Client’s often ask us whether they should wait to get their permanent residence in the United States or process their immigrant visa through an embassy abroad. We always advise our clients to remain in the United States until their adjustment is completed. However, there are some instances where clients must leave the country before that is done for personal or business reasons. Also, sometimes they are ineligible for adjustment in the United States for a variety of reasons. For example, you cannot adjust status in the United States if you entered illegally.
An adjustment of status is when an individual changes their status while in the United States from non-immigrant or parolee (temporary) to immigrant (permanent) status. The common term for a change to permanent status is “adjustment of status.”
Processing overseas does mean that you will appear before an officer at the US embassy or consulate overseas instead of adjusting status in the United States before an officer of Citizenship and Immigration Services. You will not be able to have an attorney present at your overseas interview whereas you can have an attorney present during your interview if in the United States. Another disadvantage to consular processing is that the wait time could be substantially longer than in the United States. However, if we have a client using consular processing, we do our best to overcome these disadvantages by preparing our clients for their interviews and doing all possible to avoid delays.
So, whether you apply through consular processing or adjust status in the United States depends on your particular circumstances. If you have the choice, we encourage that it be done in the United States. If you have no choice, you should still retain counsel to assist with preparation of your application and for your interview. Our Tucker & Ludin immigration attorneys will analyze your particular case and will advise you as to the best course of action. Please call us to discuss your specific situation.