What is adjustment of immigration status?
The adjustment of immigration status is the process by which an immigrant who is eligible can become a permanent resident of the United States, without returning to their home country to apply for an immigrant visa.
A foreign person who is out of the country cannot apply for adjustment of immigration status .
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) allows a person’s status to be changed, while in the United States, from nonimmigrant to immigrant, provided that the person meets all the requirements to be eligible for a green card.
It is highly advisable to have an immigration attorney to advise you from the start of your change of status application.
Who is eligible to obtain change of status
Not all immigrants are eligible for adjustment of immigration status . Under Section 245 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, certain requirements must be met before you can apply.
People who have a request from a family member :
Family preference applicants must have a current and approved Form I-130 (petition for a foreign relative) and the visa number must be available.
However, there is an exception for immediate family members of US citizens. Immediate family members can file the adjustment of status application along with petition I-130.
If you entered the country on a K-1 visa, you must be married to the person who applied for it.
People who have a request from an employer:
They must have an approved visa petition.
People who have entered asylum or refugee status:
A year must have passed in the country since you were granted asylum or refugee status.
Requirements for adjusting immigration status
To file an application for adjustment of immigration status , the immigrant must meet four requirements:
- Be physically in the United States: Must be within the country when the application for adjustment of status is filed and must complete the process within the United States.
- Having legally entered the United States: If you entered with a valid visa, but that visa has expired, you still have a legal entry.
- The visa must be valid at the time of applying for an adjustment of immigration status.
- You cannot have entered the United States in transit without a visa or under the visa waiver program.
Each case of adjustment of immigration status is different, and the eligibility criteria listed above may be subject to certain exceptions depending on the specific circumstances of the case.
Therefore, there will be situations in which it is advisable to have the help of an immigration lawyer to advise you before the immigration authorities.