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.
Wolf Sultan Vazquez P.C. is the highest-rated Tucson immigration law firm here to assist you in your adjustment-of-status application process.
If you are already in the United States and have a valid visa, your immigration attorney can help you process your paperwork through an adjustment-of-status application process to obtain your green card.
Adjustment of status is one of two paths for obtaining an immigrant visa (green card) to the United States. If the status applicant is not eligible for adjustment, he or she must use consular processing.
Some adjustment-of-status applications are approved as “conditional.” If you are a Conditional Permanent Resident, your Green Card is valid for two years.
You cannot renew your two-year Green Card. Your immigration attorney will help you file a petition to remove the conditional status of your adjustment of status before the Green Card expires.
Applying for an Immediate Relative
A U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident may petition for certain family members to receive an adjustment to their status.
The entire process begins when the U.S. citizen or permanent resident files Form I-130, petition for alien relative, on behalf of the beneficiary (intending immigrant).
To obtain an adjustment of status based on a family relationship, the beneficiary must fall into either the immediate relatives or family preference categories.
The purpose of Form I-130 is to establish eligibility requirements and qualifying adjustment of immigration status based on your relationship so that the relative may apply for this.
Register Permanent Residence
Form I-485 is the primary application used by immigrants to register permanent residence or adjust status (apply for lawful permanent residence—a green card) in the United States.
It collects basic information about the applicant’s identity and checks for grounds of inadmissibility for adjustment of status.
The United States’ Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Lottery program allows for up to 50,000 immigrant visas to be awarded each year. It gives foreign nationals of countries that have low rates of immigration to the U.S. an opportunity to participate in a random drawing for the potential of getting an immigration visa.
The home country from which the adjusting status applicant is coming from will help determine eligibility for this kind of green card.
USCIS is the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in charge of various supporting documents for an adjustment of status and the process to become one of many lawful permanent residents.
USCIS’s website contains self-service tools for this adjustment, including an adjust status case status checker and address change request form.
Applicants for status adjustment, petitioners, and their authorized representatives can also submit case inquiries and service requests on USCIS’s website.
The inquiries and requests for the status adjustment are routed to the relevant USCIS center or office to process.
Case inquiries may involve asking about a case that is outside of the normal, expected USCIS priority date for the form, the qualifications for receiving an immigrant visa immediately, information on the visa waiver program, an adjustment-of-status approval notice, and more.
Inquiries and services related to the adjustment-of-status requests may also concern not receiving a notice, card, or travel document by mail, nonimmigrant status, correcting typographical errors, and requesting a medical examination to determine the change of status disability accommodations.
You may or may not have a USCIS Online Account Number to be able to adjust your status. You would have one only if you registered on the USCIS website or at a USCIS office in order to submit previous application forms.
If you have an expired visa and are applying for a new status adjustment, you will need to provide a USCIS officer at a USCIS service center with your “Expiration of Authorized Stay” that is, the date your status in the U.S. will expire.
This is almost always different from the date your visa expires. You can find the date your status expires on your I-94.
Some people, mostly students, exchange program visitors, or those with employment authorization, have no exact expiration date—they are here for the “duration of status,” noted by “D/S” on the I-94.
Lawful Permanent Resident
The status process to become a lawful permanent resident begins with eligibility requirements ranging from employment authorization to refugee status in order to gain lawful entry.
Filing instructions differ with the overlap of a few questions to receive a status adjustment. Several adjustments of status and immigrant visa categories are based on employment.
Your education, skills, work experience, and visa availability are some of the factors used to determine if the individual is eligible for this specific type of employment-based visa.
Adjustment of Status Visa Availability
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets the number of immigrant visas that may be issued by individuals seeking lawful permanent resident status or to become a green card holder each year.
The U.S. Department of State is the agency that distributes the immigrant visa number. All green card applicants may apply so long as they meet the requirements laid out by citizenship and immigration services to adjust status, but lawful permanent residence visas are limited to 140,000 per year.
In addition, there are limits to the percentage of adjusted status’ or green cards that can be allotted to each country at the same time. An adjustment to one’s status or green card for individuals is limited and not always available.
Citizenship and Immigration Services
In some cases where a foreign national has been physically present in the United States for an extensive period of time, the U.S. government may allow them to receive an adjustment to their status through the registry.
In order to be eligible for an adjustment-of-status application, an individual must have resided continuously in the United States since January 1, 1972, whether a lawful or unlawful presence, be a person of good moral character, eligible for naturalization, and not subject to deportation proceedings removable or deportable under Section 237(a)(4)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Legal Advice to Attain Lawful Status
The process of attaining lawful status via an adjustment of status or green card is often complicated and can require a strong attorney-client relationship to handle each filing fee, status timeline, and even your immigration officer.
The status cost will depend on which adjustment application is required and whether the applicant currently holds a marriage-based green card, is in the United States with a travel abroad program or government agency, whether or not their home country is deemed safe for the applicant, and more.
Immigration Lawyers in Tucson
At Wolf Sultan Vazquez P.C., we are dedicated to ensuring you pay the correct fee, have all of your supporting documents, and meet eligibility requirements all at the same time in order to obtain your green card. We have over twenty years of practicing exclusively in the area of U.S. Immigration and Nationality Law.
Our specialty is priority workers, intra-company transfers, outstanding researchers, national interest waivers, labor certifications, corporate compliance, employer sanctions defense, family-based immigration issues, naturalization issues, immigration appellate, and the adjustment-of-status process.
Visit our Lawful Permanent Resident page to learn more about green card eligibility and begin the journey towards obtaining your green card.