The main difference between Adjustment of Status and Consular Processing is where they happen and how long they take.
Adjustment of Status:
First off, Adjustment of Status happens when you’re already in the United States. If you choose this method to apply for a green card, your application goes to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This is a good option because it allows people who qualify to legally enter the U.S. without having to apply for an immigrant visa in another country. But keep in mind, it usually takes longer to go from Adjustment of Status to permanent residence compared to applying for an immigrant visa through Consular Processing.
This process occurs at a U.S. consulate in your country of last residence or country of birth. If consular processing is chosen, the U.S. Department of State assumes responsibility for processing your immigrant visa application. Importantly, consular processing is typically swifter than Adjustment of Status. Despite allowing applications from the home country, it lacks certain benefits and can be time-consuming.
It’s essential to note that not everyone has the flexibility to choose between these two processes. The requirements for adjustment of status significantly limit the number of eligible individuals.