Permanent Resident Green Card Holder
Adjustment of status allows a foreigner to obtain a green card while remaining inside the US. It is only available to those who meet specific requirements. Those who qualify have diverse circumstances.
Types of cases
The most popular reasons for adjusting status is marriage to someone who is a U.S. citizen or green card holder. However, it is also common for foreigners to qualify based on employment. Finally, there are humanitarian reasons why the US government might allow a foreigner to obtain a green card, such as when the foreigner is a victim of domestic violence or a serious crime, or successfully establishes a claim to asylum.
Current status in the US matters
It is possible for a foreigner to adjust status while in the U.S. on a non-immigrant work visa, student visa, fiance visa, visitor visa, etc. It is also possible in many cases to put someone back into status whose visa status has expired. Foreigners in the U.S. are subject to removal (deportation) if they are out of status or become unlawfully present in the US. Putting someone back into status is a huge benefit to a foreigner and is not possible in all situations.
Limitations on adjustment of status
Many foreigners cannot adjust status in the US. Here are some examples of foreigners who typically cannot adjust status in the US, at least not without some extra work:
- Foreigners who entered the US illegally without inspection.
- Those with certain criminal convictions or who have misrepresented themselves on any immigration filings anytime in the past, unless a bar to immigration is waived.
- Crew members who entered to work on a plane or ship.
- Diplomats, at least not until they renounce immunity from prosecution.
- J1 cultural exchange visa holders who have a 2-year home restriction, unless the restriction is waived.
Consequently, the manner of entry and current immigration status are important when deciding how to help a foreigner adjust status in the US. Each situation is different.
The process for adjusting status is to file a compelling case with the USCIS immigration agency. The US citizen or permanent resident files a petition and the foreigner files an application. All submissions must have supporting documentation. It is possible to request work authorization so the foreigner may work at any job in the US, and to request international travel authorization to travel while your case is pending.
It helps to be cautious. You can be put into removal (deportation) proceedings if you file incorrectly. The benefits of a green card are huge and the attorney costs often reasonable.
We offer dedicated full support and legal expertise suited to your situation. To see if an adjustment of status is available to you, contact us for your free case assessment:
Our Immigration Law Practice
When you hire Allan S. Lolly, P.C., you hire a team of experienced professionals with decades of knowledge who can help solve problems the right way. We take our work seriously. We want you to succeed, whether you are pursuing a green card, marriage visa, fiancé visa, bar waiver, victim rights, or other family or employment benefits.
We’ve successfully obtained well over 15,000 visas and green cards for family members from over 190 countries. We can help you.