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Immigrants who wish to become lawful permanent residents can seek permanent resident status in one of two ways. For those already in the United States, becoming a permanent resident by a process known as adjustment of status is the preferred route.  For those not already in the United States, and for those in the United States who are not eligible for adjustment of status, the available process is known as consular processing.  

The method of consular processing for permanent residency begins with a determination of the person's eligibility to immigrate.  Applicants must demonstrate their inclusion in an immigration category.  For many immigrants, their eligibility is based on approved petitions filed by a qualifying family member.  For others, eligibility rests on a qualifying employer.  Other individuals qualify based on refugee status or other special classes of immigrants.  Once the immigration category is determined and the petition is filed and approved, the applicant then must wait until the "priority date" is current.  Next week's blog will address the meaning of these important priority dates.   Once the priority date is current, the immigrant then completes an application process at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.

The application process then includes payment of visa processing fees, submission of documents to show financial support, lack of certain medical conditions, lack of prior immigration violations and lack of criminal history.  If the immigrant has criminal history, medical conditions or immigration violations, he/she should consult with an immigration attorney regarding possible waivers of these grounds of inadmissibility.

Because consular processing is a fairly complex and time-consuming process, it is important to have experienced legal counsel to assist.  Christiansen Law Firm specializes in assisting individuals and families obtain permanent residency through consular processing.  The attorneys of Christiansen Law Firm have extensive experience in consular processing cases.  Contact the attorneys at Christiansen Law Firm to obtain assistance with your consular processing today.


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Houston, Texas 77079
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San Antonio, Texas 78216
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