transcript

All in all I think changing to a consular processing is one of the ways you can go. It also depends upon how aggressive you want to be. But if you want to be more conservative, go ahead and change to consular processing. More...




Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 - 03:34

Pros and Cons of Adjustment of Status and Consular Processing for Green Card


My H1B (6 years) was from 10/1/2004 - 9/30/2010 from 5 different companies.
Company A - PD(EB3) - Jun 19, 2007, I-140 applied on July 9, 2007, I-485 filed July 17, 2007 - got laid off Oct 31, 2008. - I-140 approved on Dec 29, 2008.
Moved to Canada in July 2012 and became Canadian Citizen in Apr 2017. I have been keeping Advance Parole active by visiting the USA every year.
Now I want to add my family in Canada(wife(Indian Citizen with USA visitors visa) and kid(Canadian Citizen)). Do you recommend AOS for myself and Consular Processing for my family?


Watch the Video on this FAQ: Pros and cons of adjustment of status and consular processing for green card

Video Transcript:

You have got your I-485 filed and that's a good thing and you kept it alive by keeping your advance parole alive, but you need a job offer and you need to file Supplement J. So if you want to take advantage of AC21 you have to move over to a new employer get a new job offer and use Supplement J to indicate to the USCIS that you are going through another employer. You have two choices. You can split the green card. You going through adjustment of status, you enter the USA with your Advance Parole and you file form I-824 for your family to go through green card processing through consular processing in Canada. So you can either bring them all in on an H-1/H-4 type visa or you can do your adjustment of status and let them do their consular processing.You should not convert yourself to consular processing that could probably end in the loss of a green card. You are taking advantage of AC21 which as far as I know is available only in adjustment of status. It is not available in consular processing. Hence adjustment of status for you and consular processing for your family makes sense. More...


Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 03:09

How to change from Adjustment of Status to Consular Processing for green card


I have an approved I-140 and a Pending I-485 (Since July 2007 Employment –Based Adjustment of Status Indian Passport Holder is submitted Application ). Since presently there is very large backlog I decided to move Canada 2009 since I am Stay in Canada and now become Canadian citizenship. <br>
1. How to switch to Adjustment of Status to Consular Processing?<br>

2. How long would it take to switch from Adjustment of Status to Consular Processing?
3. How to inform to USCIS to change my citizenship Indian to Canadian.


Watch the Video on this FAQ: How to change from Adjustment of Status to Consular Processing for green card

Video Transcript

It is very easy to convert from Consular Processing for Adjustment of Status. Just file the Adjustment of Status, but converting from Adjustment of Status to Consular Processing requires an additional processing form I-824 which requests USCIS to forward the file to Consular Processing which starts by transferring the file to NVC (National Visa Center) in New Hampshire.

1. I-824.

2. Maybe 8-9 months. Check the times of I-824.

3. It becomes a part of the process. It is not that much of a big deal. More...

Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

Monday, November 25, 2013 - 01:26

Consular Processing


What is consular processing?


The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) offers an individual two primary paths to permanent resident status (a green card). An individual who is the beneficiary of an approved immigrant petition and has an immigrant visa number immediately available may apply at a U.S. Department of State consulate abroad for an immigrant visa in order to come to the United States and be admitted as a permanent resident. This pathway is referred to as “consular processing.” 

Adjustment of status is an alternate process by which an eligible person, who is already in the United States, can apply for permanent resident status without having to return to his/her home country to complete processing. For more information, see our Adjustment of Status page .

Steps for Consular Processing

1. Determine Your Basis to Immigrate

The first step in consular processing is to determine if you fit into a specific immigrant category. Most immigrants become eligible for a green card (permanent residence) through a petition filed on your behalf by a family member or employer.  Others become permanent residents through first obtaining refugee or asylum status, or through a number of other special provisions.  To see the many different ways to get a green card, see the links to the left. 

2. File the Immigrant Petition

When you know what category you believe best fits your situation, in most cases, you will need to have an immigrant petition filed on your behalf.

  • Family Based

Family based categories require that a U.S. citizen or permanent resident relative file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for you. For more information, see our Family page.

  • Employment Based

Employment based categories most often require the intending U.S. employer to file a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker, for you.  Entrepreneurs who intend to invest significant amounts of capital into a business venture in the United States may file Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur” on their own behalf. For more information, see Working in the U.S. page.

