Home Consular Post – Consular Processing

Unless otherwise directed by the Department of State (“DOS”), an alien applying for an immigrant visa shall complete the application at the consular post that has jurisdiction over his or her place of residence. This is the normal place where the application should be made and the consular post cannot refuse to accept it.

An alien physically present but having no residence there may still make an application at the consular post having jurisdiction over that area if the alien can establish that he or she will be able to remain in the area for the period required to process the application. In practice, NVC will only assign such cases to a post where the alien has some extended lawful status in the post’s jurisdiction (i.e. employment authorization or perhaps student status but not visitor status).

In certain situations, the alien may be permitted to process with another consular office. However, such situations usually involve hardship. Hardship would not usually be considered to exist when an alien does not wish to return to the place of last foreign residence only because of inconvenience or expense. A brief, temporary absence from work would not generally be considered a hardship. The inability of an alien to travel long distances because of physical infirmity or advanced age would be considered to entail hardship. The presence of war, widespread civil disturbance, revolution, or other similar phenomena in an alien’s country of last foreign residence would be evidence that hardship could result if the alien were required to return to that country. Aliens from countries with no visa-issuing post could possibly entail hardship.

Homeless applicants residing in a third country are processed at the same immigrant visa processing post as are nationals of that country. Posts MUST accept for processing any immigrant visa applicant who is physically present in their consular district provided the applicant has the permission of the host government to remain there legally for a period sufficient to complete processing of the application. Generally, a “homeless” visa applicant is one who is a national of a country in which the United States has no consular representation or in which the political or security situation is tenuous or uncertain enough that the limited consular staff is not authorized to process immigrant visa applications.

Nationals of the following countries are currently considered homeless:

Homeless Nationalities Selected Processing Posts
AfghanisIslamabad, Pakistan
BosniansZagreb, Croatia
IraniansAbu Dhabi, UAE
Ankara, Turkey
Naples, Italy
Istanbul, Turkey
Vienna, Austria
Frankfurt, Germany (family-based applicants only)
Iraqis Amman, Jordan
Lebanese Abu Dhabi, UAE
Damascus, Syria
Tel Aviv, Israel
Libyans Tunis, Tunisia
Valletta, Malta
Somalis Nairobi, Kenya
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Sudanese* Cairo, Egypt (The designation of Cairo as the processing post for Sudanese is expected to be a temporary one, until such time as Embassy Khartoum resumes normal operation.)

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