Family-Based Adjustment of Status

The process to apply for lawful permanent resident status (commonly referred to as a “Green Card”) through a qualified family relationship. A “Green Card” obtained through this process is completed without the applicant having to return to his or her home country. Adjustment of Status requires the foreign national to be legally present inside the United States in order to apply.

Family-Based Consular Processing

The process to apply for lawful permanent resident status through a qualified family relationship at a U.S. Department of State consulate outside the United States. This is for Applicants who are outside the United States, or inside the United States without authorization.

Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers

A process used in conjunction with Consular Processing that allows individuals in the United States to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility (meaning forgiveness of unlawful presence in the United States) prior to their interview at a U.S. Consulate abroad. The waiver removes any barrier to a Green Card due to prior unlawful presence in the United States and shortens the length of time the foreign nationals have to remain separated from their families in the United States.

Asylum

A process that protects foreign nationals from having to return to their native country due to past persecution or a well-founded fear of future persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Applicants for asylum may apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) five months after the government receives the asylum application, and it is taking approximately 90 days for the EAD to issue.

VAWA (Violence Against Women Act)

A process that allows qualifying battered spouses, children, and parents of United States citizens and permanent residents to file an immigrant visa petition for themselves without the abuser’s knowledge. The abuse may be physical or emotional abuse.

U-visa (crime victims)

A process that allows victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity to file an immigrant visa petition for themselves.

Naturalization

The process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign national, including those who first become lawful permanent residents, after he or she fulfills certain statutory requirements.