Visa applicants required to consular process through a U.S. Embassy or Consulate outside the United States before legally entering the country need experienced representation. U.S. Consulates abroad are difficult to navigate and provide no legal right to appeal if a visa application is denied. If you or your family member is going through consular processing you need the help of an experienced consular processing attorney.

Consular Processing: Applying for a Visa Abroad

In most cases, applying for Legal Permanent Resident status (LPR) and obtaining your green card starts with a petitioner in the United States filing a petition for the benefit of a foreign national. Certain family members may file a family-based immigration petition, or employers may seek a temporary work visa on your behalf. No matter the basis of a visa application, the stakes are high. If a visa is denied, the applicant will be truly stuck outside the country and often separated from family.

In general, the only immigrants who can forego the challenges of consular processing are those with lawful entry into the United States, and who have an immediate relative willing to petition for them. These individuals may be eligible to apply for residency through an adjustment of status without leaving the U.S. and appearing at a consular interview. For everyone else, legal entry into the United States depends on success in the consular process.

Having a Consular Processing Attorney Helps

It can be difficult to follow the requirements of consular processing and to prepare documents and forms correctly. Each consulate creates its own practices and procedures that visa applicants must follow. Sometime, even knowing which U.S. embassy to report to can be a challenge.

Having an attorney experienced in consular processing can smooth the way for a successful interview. Your attorney can help you meet the visa application requirements, ensure all forms and documents are properly prepared and meet government requirements. Consular Processing attorney Peter Nagell will work with you to ensure you are prepared for your consular interview.

Undocumented Immigrants Face Consular Processing Challenges

For those who have entered the United States illegally, or who have otherwise lost their immigration status, consular processing can pose serious risks. In general, those without a legal entry into the United States are required to return to their home country to go through consular processing. However, by leaving, applicants can be subject to penalties tied to their unlawful stay in the U.S.

A consular interview can be intense. Statements made to the consular official are under oath, and misrepresentations can result in visa denial and permanent bars from entering the U.S. legally. If the consular officer learns that you have unlawfully lived in the United States for at least 180 days, he or she is required to bar your admission for at least 3 years. And if you lived in the U.S. for a year or more without status, you may be subject to a 10 year bar.

However, waivers may be available to avoid unlawful presence bars or to correct other inadmissibility issues. Applying for and obtaining these waivers can be complicated. If your status is in question, consular processing attorney Peter Nagell can help you qualify for a waiver and avoid visa denials abroad.

Contact a Consular Processing Attorney in St. Paul, Minnesota

Getting your visa approved through consular process is a critical step to securing your future in the U.S. The stakes are too high to do this alone. Contact St. Paul Minnesota Immigration Attorney Peter Nagell today to schedule a consultation. He will help you from start to finish in obtaining your U.S. visa.