Adjustment of Status
Rhode Island and Massachusetts Immigration Attorney
An immigrant who is already in the United States and seeks to change his or her status to that of a lawful permanent resident may do so by filing the Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. It allows an eligible applicant to become a legal resident of the United States without having to travel outside of the country to apply for a green card.
Adjustment of Status usually applies when there is a current and ultimately successful petition by a U.S. Citizen for their “alien relative” who is currently in the United States.
The most common forms of Adjustment of Status are:
- A marriage-based petition;
- A current family-based petition;
- A current employer petition ; or
- One year after asylum is granted.
Adjustment of Status Through Marriage:
Marriage is the most common scenario in which adjustment of status occurs, this is popularly known as “green card through marriage.” With some exceptions, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allows an immigrant to change his or her status to that of a lawful permanent resident if he or she entered the country on a valid visa and was properly inspected prior to entry into the United States.
Adjustment of Status applications are usually filed concurrently with other applications, such as a work authorization application. Once the application for adjustment of status is approved, the applicant is interviewed. Upon successful completion of the interview, a green card will be issued.
- It is recommended that you start your application as soon as you have determined that you will need to change your status. If you are denied your change of status, then you will still need to leave the U.S. when your current status does expire.
- To adjust an employee’s status, a prospective employer will file an I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, and petition USCIS for an alien to work in the U.S. on a permanent basis.
- If you are applying to adjust your status to lawful permanent resident under Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), you must complete both Form I‑485 and Form I-485 Supplement A, Adjustment of Status Under Section 245(i).
- Once the adjustment of status application is filed, the foreign immigrant has temporary legal status until the application is successful.
Important Note: Until you receive notification of approval, do not assume that your adjustment of status has been approved and that your visa status has changed.
Benefits of Adjustment of Status:
Adjustment of Status application offers several benefits.
- During the Adjustment of Status processing period, temporary visa holders who are already present in the United States are generally permitted to remain in the country. This allows the visa holders to file their Adjustment of Status applications without significantly disrupting their lives in the United States by having to move elsewhere to apply.
- Additionally, Adjustment of Status petitioners may also apply for a work permit that allows them to work during the processing period.
- Lastly, upon filing appropriate paperwork, Adjustment of Status petitioners may be allowed to travel outside the United States during the processing period. This also includes applicants whose temporary visas would not normally allow them to travel outside the United States.
To schedule an initial consultation with us today, don’t hesitate to call us now at (401) 228-0001.