ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS
Adjustment of Status in the United States
Adjustment of status is the process that you can use to apply for lawful permanent resident status (also known as applying for a Green Card) when you are present in the United States. This means that you may get a Green Card without having to return to your home country to complete visa processing.
Steps for Adjustment of Status
1. Determine if you are eligible to apply for a Green Card.
U.S. immigration laws provide a variety of ways for people to apply for a Green Card. The eligibility requirements for adjustment of status may vary depending on the immigrant category you are applying under. The first step in the adjustment of status process is to determine if you fit into a specific immigrant category.
If your relative qualifies as an immediate relative (spouse of US Citizen; children (single, under 21) of US Citizen; and parent of US Citizen (if the US Citizen is 21 and over)) and they are inspected and admitted, they may be eligible to apply for Green Card.
If your relative does not qualify as an immediate relative, the eligibility requirements for adjustment of status may vary depending on: the immigrant category you are applying under; whether they are inspected and admitted; whether have valid non-immigrant status; and whether there is an immigrant visa available.
If you are in the United States and are eligible for adjustment of status, you may file a forms I-485, I-765 and I-131 together with supporting documents and other necessary forms, such as form I-864, Affidavit of Support and I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency.
Note: If the immigrant visa petition has not previously filed, you may file it concurrently with your application for adjustments of status.
3. Go to your Application Support Center appointment
After you file your Form I-485, USCIS will mail you a notice for your biometrics services appointment at a local Application Support Center (ASC) to provide your fingerprints, photograph, and/or signature. The notice will include the date, time, and location of the appointment. USCIS use your biometrics to verify your identity and conduct required background and security checks.
4. Go to your interview (if applicable)
USCIS officials will review your case to determine whether an interview is necessary. If USCIS schedule you for an interview you will be required to appear at a USCIS office to answer questions under oath or affirmation regarding your Form I‑485. USCIS will send you a notice with the date, time, and location of the interview.
When you come to your interview, you (and the family member who filed the immigrant petition for you, if applicable) must bring originals of all documentation submitted with the Form I-485 application. This includes passports, official travel documents, and Form I-94, regardless if they are expired.
5. Respond to request for additional evidence (if applicable)
USCIS officials may send you a request for additional evidence if:
You did not submit all the required evidence;
The evidence you submitted is no longer valid; or
The officer needs more information to determine your eligibility.
The request will indicate what evidence is needed. The request will also tell you where to send the evidence and the date by when you must respond to the request. If you do not respond to the request timely, the officer may deny your Form I-485. Not all applicants receive a request for additional evidence.
6. Receive the Decision
When USCIS makes a decision on your application, they will send you a written decision notice. If USCIS approves your application, you generally will receive an approval notice first and then receive your actual Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) a little later.
If USCIS denies your application, the decision notice will tell you the reason(s) why your application is denied and whether you may appeal the decision. Generally, you cannot appeal the decision to deny an adjustment of status application. Even if you cannot appeal the denial, you may still be eligible to file a motion to reopen or reconsider. Both appeals and motions are filed on Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.
What is the Attorney's Assistance in an Adjustment of Status Case?
An attorney can assist you by making sure that the petitions and all forms are filled out properly.
He will make sure that all necessary documentations are submitted in a timely manner.
The advice of an attorney is important to discuss the consequences that may be caused by changes in people’s life circumstances. Life events of the petitioner or beneficiaries such as: marriages, divorces and/or becoming a US Citizen, may cause beneficiaries to move from one preference to another or even lose the eligibility for immigrant visa.
The advice of an attorney is important to discuss the consequences of previous convictions, previous misrepresentation and other grounds ineligibility to obtain immigrant visa;
Prepare for the interview and present all facts and legal arguments to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad
Successfully completed more than two hundred twenty (220) Adjustment of Status cases.