U.S. Department of State consular officers posted at U.S. Embassies and visa-processing Consulates around the world adjudicate both nonimmigrant and immigrant visas filed on behalf of foreign nationals. These visas include both family-based and employment based immigrant and nonimmigrant visas, as well as visitor visas, student visas, and other lawful means of entry to the United States. The consular officers review and make decisions regarding each applicant’s eligibility for the visa for which he or she is applying, and the applicant’s “admissibility” to the United States under U.S. immigration law. U.S. law grants extraordinary deference and authority to consular officers, whose decisions are notoriously difficult to challenge, but Benach Collopy attorneys will not hesitate to challenge a faulty decision in federal court.
Consular processing requires a specific strategy for each individual case, depending on the type of visa sought and the consulate itself, as processing requirements differ country to country, and individual consular officers may be resistant or hospitable. A visa applicant may be required to be interviewed by a consular officer, be subject to a medical exam and criminal background checks, provide evidence of financial support and ties in the U.S., or ties to one’s home country. Consular processing is case-specific, and requires constant communication between Benach Collopy and the foreign national client seeking admission to the U.S. We do not hesitate to travel to the foreign national’s home country or an alternate location to assist in preparation for a consular interview or negotiation with State Department officials where necessary.
Benach Collopy attorneys advise and assist businesses seeking to employ foreign nationals in the U.S., and individuals who seek to qualify for a visa, any of whom may require a waiver of their “inadmissibility” to the United States (see our practice page on Waivers of Inadmissibility). We identify the ultimate goal – whether it be family reunification, temporary employment, or a business meeting – determine whether a waiver may be required, and prepare our clients with any approved petitions or applications and thorough documentation well in advance of any encounter with the consulate. Although we may be thousands of miles from the processing consulate, Benach Collopy attorneys are available for our clients around the world who seek admission to the United States.