If your family member is residing abroad and is ineligible or chooses not to adjust her status in the US, then she can go through consular processing. The Department of State (“DOS”) oversees this process and the National Visa Center (“NVC”) manages it. If you, the US citizen or lawful permanent resident, chooses to petition your foreign family member, then these are the basic steps to follow:
You first file your Form I-130 Petition for Foreign Relative with USCIS. If you reside abroad, then you can likely file your I-130 at your nearest US consulate;
You will receive notice after the I-130 is approved and the approved petition will be forwarded to the NVC;
Once your family member’s visa becomes “current” (in other words, available), the NVC processing office sends out some instructions informing your family member (i.e., beneficiary) that she may begin consular processing;
The instructions include how to pay the fees, amount of fees owed, etc.
After you pay your fees, NVC instructs the beneficiary to login to the DOS website to download and complete the necessary forms and gather the appropriate documents;
When the beneficiary submits the completed forms and appropriate documents, the NVC will review them and then schedule a visa interview with the beneficiary.
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