Consular processing one of the two primary ways that an immigrant can apply for lawful permanent residence, or a “green card”, the other being adjustment of status.  Consular processing is a process by which a person can apply for lawful permanent resident status or a “green card” at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy in her home country.  The bases on which a consular processing application may be submitted include humanitarian programs, special classes of immigrants, employment and family.

The specific facts of your case will determine the strength of your consular processing application, and whether this form of relief is, in fact, appropriate for you.  For example, if you are outside the United States and applying for permanent residence, consular processing will most likely be the appropriate process for you.  Also, if you are in the United States and applying for permanent residence you may have to apply through consular processing which will require that you return to your country of birth for your interview with U.S. immigration authorities.

For individuals who are undocumented or otherwise living in the United States without status, consular processing presents certain risks which must be considered prior to applying for this form of relief.  For example, there are penalties for unlawful presence in the United States that are triggered once you exit for your interview in your country of birth.  These penalties include being barred from returning to the United States for a period of up to 10 years even if your application for permanent residence is approved.  There are certain waivers available which, if approved, will exempt you from these penalties.  The waivers require their own applications and supporting evidence which must be well prepared prior to their filing.  Applicants for waivers will generally receive a decision on whether the waiver is approved after the person has left the United States.  However, certain individuals, such as spouses and children of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, may be eligible to apply for and receive decisions on waivers before having to exit the United States for their consular processing interviews.

As the above descriptions indicate, there are many factors to consider when applying for lawful permanent residence.  Call the Franco Law Group today to schedule an appointment to discuss your case.  Our attorneys will discuss and analyze the facts of your case at length in order to ensure that your lawful permanent residence application is well prepared, whether a waiver is required in your case, and to determine if this form of relief is, in fact, appropriate for you.