The new consular queen in town
Nordia Barrett went bald six months ago, declaring that this was symbolic of her fresh start.
“I want my growth to mimic my hair,” she told The Gleaner in October last year, months after relocating to Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States of America and starting ‘The Consular Queen’, a limited liability company aimed at turning the immigration world upside down.
And it is safe to say that Barrett, who was born in Mammee Bay, St Ann, has done that. Since July 2022, she has expedited 100 Caribbean nationals in getting their permanent resident green cards.
“I started out doing expedited processing for Caribbean nationals who were being filed for by their families as a bet. If approved they would pay me, if not I would get nothing, but luckily, I got 100 per cent approval,” she stated.
According to Barrett, some of her clients were stuck at US Consulates for 12 to 24 months, unable to get an interview, even after receiving notification of approval.
“They couldn’t see an end in view, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused further delays,” she said.
In fact, it was the one-year delay she faced while her husband was filing for her that opened her eyes. “In March 2022, my documents were qualified and ready for interview. The backlog that had accumulated from the impact of COVID-19 and other mitigating factors saw my interview being delayed for at least another year, but I learnt that as a result of my health challenges, it was a possibility for me to apply for Expedite in order to leave sooner.”
She said she approached three lawyers. However, two were not interested, and the third was indecisive. “I decided to do my own research to resolve my situation. I even promised lawyer number three that I would share procedure with her once I was successful so that others could benefit from the process.”
Barrett, who is ambitious, goal driven and passionate about everything she touches, did her own research and application. “And as they say, the rest is history. All hurdles were cleared to pave the way for my departure in less than one month.”
She learned of other persons in similar positions, she said, who were unaware of how to proceed with Expedite. “My services were free initially, but I then realised that it was a niche market, and so I tapped into it.”
The difficulty many applicants were facing before she entered their lives included not having a specific help channel that could assist them irrespective of extenuating circumstances. “These were not necessarily the services offered by a lawyer, therefore, they felt stuck. They had letters via system, indicating they were awaiting interview schedule but no definitive timelines,” she explained.
Since moving to Atlanta, Barrett has become a notary public in the state of Georgia and has added immigration activities such as filing petitions and naturalisation to her portfolio. However, she was quick to point out that her signature products are Expedites and non-immigrant visas.
The 39-year-old former St Hilda’s High School graduate, who also attended the Brown’s Town Community College, the University of Technology for marketing and international business and who later completed banking and finance at The University of the West Indies, is so much in demand that her clients speak of her as if she was their saviour.
J. Ryan Gillette, in a post on her The Consular Queen Facebook page, said Barrett redefines the terms exceptional and service.
“I almost wanted to believe I was her only client because of how invested she was when handling my case. She provided the reassurance that totally eliminated my worries and concerns,” stated Gillette.
And Simone Hover said she wished she could give Barrett 20 stars. “My experience doing business transcends anything transactional. When I say from the moment I made contact with her, she took a deep personal interest in my application/case.”
Of importance is the fact that although Barrett has migrated, she has been back to Jamaica frequently. “I have really not left,” she told The Gleaner.
“I have committed to being a blessing to others. So as I am blessed, I bless someone, especially someone with struggles coming up like me.”