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Adjustment of Status vs. Consular Processing: What’s the Difference?

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If you are an immigrant in the United States looking to obtain a green card, you may have heard about two different ways of doing so: Adjustment of Status (AOS) and Consular Processing (CP). Both methods ultimately lead to obtaining a green card, but there are significant differences between the two. In this blog post, we will break down the differences between AOS and CP and help you decide which option is best for you.

Adjustment of Status

Adjustment of Status is the process of applying for permanent resident status while you are already in the United States. This means that you can apply for a green card without having to leave the country. AOS is available to those who are eligible based on the type of visa they entered the country with, such as family-based or employment-based visas.

To apply for AOS, you need to file form I-485 with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You will also need to provide supporting documents, such as a medical examination report, proof of identity, and proof of eligibility.

One advantage of AOS is that you can remain in the United States while your application is pending. This means that you can continue to work and live in the country while waiting for your green card. However, AOS can take several months to process, and it can be a complicated and expensive process that may require legal counsel.

Consular Processing

Consular processing involves obtaining a green card through a U.S. consulate or embassy in your home country. This means that you will need to leave the United States and attend an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country. Consular processing is available to those who are outside the United States or are ineligible for AOS.

To apply for consular processing, you will need to file form DS-260 with the Department of State and attend an interview at a U.S. consulate or embassy. You will also need to provide supporting documents, such as a medical examination report, police certificates, and proof of financial support.

One advantage of consular processing is that the process can be quicker than AOS. Additionally, some people may find it easier to obtain a green card through consular processing if they have a complicated immigration history or criminal record.

Which Option Is Best for You?

Deciding between AOS and CP depends on your individual circumstances. If you are already in the United States and are eligible for AOS, it may be the easier option for you. However, if you are outside the United States or are ineligible for AOS, consular processing may be your only option.

It is important to carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of each option before applying. Consulting with an experienced immigration attorney can help you make an informed decision and ensure that your application is successful.

Experienced Immigration Attorneys

If you are looking to extend your stay in the United States by obtaining a green card, adjustment of status may be the best way to do it. Our team at Akula & Associates P.C. can analyze your case and help you determine the best option to obtain a green card. We can help you gather all the necessary documentation for the application and prepare you for the interview (if needed).

Get in touch with our Dallas immigration attorneys today at (844) 299-5003 to schedule a consultation!