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Foreign nationals who wish to become lawful permanent residents generally have two options.  The first, for those who are already in the United States, is known as "adjustment of status".  However, not every intending immigrant in the United States qualifies for adjustment of status.  The second is known as "consular processing".  

Consular processing for permanent residency begins with a determination of eligibilty to immigrate.  Applicants must show that they are part of a specific immigration category that qualifies them to apply for permanent residency.  This eligibility is generally based on a qualifying relationship between the immigrant and a relative or employer. Other qualification can sometimes be shown based on asylum.  Once the immigration category has been determined, an application is filed with USCIS.  Upon approval of the petition, the file is then sent to the National Visa Center for processing.  Upon completion of the processing at the National Visa Center, the file is then sent to the U.S. Consulate abroad.   An interview is then held at the U.S. Consulate for the immigrant to demonstrate final eligibility for permanent resident status.  

Foreign nationals are sometimes determined not to be eligible due to criminal history, security concerns, health issues or prior immigration violations.  This ineligibility is referred to as "inadmissibility".  If an immigrant is inadmissible, he or she may be eligible to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility.  For a waiver to be approved, the proper application must be submitted, along with supporting documentation showing the factual basis for the waiver.  The Consular officer then determines whether the waiver should be granted.  In some circumstances in which the alien is already in the United States but is not eligible for adjustment of status, a "provisional" waiver may be sought before the alien travels to the consulate for the interview.  

Because consular processing is a fairly complex legal matter, it is critical for the foreign national to have competent and experienced legal representation.  Christiansen Law Firm specializes in assisting foreign nationals in immigration matters.  The attorneys of Christiansen Law Firm can help explain each piece of the application process and assist with any unforeseen complications that may arise.  Christiansen Law Firm offers exceptional legal services at competetive rates, and can help reunite families so that they can begin a new chapter in their lives as permanent residents. Contact the offices of Christiansen Law Firm in Houston or San Antonio today to schedule a free consultation.


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Houston Office

(Principal Office)
810 S. Highway 6
Suite 210
Houston, Texas 77079
Phone: 281-579-2800
Fax: 281-579-2801
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San Antonio Office

84 NE Loop 410
Suite 130
San Antonio, Texas 78216
Phone: 210-829-0101
Fax: 210-829-8010
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Office Hours

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at both locations


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