DCF Direct Consular Filing vs. USCIS Filing

19 Dec 2017

So next question is, should I file my spousal visa at the embassy or the United States? That’s a complicated question. The reason being is because there is only 24 international USCIS offices at embassies around the world. So one, that’s not very many and two, you must meet the requirements to file in that particular country and at that international USCIS office. One of those requirements is that you are either a permanent resident of that country or a citizen. You’ve been there at least six months and from our experience most visas to a country usually don’t last more than 90 days, maybe six months max. So the first thing is you need to find out if you are even eligible. You need to find out if the U.S. Embassy there even has an international USCIS office.

But it’s been our experience that it’s probably … makes more sense to file with the USCIS. They process millions of petitions. Whereas you look at some of the international USCIS offices they may only process a few in a year. They just don’t have a lot of experience with it. We’ve process quite a few direct consultant filing cases here at RapidVisa. And it’s been a mixed results. We’ve had some take over a year. Some take much longer than it normally does. We’ve had a couple of cases that only took four to six months, which wasn’t too bad but we’ve had some embassies completely screw it up and it was like they didn’t even know what they process was.

Yeah, I would add to it, you gotta ask yourself, what’s the upside? If you are living in a country and you’ve been there for a little while and that’s where you met your spouse, of course and now you want to come back, it’s tempting to think, well, I live 20 miles from the embassy. Isn’t it easier … Doesn’t it make more sense for me to apply directly to the embassy? And the answer is really written directly on the CIS website themselves and you can call us if you want the reference. We can give you a link to their site. They say there’s no time difference. So it’s not going to speed anything up. Maybe it saves you a little postage. You’re gonna mail it, because you never get to hand deliver these things right? It almost always mail. Maybe get to mail it to the same town you’re in instead of mailing it to the United States and save. That would be the only benefit because the government itself says it does not speed it up.

And in our experience is, it typically slows it down or it’s a little bit of a irregular process because you’re dealing with now somebody down at the embassy who has a million other jobs dealing with tourists who’ve lost their visa and all these other things. And now on top of that they got to mess around with your spousal visa. Where the people you send that to in the United States, they are doing it all day, eight hours a day. That’s all they are doing. They’re experts and they are gonna get it in and out, in and out, in and out.

And so our experience is there is really, other than a few dollars postage, absolutely no advantage or any reason under any circumstance we would recommend direct consular filing. Now if you feel strong about it and you want to do it. We’ll do that for you. It’s certainly something we offer but you would be doing it against our advice just because, again CIS has a well honed, well worn process of getting these things through the system. The embassies, by their very nature, it’s not what they normally deal with and so that’s why we just don’t recommend it. There’s just no upside. If there was some upside to it, sure. But other than saving a few bucks postage there is not upside.


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