Adjustment of status is the process through which you transition from a non-immigrant visa to a permanent resident (Green Card). You can do this through family-based immigration, employment based immigration or humanitarian programs like the diversity lottery.
It is not available to people who entered without inspection or violated their nonimmigrant visas. Such individuals must instead apply for green cards through consular processing and face possible three- or ten-year bars.
People who qualify for adjustment of status are those who were admitted to the United States on a temporary visa and want to become permanent residents. Examples of these are individuals who entered the country on a K-1 nonimmigrant fiance visa and married their fiance(e) within 90 days; children who came to the United States with a K-2 derivative Visa; or those who qualify for employment-based green cards.
An advantage of adjusting your status is that you can obtain an employment authorization document while waiting for USCIS to approve your green card. However, certain negative factors can prevent you from adjusting your status, such as accruing 180 days or more of unlawful presence, which could result in three- or ten-year bars to filing for a green card.
Family-based adjustment of status allows immigrant family members to become lawful permanent residents or Green Card holders without having to return to their home country for visa processing. However, the process can be complex with many forms and guidelines that need to be followed. An experienced family immigration lawyer can help ensure that the application is complete and properly submitted.
A person who wishes to adjust their status must meet certain criteria, including being in the United States on a valid visa and being eligible for the type of Green Card they are seeking. In addition, they must have been inspected and admitted and not overstayed their permitted stay or worked without permission.
Having unlimited support from Boundless’ team of experts may help them navigate the immigration process and avoid any issues that might arise.
If you are in the United States on a nonimmigrant visa and want to change to a different type of status, you use an adjustment of status petition. The petition asks USCIS to allow you to become a lawful permanent resident, or “Green Card holder.” However, certain situations may disqualify you from applying for the green card through this process.
To be eligible to adjust your status, you must meet statutory requirements and have no negative factors. For instance, a preconceived intent to remain in the United States at the time of your entry as a nonimmigrant, even if not committed through fraud or willful misrepresentation, may be a negative factor for a green card application. However, immediate family members can often overcome such negative factors.
Those who adjust their status in the United States generally must meet certain qualifications. They must (with some exceptions) have entered the country legally after inspection by immigration officers and be in valid visa status at the time of filing the adjustment of status application.
They must not have stayed past the authorized length of stay or worked without permission. They must not have a medical condition that makes them inadmissible to the United States (though such applicants may have grounds for seeking an individual or blanket waiver through DHS).
Finally, they must be able to prove that they or their sponsor has the financial means to support themselves. The USCIS officer will conduct an interview to verify this. If the officer finds that the alien will not become a public charge, the adjustment of status will be approved.
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