Many Florida immigrants want to become permanent residents of the United States, but think they must first go abroad, then apply for re-entry. That process is known as consular processing, and it is not always necessary. Those currently residing in the United States who wish to seek an adjustment of status can confer with an immigration law attorney to explore all possible options given a particular situation.
There are are eligibility requirements to help identify who can seek status adjustment from within the United States. The most obvious requirement for seeking an adjustment of status (as opposed to consular processing) is that the person seeking the adjustment must be physically present in the United States at the time. Consular processing, on the other hand, takes place abroad, through a U.S. consular office.
Eligibility details vary, but include those who entered the United States intending to marry U.S. citizens, then fulfilled their intentions within 90 days of their arrival. Those who have approved family or employment-based visas, or are simultaneously filing such applications, can also request adjustment of status. Any immigrant who has been living in the United States since prior to Jan. 1, 1972 can seek a status adjustment on Registry grounds.
Some Florida residents mistakenly believe that working in the United States without permission, or staying in residence longer than time approved, automatically disqualifies them from seeking adjustment of status; however, that may not necessarily be true. One of the easiest ways to seek clarification of U.S. immigration law as it pertains to a given situation is to consult with an experienced immigration and naturalization law attorney. Such a meeting can be arranged via an online contact form on an attorney's website, or by calling a particular legal office for an appointment.
Source: immihelp.com, "Adjustment of status for permanent residence (immigration) in the US", Accessed on Oct. 11, 2017