Changing From Adjustment of Status to Consular Processing

For most types of immigrant petitions, such as a family-based petition for an alien relative (form I-130) or an employment-based petition for an alien worker (form I-140), the petitioner must indicate whether the foreign national beneficiary will be applying for adjustment of status (form I-485) from within the United States, or applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate abroad, commonly referred to as consular processing.

If the immigrant petition indicates that consular processing will be used, but the foreign national instead decides to apply for adjustment of status, form I-485 can be used as normal. On the other hand, if the immigrant petition indicates that the beneficiary will apply for adjustment of status, but the beneficiary instead decides to use the consular processing option, an application for action on an approved application or petition (form I-824) typically must be submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Form I-824 Used to Have Case Transferred to National Visa Center

If the consular processing option is indicated on an immigrant petition, after the petition is approved, the case is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC). Once the priority date is current, or at least close to becoming current, the NVC transfers the case to the appropriate consulate and the beneficiary is scheduled for an interview. More details on how this process operates are available in the MurthyDotCom NewsBrief, Role of National Visa Center in Immigrant Visa Cases (05.Jan.2015).

If the immigrant petition indicates that the case will be completed using the adjustment-of-status option, but the beneficiary decides instead to switch to consular processing, form I-824 is needed in order to have the case transferred to the NVC. Form I-824 generally should be filed as soon as possible, as it can take months to adjudicate. Further, note that, for most types of cases, the petitioner is required to sign the I-824.

Conclusion

The procedural requirements in the U.S. immigration system can be confusing. This is one of the many reasons that it often is best to work with an experienced attorney who can assist you throughout the entire immigration journey.

 

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.
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