CONSULAR PROCESSING VS. ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS
Find the Best Path to Permanent Residency with an Immigration Lawyer
Our immigration firm in New Jersey has helped over 10,000 individuals and businesses secure visas, green cards, and citizenship since 1987. We have the tools, knowledge, and experience to give you the best possible chance of getting permanent residency in the United States. Our staff promises to keep you informed at every step of the process, addressing your questions as quickly as you have them. Most importantly, we promise to offer you the insight and advice that gives your application the best chance of success.
Call (800) 909-8129 if you’re going through consular processing or adjustment of status. Contact The Law Offices of Lloyd E. Bennett for a consultation with a New Jersey immigration lawyer. Se habla Español.
What Are My Options for Becoming a Permanent Resident in the U.S.?
When an individual is eligible for a green card, they must decide whether to request an adjustment of status (AOS) from within the U.S. or consular processing (CP) abroad. The choice involves a careful review of the individual’s immigration history, as not everyone is eligible for the adjustment of status or consular processing.
What Is Adjustment of Status?
Adjustment of status (AOS) is a process of obtaining permanent resident status in the U.S. without having to leave the country. This is different than changing status from one nonimmigrant status to another. AOS is generally unavailable to most people who entered the U.S. without inspection by an immigration officer, who violated status by overstaying a visa, or who have not had an application for Labor Certification or a Family Preference petition filed on their behalf before April 30, 2001.
Adjustment of status might be preferred to consular processing because:
- It avoids the expense and inconvenience of international travel
- AOS applicants, including dependent family members, are entitled to employment authorization and permission to travel while the AOS application is pending
- Employment-based AOS applicants receive job mobility (i.e., “portability”) benefits
- There are more options for reconsideration of an unfavorable decision by USCIS than by a consulate abroad whose denials are not subject to review
What Is Consular Processing?
Consular processing (CP) is a process of applying for an immigrant visa at a consulate outside the U.S. for intended immigrants who are not in the U.S. or who are otherwise ineligible for adjustment of status from within the U.S.
Can I Adjust my Status from Within the U.S.?
Not everyone is eligible for AOS—even if there is an immediate family member (United States citizen spouse or child over 21) who wants to petition for them due to an issue with the individual’s entry or immigration status in the U.S. Some individuals have no choice but to use CP. An individual living abroad cannot enter the U.S. prior to the completion of her/his green card case and must use CP to obtain the immigrant visa from the U.S. consulate abroad. Some individuals who have not maintained status or entered without inspection may only be eligible for CP.
What Is an Unlawful Presence Waiver & Am I Eligible?
Some who are eligible for CP may face the three (3) and ten (10) year bars to re-entry if they leave the U.S. and attempt to reenter the U.S., as they would be deemed inadmissible. However, certain immediate relatives of citizens may apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver, also known as a stateside waiver, before they leave the U.S. This is It is also known as an I-601A waiver. If approved, these individuals may return to their home county to CP with the assurance that they will not be subject to the bar. Others who have left the US without first obtaining a waiver and are attempting to reenter may be deemed inadmissible.
Get New Jersey Immigration Attorneys on Your Case
Only an experienced immigration lawyer can offer you legal advice regarding your green card application. If you have questions regarding what you need to do, what you’re eligible for, and the most likely path to permanent residency, speak with the Law Offices of Lloyd E. Bennett, Esq., P.C. today. We provide initial consultations that answer all your questions regarding the green card application process. We review your personal records, immigration history, and family history to determine all your options for permanent residency—and we put your green card application on the fastest and most effective path to success.