Jessica returned to the U.S. last week to re-join her U.S. citizen spouse and two young daughters in the New Orleans, LA area, after the U.S. Consulate in San Salvador, El Salvador granted her immigrant visa.
This was Jessica’s second entry into the U.S., after arriving about 10 years prior as a child. Jessica’s U.S. citizen spouse had recently successfully petitioned for her to immigrate to the U.S. via an I-130 petition. This spousal petition served as the basis of her eligibility to receive her green card, but Jessica still needed an I-601A unlawful presence waiver in order to waive the unlawful presence she had accumulated while residing in the U.S. without authorization. Given her family circumstances, USCIS agreed that Jessica’s husband would suffer extreme hardship without Jessica by his side and granted Jessica’s I-601A waiver. The waiver approval paved the way for Jessica to complete her process by attending a consular interview in El Salvador. The Consulate approved Jessica’s immigrant visa on the day of her interview and Jessica returned to the U.S. 9 days later!
Consular processing tip: going through inspection for the first time with your immigrant visa packet sometimes takes hours at large airports. If you reside in the New Orleans, LA vicinity, plan to fly directly to the New Orleans International Airport from outside the U.S., as Jessica did, in order to avoid the lines at larger airports and to ensure that you will not miss your connecting flight as you go through the lengthy inspection process.