Differences between IR-6 visa and adjustment of status application

Worker handing visa application to man

The IR-6 immigrant visa and adjustment of status application are two options for foreign spouses of U.S. citizens to obtain lawful permanent residency in the United States. While both options have the same end goal, there are important differences between the two that applicants should consider when deciding which option is best for them. In this article, we will discuss the differences between the IR-6 visa and adjustment of status application.

What is the IR-6 Visa?
The IR-6 visa is a family-based immigration option that allows foreign spouses of U.S. citizens who have been married for less than two years to enter the United States as lawful permanent residents. The IR-6 visa application process involves filing a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), undergoing a background check, attending an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in the foreign spouse’s home country, and obtaining a visa to enter the United States.

What is Adjustment of Status?
Adjustment of status is a process that allows foreign nationals who are already in the United States to obtain lawful permanent residency without having to leave the country. The adjustment of status application process involves filing a petition with USCIS, undergoing a background check, attending an interview at a USCIS office, and obtaining lawful permanent residency status.

Key Differences Between IR-6 Visa and Adjustment of Status Application

Location: One of the key differences between the IR-6 visa and adjustment of status application is the location of the applicant during the application process. The IR-6 visa application requires the foreign spouse to attend an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country, while the adjustment of status application is done entirely within the United States.

Processing Time: The processing time for the IR-6 visa application can vary depending on various factors such as the workload of USCIS and the embassy or consulate, while the processing time for the adjustment of status application is generally faster and more predictable.

Required Documentation: The documentation required for the IR-6 visa application and adjustment of status application is similar, but there may be some differences based on the location of the application. For example, the IR-6 visa application may require additional documentation related to the foreign spouse’s background and ties to their home country.

Ability to Work: Applicants who file an adjustment of status application may be eligible to apply for work authorization while their application is pending, allowing them to work legally in the United States. This option is not available for IR-6 visa applicants until they enter the United States and obtain their visa.

Ability to Travel: Applicants who file an adjustment of status application may be able to travel outside of the United States while their application is pending, provided that they obtain the necessary travel documents. IR-6 visa applicants are generally not allowed to travel outside of their home country until they obtain their visa.

Conclusion
Both the IR-6 visa and adjustment of status application are options for foreign spouses of U.S. citizens to obtain lawful permanent residency in the United States. While both options have the same end goal, there are important differences between the two that applicants should consider when deciding which option is best for them. Factors such as location, processing time, required documentation, ability to work, and ability to travel should all be taken into account when making this decision. By understanding the differences between the two options, applicants can make an informed decision and increase their chances of a successful outcome.

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