Brunswick, Georgia

What is the Difference Between Adjustment of Status and Consular Processing?

Adjustment of status (at an immigration office the U.S.) and Consular Processing (through a U.S. Embassy abroad), are the two major processes available in applying for Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status., commonly referred to as a “green card.”

Adjustment of status requires that the applicant have a visa immediately available, and usually also requires the applicant be admitted, inspected, or paroled. When someone enters the U.S. without inspection, they typically will not be eligible to file for adjustment of status and may need to consular process instead, unless they are adjusting through a special provision of the law such as INA § 245i, or through a VAWA self-petition, U-visa, T-visa, or other qualifying basis for adjustment of status.

If someone entered the U.S. without inspection (EWI) and does not seek to adjust under one of the categories which exempts EWI, they may need to consular process. Often the person will require a provisional waiver for the time they spent in the U.S. without authorization. The provisional waiver is applied for and approved before the person departs the U.S. for consular processing. In addition to persons who entered without inspection as described above, consular processing is also the procedure for persons already overseas who intend to immigrate to the U.S.

Whether you or your loved one should consular process or apply to adjust status in the U.S. can be a complicated issue and should be assessed by an immigration attorney given the severe consequences for following the wrong procedure. At the Law Office of Karen Winston, we have successfully helped hundreds of clients through both of the above processes.

Link to provisional waiver/adjustment of status content page

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