The terms “immigrant visa”, “permanent resident”, “resident alien” and “green card” status all imply the same thing. They represent the right of a foreign national to permanently live and work in the United States.
The final step in the process to obtaining permanent residence is either an immigrant visa at the US Consulate or adjustment of status in the US.
We recommend adjustment of status whenever possible. There are additional benefits that can be realized while you are in the pending period of your application for adjustment of status:
- You will be eligible to apply for a Work Permit which will enable you to work for any employer during the pending period.
- You might be able to apply for Advance Parole which will give you the ability to travel abroad during the pending period. (with certain exceptions)
Of course, you must be eligible to adjust status and we will discuss eligibility in another article. But if you are eligible and are considering whether to adjust status or process an immigrant visa abroad, consider this… if your immigrant visa is denied by the US Consulate, you have no right to appeal. If you apply for adjustment of status and it is denied, you can make a motion to reopen/reconsider, you may have an Immigration Judge consider your case, and most importantly, you are in the US while the proceeding is going on.
If you believe you might be eligible for adjustment of status, please remember that Lubiner, Schmidt & Palumbo, LLC is dedicated to providing our clients with sophisticated counseling and representation at a reasonable cost. You can expect us to be there with you every step of the way.