Consular process is available to individuals present outside United States and who want to come to the US temporarily or permanently. The types of benefits that one can obtain through consular benefits may be temporary or permanent. Temporary benefits may be visas to visit United States for pleasure or business, visas to come to US to engage in employment, visas through family – K visas. Permanent benefits include immigrant visas – permanent residency, refugee applications.
The equivalent of the consular process in the United States, if the individual is already in the US, is called change of status or adjustment of status. For temporary benefits, the process is called change of status. For permanent benefits, it’s called adjustment of status.
There are certain visas that may not be processed in the United States: J visas for international exchange students or doctors; K visas for fiancées of US citizens or spouses of citizens.
The Consulates are under the jurisdiction of the US Department of State.