Adjustment of Status is a way for certain individuals already in the United States to apply for a green card without leaving the country. If you can complete the Adjustment of Status process successfully, you’ll be granted a green card and have the same rights and responsibilities as any other permanent resident of the United States.

Now, you might wonder: “Am I eligible for Adjustment of Status?” Well, the eligibility requirements can vary, but generally, you’ll need to meet specific criteria and be the beneficiary of an approved immigrant petition. It’s also worth noting that Adjustment of Status isn’t available to just anyone – it’s only an option for a select group of individuals.

Eligibility Criteria for Adjustment of Status (AOS)

To be eligible for AOS, an individual must generally meet the following criteria:

  1. The individual must be physically present in the United States at the time of application.
  2. The individual must be the beneficiary of an approved immigrant petition, such as a Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) or an employment-based petition (Form I-140).
  3. The individual must be admissible to the United States. This means they do not have certain criminal convictions or health-related issues that would make them ineligible for a green card.
  4. The individual must be eligible for a green card through a “preference category” based on their relationship to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, or their employment.

It is important to note that these are general eligibility requirements, and there may be additional criteria that apply to your specific situation.

Filing for Adjustment of Status (AOS)

If you’re considering applying for AOS, here are the steps it requires:

  1. Gather supporting documents: To support your Adjustment of Status application, you’ll need to gather various documents, including proof of your identity, your immigration history, and your relationship to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (if applicable). Your lawyer can advise you on what documents fulfill these criteria.
  2. Complete Form I-485: This is the main application form for Adjustment of Status. In it, you provide detailed information about yourself, including your personal and contact information, employment history, and immigration history.
  3. Apply: Once all the necessary information is gathered and the forms are filled, the next step is submitting it, along with the appropriate filing fee.
  4. Wait for a decision: It can take several months or even years for the USCIS to process your Adjustment of Status application. You’ll receive a notice in the mail when a decision has been made.

Contact CFUIS – Adjustment of Status Lawyer

It’s important to note that the Adjustment of Status process can be complex, and it’s always a good idea to seek the help of an experienced immigration lawyer or qualified representative if you have any questions or need assistance. You can contact our lawyers by calling, emailing, filling out our contact form, or scheduling an appointment.

If you have any other questions concerning the AOS process, please do not hesitate to contact us. However, here are some generally frequently asked questions.

Adjustment of Status FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

How long does the Adjustment of Status Process take?

The length of time it takes to complete the adjustment of status process can vary widely. Factors that can affect the processing time include the workload of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the availability of required documentation. Generally, allowing several months to complete the process is a good idea. The entire process can take anywhere from 8 – 12 months. However, different circumstances can cause the process to be delayed.

This is why it is advisable to use an immigration lawyer for your filing process to ensure that every “I” is dotted and every “T” is crossed.

Can you expedite the Adjustment of Status Process?

There are a few ways to expedite the AOS process:

  1. Prove severe financial loss: The USCIS may consider speeding up the process if a petitioner can prove that there will be a serious loss of income or financial impact if the process is not completed. It is important to note that what is considered a severe loss by the USCIS is unclear, and few of these petitions are granted.
  2. Humanitarian emergencies: If you are facing a humanitarian emergency, such as a severe medical condition or the death of a family member, you may be able to request expedited processing of your adjustment of status application.
  3. Severe delays: If your application has been pending for an unusually long time, you may be able to request expedited processing.

Can I travel after requesting an Adjustment of Status?

Traveling abroad while your Form I-485 Adjustment of Status application is still being processed, including quick trips to Canada or Mexico, may result in the rejection of your Form I-485. Unless the following criteria are met, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will assume that you have abandoned your application.

The criteria include:

  • You have a valid H, L, V, or K3/K4 nonimmigrant visa and are an H, L, V, or K3/K4 nonimmigrant who is maintaining lawful nonimmigrant status; or
  • Prior to leaving the country, you applied for and received an advance parole document, and upon your return, you are granted parole. You may sometimes be denied entry into the U.S. even with an approved advance parole document. Therefore, it is advised that unless travel is absolutely necessary, you stay in the U.S. for the duration of your AOS application.

What happens if my Adjustment of Status is Denied?

Suppose USCIS denies your request for status adjustment, and you don’t already have a legal right to remain in the country (usually granted by a visa). In that case, USCIS will initiate removal proceedings against you in immigration court. You will have the chance to present your case there.

The important thing is that it’s not the worst-case scenario. The immigration court may reconsider your eligibility unless information from the USCIS review shows that you are ineligible for the green card you sought.