Grzeca Law Group s.c. - Immigration Lawyer
Milwaukee | Madison
Appleton | Green Bay
Corporate Immigration:Permanent Visas:Green Card Processing Options:Adjustment of Status v. Consular Processing

Adjustment of Status v. Consular Processing

When a visa number becomes available to permanent resident applicants who are in the U.S., they often have the option of "Adjusting Status" to that of a permanent resident without leaving the U.S. This is initiated through the filing of an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (I-485). "Consular Processing" and applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad that would allow the applicant to receive an immigrant visa and permanent resident status when reentering the U.S. is another option.

If eligible to Adjust Status, no travel is required to complete the permanent residence process. Among other benefits, all applicants, including family members, are eligible to receive Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) and work while the case is pending. In addition, after an I-485 has been pending on the principal applicant's behalf for more than six months, they may be able to switch employers and/or jobs as long as the new job is within the same or similar occupational classification. Although processing times can vary, it often takes CIS well over a year to process I-485 applications.

Alternatively, when Consular Processing, applicants must either remain outside or leave the U.S. to attend an immigrant visa interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate and have a medical exam conducted abroad and no EAD is available to applicants during the pendency of the case. In addition, police clearances will be required from every country where each applicant has lived since the age of 16. On the other hand, this process may move relatively quickly compared to the adjustment of status process. Depending on the Embassy or Consulate, the entire process usually takes between five and ten months to complete. In addition, a minimum of 7 to 10 travel dates is typically necessary to complete the medical exams and attend the immigrant visa interview.

Grzeca Law Group works with all of its permanent resident applicants to determine whether Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing is the best option for them and their family.

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