Adjustment of Status

Becoming a Lawful Permanent Resident

The process of Adjustment of Status is for immigrants that are physically present in the United States and who are also are eligible for permanent residency by obtaining a Green Card.

Green Card

Adjustment of Status

The main requirements for Adjustment of Status are as follows:

  • That the immigrant was admitted or paroled into the United States (there are very few exceptions to this rule);
  • That a Visa number is available;
  • That the immigrant was not convicted of a crime of moral turpitude (in this case, a waiver may be filed);
  • That the petitioner meets the requirements for the Affidavit of Support;
  • That the applicant files Form I-485 with USCIS.

 

Furthermore, in employment-based visa petitions and family-based petitions not involving immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, Adjustment of Status is available only to those that maintained lawful status in the United States until the priority date was current. Those that had entered the United States without inspections are not eligible for Adjustment of Status, unless they qualify for Section 245(i), or unless they re-entered the United States on a valid grant of Parole while in TPS status.

Those that are not eligible to apply for Adjustment of Status will have to pursue consular processing.

What Documents Are Required for Adjustment of Status?

Aside from properly filling out Form I-485, noncitizens that want to adjust their status must also produce the following documents:

  • Affidavit of Support;
  • Proof of Lawful Current Status;
  • Proof of Inspection;
  • Form I-693 along with a completed medical exam;
  • Two color photographs;
  • Filing fees.

 

Visa Waiver Program Overstay

Immediate relatives of U.S. Citizens are eligible to apply for a Green Card even after the authorized period of stay granted with the Visa Waiver Program (ESTA). The USCIS has issued a memorandum directing the local offices to adjudicate applications filed by VWP entrants if the applicant otherwise is eligible for the green card.

Temporary Work/Travel Permit (Combo Card)

The Adjustment of Status process can take a long time, from 4 months to more than one year, depending on the circumstances of the case. During this wait period it is possible to apply for temporary work authorization as well as an advance parole document (travel permit).

Obtaining the temporary work authorization allows a Green Card applicant to start working legally and apply for a Social Security Number and driver’s license.

Leaving the United States while an adjustment of status is pending is considered to be an abandonment of the application, unless advance parole was granted prior to departure. Moreover, a departure without an advance parole document can trigger the 3-year or 10-year ban, if the applicant had overstayed his or her Visa.

The request for temporary work authorization and advance parole document is made on Forms I-765 and I-131. There is no filing fee for these forms when they are filed in conjunction with Form I-485.

Both the temporary work authorization and the advance parole document are revoked when the case is either approved or denied. For this reason, an applicant for Adjustment of Status should travel outside the U.S. only in emergency situations.

G Visa to Green Card

G Visas are those issued to nonimmigrants to the United States who either work as representatives of international organizations or are immediate and dependent family members of those representing international organizations. To apply for an upgrade to your G visa you need to seek out a trained New Jersey immigration lawyer to facilitate the process.

US residents who are the holders of G visas could be eligible to obtain a Green Card through Adjustment of Status if:

1) The visa holder used to be an employee of a qualifying international organization (or is married to someone who used to be an employee of a qualifying international organization) but has since retired and has:

  • Lived in the United States amounting to at least 50% of the 7 years prior to applying for a Green Card;
  • Resided in the US for a combined total of at least 15 years before the date of retirement;
  • Applied for a petition for special immigrant status less than 6 months after having retired.

 

2) The visa holder is the widow or widower of a former employer of a qualifying international organization and has:

  • Lived in the United States amounting to at least 50% of the 7 years prior to applying for a Green Card;
  • Resided in the US for a combined total of at least 15 years before their spouse’s death;
  • Applied for a petition for special immigrant status less than 6 months after the death of their spouse.

 

3) The visa holder is the child of either a current or a former employee of a qualifying international organization and

  • Is unmarried;
  • lived in the United States amounting to at least 50% of the 7 years prior to applying for a Green Card;
  • Has resided in the US for a combined total of at least 7 years between the ages of 5 and 21;
  • Has applied for a petition for special immigrant status before their 25th birthday.

 

Contact a New York Immigration Attorney to see if you qualify for adjustment of status.