In immigration law, consular processing refers to the steps through which an individual is taken through in order to gain the documentation needed to immigrate to the United States. Consular processing is usually done in the US Embassy in the country where the individual resides.
When a beneficiary intends to get the visa after being sponsored by an individual who has permanent residence in US, this can be thought of as the second step in the process. The first would be the petitioner filing a petition on behalf of the beneficiary and having it verified. In the case of employment, a potential employer usually files a petition on behalf of the beneficiary, who then has to go through consular processing to get the immigration status they desire.
The majority of immigrants intending to go to the US will need to go through consular processing. This is usually irrespective of the type of visa they are applying for. The point of the consular processing is to ensure that the applicant’s reason for visiting the United States is not falsified, and it also provides an opportunity for the consular office to obtain the biometrics of the individual. The fact that these have to be done in person necessitates a visit to the consular office within the Embassy.
Interviews are an integral part of consular processing, particularly when it comes to clearing clients to be legal immigrants or to get nonimmigrant visas. Such interviews are also essential when an individual who is a permanent resident or citizen of the United States sponsors a spouse so that they can gain permanent resident status. In such cases, the aim of consular processing is to ensure that they are indeed related.