Each year, millions of foreign nationals come to the United States to visit, to work, to study and to reside. Given the annual volume of visa applications, it's perhaps not surprising that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can take ages to grant a visa. Aliens seeking to become a permanent resident (obtain a green card) may have their visa processed more quickly if it is handled by a U.S. consulate in a foreign country. Consular processing can be faster than visas adjudicated by the USCIS, but requires the assistance of an immigration attorney who is knowledgeable on consular law. Consular processing offers both advantages and disadvantages, and your consular lawyer can explain those pros and cons, and help determine whether it is the best option for you.