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Adjustment of Status

Adjustment of Status is an immigration application filed for an immigrant who is within the United States. Usually, this occurs when there is a successful and current petition for "alien relative.” However, adjustment of status can occur in other immigration scenarios, such as those granted asylum or an I-140.

Who Is Eligible for Adjustment of Status?

Not everyone is eligible for adjustment of status, and many will need to seek consular processing. Before proceeding with any of these applications or petitions, make sure you speak to an immigration attorney to determine your eligibility. Those who are not eligible for adjustment of status include those who failed to remain in lawful immigration status (with exception to "immediate relatives" as specifically defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act), those who entered the country without inspection, those who worked without authorization (with exception of immediate relatives). Others may be eligible for adjustment of status pursuant to 245(i).

Because of the fact-specific nature of who qualifies for adjustment of status, it is critical to speak to an immigration attorney. Oftentimes, individuals spend filing fees only to learn that they were not eligible for the benefit sought.

How Do I Apply for Adjustment of Status?

Obtaining a green card through adjustment of status first requires that there be a basis for obtaining a green card. The most common basis for you to obtain a green card is through an immediate relative petition, in the Form I-130 or an employer's petition in the Form I-140.

When these forms are approved, you can then proceed to form I-485, the application to adjust status. Many individuals are eligible for concurrent filing, meaning they can submit the I-130 or I-140 and I-485 together. This is where you must speak to an experienced immigration lawyer to determine if you are eligible for concurrent filing.

Once the adjustment of status application is filed, the immigrant is temporarily in legal status until the application is adjudicated. Adjustment of status is not the same as a change of visa status.

Most adjustments of status occur in the following ways:

  • Through marriage
  • A current family-based petition
  • A current employer petition
  • One year after asylum is granted.

The most common method of adjusting status results in what people refer to as "green card through marriage." The USCIS allows an immigrant to change his or her status (with some exceptions) to that of a lawful permanent resident if he or she entered the country on a valid visa and was adequately inspected prior to entry into the United States. In other words, a successful adjustment of status will lead to a "green card," also known as a lawful permanent residence.

Adjustment of Status applications is usually concurrently filed with other applications, such as a work authorization application. Once the application for adjustment of status is approved, the applicant is interviewed. Upon successful completion of the interview, a green card will be issued. If you are currently outside of the United States, you cannot apply for adjustment of status. Rather, you must go through consular processing at your nearest US Embassy.

Contact Yekrangi & Associates

Yekrangi & Associates will carefully evaluate your case to determine if you are eligible to adjust your status or recommend steps you need to take before applying for adjustment of status.

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