  • Special Classes of Immigrants

In some cases, certain immigrants may file a Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), and Special Immigrant, or have one filed on their behalf.

  • Humanitarian Programs

Most humanitarian programs do not require an underlying petition, although individuals may need to meet additional requirements before they can adjust status. For more information, see Humanitarian page.

Although immigrant petitions are filed with USCIS, In some cases, an I-130 petition may be filed for an immediate relative (spouse, child, or parent of a U.S. citizen) with a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. Situations where this may be applicable include:

  • If the U.S. citizen has been authorized to be continuously residing within the jurisdiction of the consular office for at least the previous 6 months
  • Members of the military
  • Emergency situations
  • Situations involving the health or safety of the petitioner
  • When in the national interests of the United States

Please check with the consulate before submitting a petition.  For more information, see the U.S. Department of State website.  

3. Wait for a Decision on Your Petition

USCIS notifies the petitioner of a decision.  If the petition is denied, the notice will include the reasons for denying the petition and any rights to appeal the decision.  If the petition is approved and if you are the beneficiary of the petition and living outside the United States or living in the United States, but choose to apply for your immigrant visa abroad, USCIS will then send the approved petition to the Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC), where it will remain until an immigrant visa number is available. See Visa Availability & Priority Dates pages for more information. 

4. Wait for Notification from the National Visa Center

The National Visa Center, which is responsible for the collection of visa application fees and supporting documentation, will notify the petitioner and beneficiary when the visa petition is received and again when an immigrant visa number is about to become available. They will also notify the petitioner and beneficiary of when they must submit immigrant visa processing fees (commonly referred to as “fee bills”) and when supporting documentation must be submitted. 

5. Go to Your Appointment

Once a visa is available or a beneficiary’s priority date is current (earlier than the cut-off date listed in the monthly Visa Bulletin),the consular office will schedule the applicant for an interview. The consular office will complete processing of the applicant’s case and decide if the beneficiary is eligible for an immigrant visa.

6. Notify the National Visa Center of Any Changes

You do not need to contact the National Visa Center about your petition, they will contact you for the information they need.  You should, however, contact the NVC if there is a change in your personal situation or if you change your address. For NVC contact information, see the “NVC Contact Information” link to the right. It is important to notify the NVC if you reach the age of 21 for a child or have a change in your marital status, as this may affect your eligibility or visa availability.

7. After Your Visa is Granted

If you are granted an immigrant visa, the consular officer will give you a packet of information.  This packet is known as a “Visa Packet.”  You should not open this packet. 

Upon your arrival to the United States, you should give your Visa Packet to the Customs and Border Protection officer at the port of entry. You will be inspected by a Customs and Border Protection officer and if found admissible, will be admitted as a permanent resident of the United States, which gives you the authority to live and work in the United States permanently. 

8. Receive Your Green Card

You will be mailed your green card.  If you do not receive your green card within 30 days of your arrival, please call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 or visit your local office by making an InfoPass appointment.  Make an appointment by visiting the Infopass page.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 05:34

Direct Consular Filing of I-130's


Regarding direct consular filing of I-130's, under what exigent circumstances does the Consulate accept jurisdiction of I-130 Immediate Relative Petitions for consular review?


The State Department says that consulates will accept I-30 direct filing requests for immediate family members (spouse, child, or parent of a U.S. citizen) in rare circumstances.  For example, where the U.S. citizen has a last minute deployment or where the beneficiary has a severe medical emergency.  See 9 FAM 42.41 (Adjudicating Exceptional Circumstances I-30 Cases,) for more information.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 06:25

Green Card through Consular Processing with Approved I-140


Question 1. I have done MS from US and worked on H-1 for 5 years. Started GC process, I-140 approved with Priority date May 2011. Came to India for H-1 stamping and it was denied twice. If I apply for my H-1 and if I don't get H-1, then can my employer continue processing my GC through Consular Processing when I am in India. Also is there any law stating that my employer can not keep the I-140 when my H-1 has been expired & if it so then for how long can my employer keep my I-140 active?

Question 2. If my employer revoke my I-140 & if I come to US on any other visa, then Can I process my GC and port the PD ?


Answer 1. As long as the job offer exists and the employer is capable of paying the wages, the green card process can go on, even though you are not in USA. You should discuss this matter in detail with your lawyers to better understand the implications. Also, I-140's do not expire.

Answer 2. PD can be ported even if the 140 is revoked by employer. I have a video on this issue…-140-revoked