If you have a visa and are seeking an adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident, you should consult with an immigration lawyer to help you through the process. The U.S. immigration process can be extremely complex. Don’t try to deal with it alone. Contact Nesbit Law Office today for information about how to adjust your status as an immigrant in the United States.
What Is Adjustment of Status?
Adjustment of status is the process through which you apply for lawful permanent resident status. This is also commonly called applying for a Green Card. This process takes place when you are already in the United States with a valid visa, or through another means. The adjustment of status process allows you to become a permanent resident without returning to your home country to go through the visa process.
If you are outside of the United States and wish to become a legal permanent resident of the United States, then you must go through the consular process to obtain a visa while abroad. Nesbit Law Office can help you with both adjustment of status and consular processing. Contact us today to find out which process is right for you or your loved one.
Are for Eligible for Adjustment of Status?
The first step to obtaining a Green Card is to determine whether you are eligible to adjust your status in the United States. Eligibility is determined by your immigrant category. You may obtain a green card through the following statuses:
- Special Immigrant
- Refugee or Asylee Status
- Human Trafficking and Crime Victims
- Victims of Abuse
- Other Categories Designated by Law
Each of these has a different eligibility for adjustment of status. If you have a valid visa and you fall into one of these categories, then you may be able to adjust your status to obtain a green card and become a permanent resident. Our immigration lawyers can review your situation and advise you of your options
Filing an Immigrant Petition for Permanent Residency
The next step in adjusting your status will include filing an immigrant petition and related forms with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In most cases, someone else may have to file the forms for you. However, depending on your status, you may be able to file these forms for yourself. Some of the most common forms you will file include:
- Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485)
- Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130)
- Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140)
- Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition (Form I-730)
- Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal (Form I-589)
- Petition for Special Immigrant (Form I-360)
- Immigration Petition by Alien Entrepreneur (Form I-526)
- Petition of U Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-918)
- Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Nonimmigrant (Form I-929)
In addition to these forms, you will have to file a Green Card application. In some situations, you will file the application to adjust status first and then other forms later. However, you may also have to file it at the same time as your immigrant petition, called “concurrent filing.” Concurrent filing can speed up the process. But it can also be more complex, because you must complete all of the forms accurately.
Because adjustment of status requires specific forms that you must fill out perfectly, you should work with a skilled immigration attorney to complete your paperwork. This will eliminate delay and denial that may be related to inaccurate or incomplete applications and forms.
Attending an Application Support Center Appointment
After you file your Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485), you will be required to appear at the Application Support Center (ASC) for biometrics services. At this appointment, you will provide your fingerprints, a photograph, and signature. This information will be used to conduct a background check and security clearance prior to our adjustment of status.
At the ASC appointment, you will also sign an acknowledgment that states you have reviewed all the information on your application for adjustment of status. You must verify that the information is all complete, true, and correct as of the time that you filed the information. If you miss your ASC appointment, then you should notify the USCIS and reschedule right away. If you fail to properly notify them and request a new appointment, then your Form I-485 may be denied.
Attending an Interview With USCIS
You may be required to attend an interview with USCIS officers. At the interview, you will answer questions under oath and affirm information that is on your Form I-485. If they select you to complete an interview, the USCIS will notify you with a time, date, and location where the interview will take place.
The family member who filed the immigrant petition for you will also have to appear at the interview. Additionally, you will be required to bring originals of documentation that you submitted with your forms. That may include your passport, travel documents, and additional forms. An attorney can help you prepare for this interview by presenting you with potential questions that will be asked and reviewing your documentation.
Requests for Additional Evidence
As you proceed through the adjustment of status process, the USCIS may ask you to submit additional evidence. That may include information from your home country or your purpose in America. When the USCIS begins asking additional questions, it’s best to work with a skilled immigration attorney to avoid any problems.