Adjustment of Status | Consular Processing | citizenship
ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS
Adjustment of Status is the process where a person in the U.S. that has an approved immigrant petition changes his status from a nonimmigrant visa holder to an immigrant or permanent resident. This is what is commonly known as the "green card" process where family members, immigrant employees, refugee & asylees get their permanent resident status. In the family based context, an adjustment of status can often be used for immediate relatives (spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens) who previously entered the U.S. with a visa. Eligibility for an adjustment of status is dependent on the type of immigrant petition you have approved and your prior immigration history.
Consular Processing is where a person outside of the U.S. applies for a visa to come to the U.S. to permanently immigrate. This starts with a family member or U.S. employer filing an immigrant petition on the person's behalf. Upon approval, the person will be invited to an interview at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad to determine eligibility to immigrate. Every U.S. Consulate has slightly different procedures and practices in how immigrant petitions are adjudicated and we are here to guide you from the filing of the initial immigrant petition to preparing you for your Consular interview.
Naturalization is the process where an immigrant is granted U.S. citizenship after fulfilling certain legal requirements. Eligible immigrants potentially include individuals who have been legal permanent residents for at least five years (or three years if married to a U.S. citizen), those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces, and children of U.S. citizens. Additionally, certain requirements regarding "good moral character" have to be met.
ACQUISITION & DERIVATION
Acquisition and Derivation of Citizenship are legal processes where someone automatically becomes a U.S. citizen, either at birth (acquisition) or prior to turning 18 by virtue of their parents having naturalized (derivation). The rules of acquisition and derivation depend on numerous factors and some people are actually already U.S. citizens without knowing it! If you have a U.S. citizen parent, it's important to be screened for this potential situation.