Consular Processing

What is the difference between Consular Processing and Adjustment of Status?

If the intending immigrant is located outside of the United States (U.S.), the only way to immigrate to the U.S. is to go through the consular processing process at the consulate in their country.  Only if the intending immigrant is currently located inside the U.S. can they apply to Adjust Status.

Compared to the lengthy time that the adjustment of status may take, consular processing is generally a 4 to 6 month time frame to complete processing.  Consular processing also has a much lower risk of refusal as the consular officer may not deny an immigrant visa based on discretion, as may be the case with adjustment of status.

For some people already present in the U.S., adjustment of status may be the preferred method since the adjustment of status applicant whose case is denied may challenge the denial through and appellate process.  However, denial of a visa at a U.S. Consular post is essentially a non-reviewable, non-appealable order.

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