Green Card Avenues Via U.S. Consular Processing – Adjustment of Status

As highly skilled global investment practitioners, we understand the importance of our client’s immigration goals and in providing the best path forward to reach these objectives.

Whether our client is abroad or in the United States, we focus on providing detailed guidance every step of the way to obtain their Green Card. Whichever immigrant category you have chosen, prior to obtaining the green card, the applicant must either go through consular processing or adjustment of status, as discussed below.

Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing?


Adjustment of Status is applicable for those who are already in the United States on a non-immigrant visa and apply to have their status “adjusted” to an immigrant category. 

By contrast, if the individual is located outside the United States, then they and their applicable dependent family members must go through Consular Processing at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate located in or designated to their home country.   


Adjustment of Status 


Adjustment of Status is the process an individual may use to apply for lawful permanent resident status (also known as applying for a Green Card) when inside the United States. This means an individual may get a Green Card without having to return to one’s home country to complete visa processing.  

Additional benefits for those applying for Adjustment of Status includes filing Work Authorization (Form I-765) and Travel Authorization (Form I-131) applications at the same time as the Green Card (I-485) application, allowing those individuals to work and travel while waiting for their Green Cards. 

We assist clients with their adjustment of status applications for themselves and their dependent family members in the transition from non-immigrant to immigrant status. In particular, our focus is in helping those in investor categories such as the EB-5 and L-1 or O-1 business immigration categories.   


Concurrent Filing – What is and Who is it for? 


Concurrent filing of the Form I-485 is when an adjustment of status application is filed prior to the approval of the underlying immigrant visa petition. The Form I-485 may be filed at the same time and mailed together with the immigrant visa petition or filed after the immigrant visa petition while the immigrant visa petition is pending.  

Concurrent filing is allowed when there is a visa number immediately available at the time of filing, based on visa availability from the Department of State Visa Bulletin.  

Concurrent filing is available for some employment-based applications, such as applications filed under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program 

With concurrent filing, individuals may apply for work and travel authorization while the I-485 is pending in authorized stay without an underlying nonimmigrant status such as H-1B. 


Consular Processing 


Once an individual has an approved immigrant petition and a visa number is available to them, (see the Visa Bulletin, below) the individual may apply at a U.S. Department of State consulate abroad for an immigrant visa if they are outside of the United States. This option is called consular processing.  

Our team of experts will assist clients with every step of the visa processing at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad from successful Submission of a Petition, NVC Processing, Documents Submission and Interview setup and Preparation.  


Visa Bulletin 


Once an immigrant petition is approved, visa availability will determine when an individual may apply for a Green Card – either through Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing. With ever-changing interpretations of the visa bulletin, MSA interprets the latest visa bulletin and works to guide clients based on up-to-date information and impacts of visa backlogs. 


Considerations when Applying for the Green Card 


MSA is here to provide bespoke services based on a client’s specific background, circumstances and immigration goals. We recognize all cases are not the same and that cookie-cutter services will not meet client-needs in today’s U.S. immigration system in which USCIS and U.S. Consulate’s abroad are increasingly complex and confusing to navigate. Our experience allows us to provide the latest solutions for issues faced by those applying for Green Cards, whether it requires waivers, CSPA calculations and memos or administrative processing