Green Card Consular Processing & Waivers
Serving Immigrants in Santa Ana & All Around the World
What is consular processing? Consular processing is the method that a person uses to apply for a U.S. visa from abroad. Whether you are applying for a nonimmigrant visa (which grants a temporary stay) or an immigrant visa (which results in a green card), you will need to apply through the appropriate U.S. Consulate or Embassy.
This is different from the adjustment of status process, which is when a person applies for permanent residence (a green card) from within the United States. For example, individuals who obtain asylum in the U.S. become eligible to adjust their status after one year. Individuals who obtain dual intent nonimmigrant visas (e.g. H-1B, O-1, L-1, K-1, etc.) can also apply to adjust their status. Unlike consular processing, adjustment of status does not require the prospective green card holder to apply for a visa from abroad.
Generally, individuals must go through consular processing (rather than adjustment of status) in one of two instances:
- When they are entering the U.S. for the first time; or
- When they are unlawfully present in the U.S. and, therefore, ineligible for adjustment of status.
In the second scenario, individuals must also obtain a waiver.
What is a Waiver in Immigration?
A waiver is an official document granted by an immigration agency that waives (forgives) a certain inadmissibility or ineligibility factor. In this case, the inadmissibility factor would be the individual’s unlawful presence in the U.S., and they would need an unlawful presence waiver along with a new visa to reenter the United States. Other waivers may forgive factors like past crimes, deportation, misrepresentation, fraud, and more.
Waivers cannot forgive all ineligibility factors. Here are just a few factors that may make you ineligible for a waiver and, therefore, a visa or green card:
- History of drug abuse
- Involvement in drug trafficking, human trafficking, or other serious crimes
- Violations of religious freedoms as a government official
- Affiliation with a terrorist organization
- False claim to U.S. citizenship
- Frivolous/baseless asylum application
To learn whether you need (or qualify for) a waiver, bring your case to U.S. Immigration Law Group, LLP. With decades of experience, we can conduct an efficient, thorough assessment of your situation and develop a fully personalized legal strategy.
Whether you need the U.S. government to overlook your ineligibility or you are simply applying for a visa from abroad, our team at U.S. Immigration Law Group, LLP has the knowledge and resources you need. We have filed more than 2,500 immigration cases, which is how we have developed our in-depth understanding of the U.S. immigration system and the workings of U.S. Consulates and Embassies all around the world.
We urge you to let us use our experience to help you accomplish your goals—especially if you have fallen out of status or you entered the U.S. unlawfully. Significant consequences may result from prior immigration violations, and the waiver process requires extensive paperwork and comprehensive preparation. We know how high the stakes may be for you and your loved ones, and we are fully prepared to assist you every step of the way.
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