What is Adjustment of Status?
If you are in the U.S. requesting a Green Card, the process is known as Adjustment of Status. If you apply for an Adjustment of Status (AOS), you can stay within the U.S. during the process. Once you receive your Green Card, you can live and work in the United States.
Other options include Consular Processing. Which only applies if you are outside the United States. When you apply for a Green Card through Consular Processing, you must remain outside the country until your petition is approved.
Today we want to guide you on obtaining your Green Card through Adjustment of Status.
Step 1: To what type of Green Card are you eligible?
There are different Green Card categories. To apply to AOS, you need to review your options and determine which is the best fit for you.
- Family Green Card: To qualify, you must be the spouse, parent, child, or close relative of a U.S. Legal Permanent Resident or a U.S. Citizen.
- Employment Green Card: To qualify, you must be sponsored by your employer or based on your skills and accomplishments.
- Investment, Humanitarian Grounds, and the ones offered to special Immigrants.
Step 2: Find a sponsor who can file for you
In the family category, only immediate relatives can file for Adjustment; currently, spouses of permanent residents can file as well, but this changes every month, so better check with your immigration lawyer before taking any steps. For the employment and investment categories, you can adjust your status only if you have maintained your immigration status in the United States, did not overstay, and did not enter without inspection. Most, but not all, applicants under the Humanitarian and Special categories will be able to file for Adjustment of status. To confirm and to make sure you will not lose significant time and money and you will not make your matter worse, it is best to consult with an experienced immigration attorney before making a mistake that could hurt you.
Generally, to apply for Adjustment of status, you must have a valid visa for your most recent entry to the United States. Your sponsor must first file the appropriate petition for your category; sometimes, they can file their petition with your green card application simultaneously. It can take several months to over six years for you to receive a response from USCIS. You may be required to appear at an interview with an immigration officer or submit additional documentation. You will receive an approval notice and your physical Green Card when your application gets approved.
Step 3: Find an Immigration Attorney
To ensure your application gets approved, you will need an Experienced Immigration Attorney. You need to attach any documents to your application to avoid delays. Each case is different, and you must submit additional documents accordingly.
For example, if you are filing under the Family Category – requirements may vary if you are petitioning for your adoptive parents or stepparents or if you were born when your mother and father were not married to each other. Having an attorney by your side can make it much more manageable, as well as if it’s for a different relative. Employment and Investment based Green Cards require a whole different set of documents and strategies.
We can help you make the United States your permanent home. Give us a call today, and let’s get the ball rolling!