Call for a Consultation 800.909.8129
Se Habla Español

Adjustment of Status vs. Consular Processing For Getting a Green Card

We help clients find the fastest path to permanent residency.

Consular Processing Vs. Adjustment of Status

Our New Jersey Immigration Lawyer Finds the Best Path to Permanent Residency

In all cases in which an individual is eligible to obtain a green card, one must decide whether to request adjustment of status (AOS) or consular processing. The choice involves a careful review of the individual’s immigration history, as not everyone is eligible for AOS or CP.

Adjustment of Status (AOS) is a process of obtaining permanent resident status in the U.S. without having to leave the U.S. This is different from changing status from one nonimmigrant status to another. AOS is generally unavailable to many (but not all) who entered the U.S. without inspection by an immigration officer, or those who violated status by overstaying a visa or for those on whose behalf an application for Labor Certification or Family Preference petition was not filed before April 30, 2001.


Consular Processing (CP) is a process of applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. Consular post outside the U.S. for intended immigrants who are not in the U.S. or who are otherwise ineligible for AOS.


AOS may be preferred over CP because:

  • It avoids the expense and inconvenience of travel to the home country
  • 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 unreviewable

Can I Adjust my Status from Within the U.S.?

As noted above, 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 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 U.S. citizens may apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver, also known as a stateside waiver, before they leave the U.S. 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 and are attempting to reenter may be deemed inadmissible and may also apply for an unlawful presence waiver.

Get Assistance from New Jersey Immigration Attorneys on Your Case

Only a 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 success for your green card, 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.

Our immigration firm in New Jersey has helped over 10,000 individuals and businesses secure visas, green cards, citizenship, and much more since 1987. We have the tools, knowledge, and experience to give you the best possible chance of earning permanent residency in the United States. Our staff promises to keep you educated and informed about every step of the process, addressing your questions as quickly as they appear. Most importantly, we promise to offer you the insight and advice that gives your application the best possible chance of succeeding.

Call (800) 909-8129 or contact us online for your first appointment. Let's get started on your case immediately.

Send Us A Message

The right attorney can make all the difference. Contact our team today.

  • Please enter your name.
  • This isn't a valid email address.
    Please enter your email.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
    Please enter your phone number.
    You entered an invalid number.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.

Conveniently Located At

4713 Bergenline Avenue
Union City, NJ 07087

Find Out About Your Immigration Options

Speak with our attorneys today to talk about your situation and we will walk you through your options.

Common Questions

  • I am a fiancée of a us citizen living outside the us. How can I enter the us to marry?

    Your fiancée must apply for a Fiancée Visa also known as the K-1 Visa. The visa is for parties who have physically met within the past two years, have an intent to marry and can document a relationship together. The visa is only for those who are residing abroad and cannot be used if the alien is in the US. The application is filed from within the US and when approved, will be forwarded to the American Consular where the alien fiancée will apply for the visa and be interviewed by an officer. Usually about 8-12 months from the date of filing.

  • I live in the us and I am marrying a us citizen. How can I get a green card and become a permanent resident?

    Assuming you have entered the US with a visa or are protected by an old law called 245i you may be eligible to adjust status to receive a green card from within the US. If you have been illegally present for more than 6 months you cannot travel until the green card is in hand. Current processing time is about 5-7 months.

  • I live outside the us and I married a us citizen. How can I come to the us to live?

    To enter the US after a marriage to a US Citizen you would go through Consular Processing. Paperwork would be filed in the US and forwarded to the embassy abroad to schedule and interview. The processing time frame from start to finish is between 9-11 months depending on the embassy abroad. The process is document intensive and requires careful attention to detail to

Read More

Conferences & Speaking Engagements

Staying Current to Provide Our Clients the Best Protection

Our Founding Attorney Lloyd E. Bennet, Esq. is one of the rare attorneys with as many as 30 years of experience who still possess the drive to learn more and better advocate for his clients. Immigration law is a field that changes constantly as world politics unfold and new leaders front the United States. In order to stay on top of this, Attorney Bennet serves as Chapter Chair for the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s New Jersey Chapter, a position that requires conducting and attending conferences and public presentations to analyze changes in immigration law and what they could mean for our clients. His role in the immigration law community keeps his representation on the cutting edge.

Stellar Reviews

Don’t take our word for it – see what past clients are saying about the firm!