Consular Processing is a process for a beneficiary of a family or employment based petition to obtain permanent resident status in the US. An immigration visa petition must have been approved, and a visa number must be available, before consular processing can take place. From the date the immigrant visa is available, an average of 6 to 12 months processing time is expected, but times can vary depending on the Consulate or Embassy.
Consular processing requires an in-person interview at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy that has jurisdiction over the applicant. After the interview, applicants will obtain an immigrant visa, and have 6 months to enter to the U.S. Once in the U.S., applicants will automatically be issued and mailed a permanent resident card and social security card within 30 days of their arrival.