Adjustment of Status (AOS) is a process in the United States that allows a foreign national to apply for lawful permanent residency — also known as a green card — while they are still in the United States. This gives people the opportunity to apply for residency without leaving and returning to their home country. For many, this process is much easier than returning to their country and sometimes safer.
When you're seeking an adjustment in your immigration status, contacting an adjustment of status lawyer can significantly help you navigate through the process. Our immigration law firm has the tools and resources to help you gather the necessary information and documentation for the application and answer any questions you may have during the adjustment. Without the assistance of a legal representative, you may miss the necessary steps that can jeopardize your visa and immigration.
Requirements for an Adjustment of Immigration Status
When you apply for an adjustment of status, you'll be able to stay in the U.S. even if your visa expires before the change is approved. In order to apply for an adjustment of status, you must fall under one of the below categories:
- Family-based immigration
- Employment-based immigration
- Refugee or Asylee Status
- Special Immigrant
- Victims of Abuse
- Human Trafficking and Crime Victims
- Other categories as stipulated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
When you use an adjustment of status, you just need to use a valid visa or the Visa Waiver Program to show that you are still in lawful status and your visa is not yet expired. However, if you are applying for an adjustment of status by marriage to a United States citizen, you can use AOS even if your visa has expired. This works only if you entered the U.S. with a valid visa or waiver.
Steps to Take During the Adjustment of Status
After discussing with your lawyer about your eligibility, you'll start the process of applying for an adjustment of status. You may feel overwhelmed and unfamiliar with the process, but your attorney can help explain in detail what you need to complete and consider during each step.
Consider the following steps to help you better understand the adjustment of status process:
File an Immigrant Petition
There are two forms that most people applying for a green card will need to submit: an immigrant petition and a Green Card application. Either an employer, family member, or someone else may sponsor or petition for you, and in some cases, you may be eligible to file for yourself. This petition is important and plays a part in validating your position and forms.
Confirm Visa Availability and Apply
Form I-485 is used to apply for permanent residency. However, you are not able to file until there's a visa available in your category. The United States has a limited number of available visas in each category, so making sure there is availability before you apply for permanent residence in the United States is essential.
Talk with your attorney about which form you need to fill out. While most people filing for adjustment status will fill out the Form I-485, some categories may require a different document.
Present Identification at an Application Support Center
Once you submit your application and petition, you will receive a notification through email discussing when you can provide biometric information like fingerprints, signatures, and photographs. These documents are used to help verify your identity and will make sure you pass security checkpoints.
If Necessary, Attend an Interview
Not everyone applying for an adjustment of status will need an interview. When the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reviews your application, they will decide if an interview is necessary to validate your application. You will be asked questions under oath or affirmation that will help the interviewing officer determine whether or not your application will continue. After informing you of the date, time, and location, you'll need to gather the original documents that the immigrant petitioner submitted with the Form I-485.
Await the Final Decision
Waiting may seem never-ending, but the timeline for the adjustment of status process is around eight to fourteen months. Once the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services makes their final decision on your visa application, you will be notified in writing of your permanent residency status. Your Permanent Resident Card, or Green Card, will be issued shortly after the approval of your application is approved.
If your application is denied, you will receive your letter, and it will state the reasons why your application was denied. Talk with your Seattle immigration lawyer about appealing the decision if you have more information that might help.
Contact Orbit Law for an Experienced Adjustment of Status Lawyer
There are many documents and pieces of information you will need to gather for the adjustment of status application. From proof of identity to visa information, finding all the documents can be difficult and frustrating. However, with the help of a dependable adjustment of status lawyer at Orbit Law, you'll have a reliable and trustworthy representative on your side. With over ten years of experience working with countless clients' immigration visas, we have the knowledge and tools to help you through the process.
We offer clients accessible and comfortable communication by providing our services in multiple languages, including English, Hindi, Nepali, Punjabi, Spanish, and Urdu. Our goal is to make sure that clients feel confident in their applications and are able to ask any questions they may have.
Call (206) 623-3352 or fill out our contact form to speak with one of our team members about our services.