Chicago Consular Processing
Scott D. Pollock is the grandson of immigrants, and he’s keenly aware that people are coming to the United States for the same reason they did: to make a better life for themselves and their family. For foreign nationals residing outside the U.S., the process of gaining an immigrant visa or lawful permanent resident (LPR) status is via consular processing.
Consular processing involves two government entities: the National Visa Center and a Department of State Consular Office in the foreign country. If a foreign national’s immigration petition is approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), they can then begin consular processing in their home country or country of permanent residence.
The attorneys at Scott D. Pollock & Associates represent clients throughout any stage of consular processing. We have experience in a variety of categories, including those described below.
Foreign nationals who are skilled and educated—and who have job offers—have the possibility to immigrate to the U.S. In general, there are three steps to this process:
- Employer secures a labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor
- Employer petitions U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of the foreign national
- Foreign national applies for an immigrant via adjustment of status or consular processing
We counsel both employers interested in hiring international personnel as well as foreign nationals who have received an American job offer and want to live permanently in the U.S. through consular processing.
One of the most common ways for someone to obtain an immigrant visa or LPR status is through family sponsorship. Citizens and LPRs can petition for certain family members to immigrate to the U.S.
The first step is a family visa petition (I-130) that establishes the familial relationship between the foreign national and the U.S. citizen or LPR. Then, the foreign national can seek LPR status through consular processing.
International adoption is extremely complex and must comply with both U.S. laws and the laws of the child’s home country. The ways foreign-born adopted children may enter or gain status in the U.S. varies widely. Prospective parents must also navigate U.S. immigration laws in order to secure the child’s legal status, and a failure to do so may jeopardize the child’s ability to obtain LPR status or citizenship.
Labor certifications are part of the employment-based immigration process. They are intended to ensure that employers do not seek to employ foreign nationals when qualified U.S. workers are available, ready, willing, and able to fill the position.
The process of securing labor certifications is difficult and can last more than eighteen months. However, some occupations are in such urgent demand (registered nurses, physical therapists, etc.) that some qualified foreign nationals can skip the labor certification process entirely.
Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
Special immigrant juvenile status provides a pathway to LPR for non-citizen children who have been neglected, abused, or abandoned by one or both of their parents. Children must be under 18 years of age and unmarried to fall under this category.
Special Immigrant Religious Worker
Ministers and religious workers may file for special immigrant religious worker status to perform religious work in the U.S. in a full-time compensated capacity. These foreign nationals must have been a member of a religious denomination that has a nonprofit counterpart in the U.S. for at least 2 years before applying.
U, T, and Asylum Adjustment of Status
Immigrant victims of certain crimes (U visa) or human trafficking (T visa) may qualify for a visa that can lead to LPR status. Similarly, asylees can apply for LPR status after one year of asylee status.
Foreign nationals outside of the U.S. who are applying for U visas, T visas, or asylum status can go to the U.S. consulate or embassy in their country of residence for processing.
Violence Against Women Act
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) allows for an abused spouse, child, or parent of a U.S. citizen or LPR to self-petition for lawful status in the U.S. VAWA is intended to protect domestic abuse survivors from losing their status in the U.S. or getting deported.
Waivers of Inadmissibility
If U.S. authorities find a foreign national to be inadmissible, they can be refused LPR status. However, with a few exceptions, some grounds of inadmissibility can potentially be waived.
Foreign nationals residing outside the U.S. will generally apply for a waiver of inadmissibility through consular processing. Several factors could determine if their infraction—whether criminal, medical, or other—is waived:
- How serious or recent the inadmissible action was
- Why the foreign national wants to travel to the U.S.
- What positive or negative effect, if any, the planned travel has on U.S. interests
- What evidence of reformation is provided
- Whether the incident is isolated or part of a pattern of misconduct
The application package will include a letter with details about the request, ideally supported by evidence.
Contact an Attorney Today
At Scott D. Pollock & Associates, we provide both individuals and employers with the high-quality and affordable representation they need to navigate the tangled web of obstacles and pitfalls that is the American immigration system.
Our attorneys have over seven decades of combined experience in U.S. immigration law. We’ve helped guide numerous clients through the complicated process of gaining immigrant visas in the U.S. through consular processing.
Contact a member of our team today at 312.444.1940.