In previous posts we have mentioned that there is often more than one way to accomplish an immigration goal. This is true in an adjustment of status situation as well. For someone who wants to attain permanent residence in the United States the approach will vary depending on their specific circumstances and where they physically are.
For example, if a person is either in the U.S. but ineligible to adjust status or in a different country, consular processing could be a way to secure a visa to become a permanent resident. When however someone is already living in the U.S. and has met the required qualifications, he or she may be able to seek permanent residence by filing for a green card.
In either situation the first thing someone needs to do is figure out the basis under which you can immigrate. Second, a petition will need to be filed and visa availability checked. Next, an application to register permanent residency or adjust status needs to be filed. So too does a Form I-485.
Not everything that needs to be done to seek an adjustment of status involves the completion of paperwork. An applicant must have his or her fingerprints and photo taken and may need to undergo an interview at an USCIS office as well.
The final decision rendered by the USCIS will be delivered in the mail.
The process of becoming a permanent resident can be complicated. There are many different bases that someone might apply under. In addition, sometimes the applications are denied. Throughout the process an immigration lawyer can help determine the best way to proceed.
Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, “Adjustment of Status,” Accessed Oct. 20, 2014