There are two ways applying green card once your immigrant petition is approved and an immigrant visa number is available to you. Consular Processing is the process to apply an immigrant visa (green card) at a U.S. Department of State consulate abroad when you are not in the U.S. The other method is adjustment of status if you are already in the U.S..
Consular Processing Process
- File the immigrant petition based on your eligibility. Once you determine your eligibility, you or your sponsor will need to file an immigrant petition for you with USCIS.
- Receive approval notice from USCIS. USCIS mails a physical letter to the petitioner when the petition is approved. They'll also transfer your case to the National Visa Center (NVC).
- Complete NVC stage. After you receive the welcome letter from the National Visa Center with your Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) account number, you will need to submit your visa application fees and supporting documents. Once you finish all the steps and a visa is available or your priority date is current, your interview will be scheduled and your case will be transferred to the U.S. embassy or consulate where your interview will be conducted.
- Attend interview appointment. At the interview, a consular officer will evaluate and make a final decision.
- Receive green card. You will need to pay USCIS immigrant fee after your immigrant visa is granted. After the fee is paid, you will receive your green card within 45 days of your arrival.