Attorney Certified I-140 (AC I-140)
When you specify 'Consular Processing' on an I-140, immigrant visa petition, once the petition is approved, USCIS sends it to NVC for further processing. And once the priority date is about to be current, NVC will process the case further and forward it to the appropriate consulate. AC I-140 can not be done in this case.

Alternatively, if you have specified Adjustment of Status on the I-140 application, and if you later change your mind to do consular processing, you must file I-824 to change the intent. Instead of waiting for I-824 to get approved and NVC to do further processing, as soon as you receive the receipt notice for I-824, you can send the original I-797 approval notice for I-140 along with the necessary documents directly to the consulate for processing of an immigrant visa. Most consulates are NOT willing to accept the case if you don't belong to that consulate jurisdiction.

It is also called Attorney Certificate I-140 (AC I-140) because before Sep 2000, Dept. of State required that an attorney certify the copies of the initial I-140 petition application. (It is not discretionary on the consulate). Attorney certification is no longer required.

This is a legal procedure as described in Dept. of State's Foreign Affairs Manual (at 9 FAM 42.42) and a cable was sent on Sep 20, 2000 to all consulates instructing them to process cases of residents of their consular district based on the copies. Depending upon the consulate, it may take around 3 to 6 months from the time initial paperwork is mailed to the consulate.

It is NOT necessary to have an Adjustment of Status application filed to do AC I-140. There is no such requirement. If you have already filed an Adjustment of Status and filed I-824, you can keep your choice open until USCIS sends you a letter asking you to choose one option: either Consular Processing or Adjustment of Status. Your Adjustment of Status application will not be cancelled automatically just because you file I-824.

Before you can send the package, the following conditions must be met:
  • USCIS has already approved an EB1 or EB2 category Immigrant Visa petition and the applicant has an original Form I-797 (Approval Notice) of the I-140 and I-824 fee receipt.

    EB3 cases are accepted on a more limited basis, where it is clear that the applicant is highly skilled. The U.S. Embassy/Consulate would accord precedence to applicants who have already received H-1B visas in the same profession or for the same employer.

  • The priority date of the case is current or could reasonably be expected to be current within 60 days (consulate will not warehouse non-current cases).

  • Waiting for the Department of Homeland Security to process the change-of-status application would cause the applicant hardship.

    Hardship means being forced to wait five to eight years in the same job, without hope of a promotion or change of employer if you select adjustment of status.

  • There does not appear to be any indication that the case is fraudulent.

  • The workload of the U.S. Embassy/Consulate permits them to take the case.

You should send the paperwork to the 'Immigrant Visa Unit' of your home consulate.

U.S. consulates worldwide

DO NOT send any submissions to any officer or employee by name. Doing so mixes business with personal mail and results in lost paperwork when officers transfer.