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What is Direct Consular Filing (DCF) in California?

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2022 | Immigration

If you are looking to sponsor a family member for immigration in California, you may have heard of Direct Consular Filing (DCF). But what is it, exactly? And how does it work? Read on to find out more.

What is Direct Consular Filing?

Direct Consular Filing (DCF) is a process by which an individual can sponsor a family member for immigration without going through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Instead, the application is filed with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the family member’s home country. This option is available only to certain immigrants, including immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and spouses and children of permanent residents.

How does DCF work?

First, you will need to submit Form I-130 by mail to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your relative’s home country. The embassy or consulate will request identifying documentation of the beneficiary and proof of your relationship for review.

If they approve, the Consulate or Embassy will schedule an interview with the beneficiary. If they pass, the family member will be granted a visa and can come to the United States.

Getting a visa through the DCF is faster and easier than applying through the USCIS. This is because the number of people applying through this method is fewer, so the consular processing and waiting periods are greatly reduced. Additionally, the application is not as extensive as the USCIS. Your beneficiary can get their visa in just a matter of weeks.

Getting your relative, spouse, or child visa through DCF is relatively easier, but that doesn’t mean it always goes through. Besides, not all countries have Embassies or Consulates. If your application fails, your only recourse would be to apply through the USCIS, which is more complicated and can take years. So, ensure you and your beneficiaries meets all the necessary requirements to get a visa before starting the application process.