September 01, 2023 - Weekly Immigration News Update

Posted by Keshab R. Seadie | Sep 01, 2023 | 2 Comments

USCIS Updates Policy Guidance on “Sought to Acquire” Requirement Under the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA)

USCIS recently updated its Policy Manual to clarify the “sought to acquire” requirement under the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA). Here are the key takeaways:

  1. Extraordinary Circumstances: The update considers the Feb. 14, 2023 policy change as an extraordinary circumstance that may excuse an applicant's failure to meet the “sought to acquire” requirement. 
  2. Calculating CSPA Age: USCIS may excuse an applicant's failure to meet this requirement if they couldn't calculate their CSPA age under the prior policy or their CSPA age would have been over 21. These applicants are now eligible for CSPA age-out protection under the new policy.
  3. Pending Applications: Applicants who had a pending application to adjust status on Feb. 14, 2023, and applied within one year of a visa becoming available based on the Final Action Dates chart, will be considered to have met the “sought to acquire” requirement.

To give you more context, the CSPA protects certain beneficiaries from losing eligibility for immigrant visas due to aging out. For more information, you can visit the Policy Manual Feedback page.

USCIS Extends Grace Period for Using Prior Edition of Form I-129 to November 1, 2023

Good news for those concerned about the new edition of Form I-129 USCIS has extended the grace period for using the prior edition until November 1, 2023. This means you can continue to use the 11/02/2022 edition until then. The new mandatory date for the 05/31/2023 edition will begin on November 1, 2023.

Consular Processing vs. Filing Adjustment of Status in the United States

Navigating the U.S. immigration system can be a complicated endeavor, especially when it comes to applying for a Green Card through employment. If you're at this stage, congratulations! Your journey towards becoming a U.S. permanent resident has reached a pivotal point. But, how do you proceed? You essentially have two options: Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing. This article aims to break down these two routes, outlining their steps, pros, and cons to help you make an informed decision.

What Are They?

Adjustment of Status

If you're already in the United States on a valid non-immigrant status you can apply for Adjustment of Status. This involves staying in the country while your Green Card application is processed.

Consular Processing

If you're outside the U.S. or prefer to apply from your home country, you can opt for Consular Processing. This means going to a U.S. consulate to complete the application process.

When to Choose?

When you file Form I-140, the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, you need to indicate which process you're choosing. It's important to decide carefully, although it's possible to change your choice later. Changing your selection can add delays and may involve extra fees.

The Steps

Steps for Adjustment of Status

  1. File Form I-140.
  2. File Form I-485 for adjustment if a visa number is available. Otherwise, wait.
  3. Submit documentation like proof of a valid maintenance of nonimmigrant status, birth certificate, marriage certificate, and medical exam results. 
  4. Go for fingerprinting at a local USCIS center.
  5. Received Work and Travel Permit by mail.
  6. Get your Permanent Resident Card in the mail.

Steps for Consular Processing

  1. File Form I-140.
  2. Wait for the USCIS approval and fee bill from the National Visa Center (NVC).
  3. Pay the fee and complete online Form DS-260.
  4. Submit required documents like birth certificates and police records.
  5. The consulate will schedule an interview and a medical exam.
  6. Attend the interview and receive your visa.
  7. Enter the U.S. and receive a temporary green card stamp.
  8. Get your Permanent Resident Card in the mail.

Pros and Cons

Advantages of Adjustment of Status:

  • Possible to remain and work in the U.S. while pending.
  • May avoid certain admissibility issues.
  • Decisions can be appealed.
  • Less governmental red tape.

Disadvantages of Adjustment of Status:

  • May not be eligible if you have immigration or criminal violations.

Advantages of Consular Processing

  • May be better for applicants with family abroad.

Disadvantages of Consular Processing

  • Risk of being barred from U.S. entry for up to 10 years.
  • More bureaucratic, with no appeal option.
  • Longer overall processing time.

Changing Your Mind

If you change your mind after choosing, you'll need to file additional forms and potentially face several months of delay. For example, moving from Adjustment of Status to Consular Processing may require filing Form I-824 and waiting for its approval, which can take over six months.

Final Thoughts

Deciding between Adjustment of Status and Consular Processing is not merely a question of speed. Each has its own sets of pros and cons that must be weighed carefully. Consult with us to fully understand what's best for your personal situation.

Best Regards,

Keshab Raj Seadie
Law Offices of Keshab Raj Seadie, P.C.

Disclaimer: This newsletter is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Always consult an attorney for personalized advice.

About the Author


Travis Chicot Reply

Posted Sep 01, 2023 at 17:15:47

How can I do an employment petition ?
I am a recent F1 graduate

Keshab R. Seadie Reply

Posted Jan 18, 2024 at 12:07:37

Hi Travis. We sent you an email to follow up on your query. We look forward to hearing from you!

Leave a Comment

Contact Us Today

We serve clients throughout the United States including New York and New Jersey and in the following localities: New York City; Albany County including Albany; Dutchess County including Poughkeepsie; Erie County including Buffalo; Monroe County including Rochester; Nassau County including Mineola; Onondaga County including Syracuse; Orange County including Goshen; Putnam County including Carmel; Rockland County including New City; Suffolk County including Riverhead; Ulster County including Kingston; Westchester County including White Plains; Bergen County including Hackensack; Essex County including Newark; Hudson County including Jersey City; Middlesex County including New Brunswick; and Union County including Elizabeth. Attorney Advertising.