Adjustment of Status or Consular ProcessingAdjustment of Status and Consular processing are the two pathways that the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) offers to individuals seeking permanent resident status (green card). Our services include planning and giving advice on which process you're eligible for and best fit your needs, preparing a document checklist to let clients know what documents and information is needed, producing the application packet, tracking the case, prepping applicants for any immigration interviews, and attending the interview with the applicants. The average processing time for immediate relatives is 10 months for adjustment of status and 14 months for consular processing. For non-immediate relatives, the wait can be years. There may also be restrictions on traveling while the application is pending. So it is important to talk to an attorney as early as possible before you make plans with your family so that there is enough time for the application to be properly produced and filed, and so you can plan around the inconveniences.
To determine which type of application your family member needs for permanent residency, it can depend on:
1. If you are a US permanent resident versus a US citizen
2. If your family member is deemed an immigration immediate relative or not
3. If your family member is here in the United States or in their home country
4. Depending on your particular needs and desired immigration timeline
Adjustment of Status:
Applicants are already in the United States. Depending on what status your family is currently on or how they entered the United States, additional steps may be need to be taken before they are eligible to apply for permanent residency.
If you are a US citizen, Form I-130 and I-485 can be submitted at the same time for your immediate family (spouse, parent, children unmarried and under 21), allowing your family member to apply for their permanent residency in one step.
If you are a permanent resident, the Form I-130 must be approved first and a visa must be available before you can submit Form I-485 for permanent residency.
Most applicants will be required to attend an interview at a local USCIS office before the application can be approved. The approval notices and cards will usually arrive within 30 days.
Applicants must remain abroad until an approval at the U.S. Department of State consulate for an immigrant visa in order to be able to be admitted into the U.S. as a permanent resident.
The U.S. citizen or permanent resident must file Form I-130 with USCIS. USCIS will contact the applicant upon a decision of their case, and move the application to the National Visa Center where more forms and supporting documents are required. Once review, the application is sent to the embassy of the foreign country where an interview is scheduled and medical exam instructions will be given.
After the interview, approved applicants will receive a Visa Packet of which should remain closed. Upon arrival to the U.S. applicants will hand over their Visa Packet to the Customs and Border Protection officer at the point of entry. Once the officer has approved the admission the applicant will be admitted to the U.S. as a permanent resident with the benefits to live in the U.S. The stamp within the foreign passport will be the equivalent of a 'green card', being the proof of legal status and work authorization. The physical card will arrive within 120 days.