Consular Processing or Adjustment of Status?
Once you are the beneficiary of an approved immigrant petition (I-130) and an immigrant visa number is immediately available to you, there are two ways to apply for lawful permanent resident status (a Green Card). If you are outside of the United States, you may apply at a U.S. Department of State consulate abroad for an immigrant visa in order to come to the United States and be admitted as a permanent resident. This pathway is referred to as consular processing. If you are already in the United States, you can apply for permanent resident status without having to return to your home country to complete processing. This process is called adjustment of status. For more information, see Adjustment of Status page.