Adjustment of status might allow a person who is already in the United States to become a lawful permanent resident and obtain a Green Card. It dispenses with the necessity of a person being required to travel to his or her country of origin and apply for adjustment at a U.S. embassy or consulate. The process involved in an application for adjustment of status begins with the filing of a completed and signed Form I-485. If the person entered the United States illegally, entered the country on a nonimmigrant visa or otherwise failed to maintain lawful status in the United States, he or she is likely ineligible for adjustment of status. An inappropriately filed application for adjustment of status might even raise a red flag and result in removal proceedings against an alien and a ban on entering the United States again for 10 years.
Who is Eligible for an Adjustment of Status?
If the applicant is already in the United States, an intending immigrant’s eligibility to become a lawful permanent resident of this country depends on the categories set by law. Many of those categories follow:
- A family based intended immigrant.
- An employment-based visa.
- Special immigrants.
- Individuals who are refugees or are seeking asylum.
- Victims of human trafficking or other crimes.
- Victims of physical or sexual abuse.
The 90 Day Rule
A foreign national might be lawfully here in the United States and eligible for permanent residency, but trigger what’s known as the 90-day rule. That rule is used by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to raise question about whether the person misrepresented their intentions upon their arrival in the United States on certain types of visas. Adjustment of status might be denied if USCIS believes that a foreign national misrepresented his or her intentions in coming to the United State, especially if they seek adjustment of status on certain types of visas within 90 days of their date of arrival in this country.
The Adjustment of Status Process
Unless you’re in the United States on family-based immigration, a person seeking to adjust their status must first make sure that a Green Card is available for him or her. Otherwise, a person must wait until their priority date comes up. That wait might be in their home country after their visa expires. Then, a new visa must be obtained. For family-based immigration, an I-130 petition must be filed by the sponsor, and for employment-based adjustments, the I-140 form would be appropriate. Once everything is filed, it could take more than a year for it all to be processed. If the sponsorship petition is granted, the intending immigrant will receive a Form I-485 form to be filed. After filing it, further instructions will be forwarded. Upon complying with those instructions, a decision will be made either granting or denying the adjustment of status.
Contact an Immigration Lawyer Today.
The adjustment of status process is tricky. Errors, omissions or misrepresentations can result in denial or even removal. You’ll want to speak with the Central Valley immigration lawyers at Maison Law Immigration Lawyers to make sure that you’re on firm footing. We can confirm your eligibility for adjustment of status and discuss the documentation required. Then, we can answer your questions about the process and how long we would expect it to take. You can work directly with a knowledgeable and experienced Central Valley immigration lawyer, and you’ll be informed about the status of your case as it progresses through the immigration system. Don’t take chances. Consult with us before you apply for adjustment of status.