How to Get a Green Card Through Adjustment of Status-New Jersey Immigration Lawyer
What is adjustment of status?
An adjustment of status petition is a process by which an alien files for permanent residence from within the United States. This is in contrast to consular processing, which involves an individual pursuing an immigrant-based visa at a US consulate abroad.
Where can the rules be found?
The statute that governs adjustment of status is found in the Immigration and nationality Act (INA). Section 245(a) reads in part:
The status of an alien who was inspected and admitted or paroled into the United States or the status of any other alien having an approved petition for classification as a VAWA self-petitioner may be adjusted by the Attorney General, in his discretion and under such regulations as he may prescribe, to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence if
1) the alien makes an application for such adjustment,
2) the alien is eligible to receive an immigrant visa and is admissible to the United States for permanent residence, and
3) an immigrant visa is immediately available to him at the time his application is filed.
On what basis may one file for adjustment of status?
Generally speaking, there are two major categories through which an individual may file an application for adjustment of status. Adjustment of status may be based on an approved family based petition or an approved employment based petition.
Family Based Adjustment
To adjust one's status to that of a permanent resident under this classification, the noncitizen must have an approved I-130 Petition filed by a relative who is a US Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident. Besides immediate relatives(spouses, parents, and children under 21 of United States Citizens), there are four preference based categories. They are:
1) F1: Unmarried Children (21 or older) of United States Citiznes
2) F2A: Spouses and Children (under 21) of Lawful Permanent Residents
3) F2B: Children (21 years or older) of Lawful Permanent Residents
4) F3: Married Children of United States Citizens
5) F4: Siblings of United States Citizens
Employment Based Adjustment
To adjust one's status under this classification, the noncitizen must have, in most cases, an approved PERM application as well as an approved I-140, Immigrant Petition For Alien Worker. There are five employment-based categories. They are:
1) EB1: Priority Workers
2) EB2: Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability
3) EB3: Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers
4) EB4: Certain Special Immigrants
5) EB5: Immigrant Investors
It is important to understand that just because one has an approved family based or employment based petition does not always or necessarily mean that one is eligible to adjust status. There are a number of legal and factual requirements that must be proven to the satisfaction of an adjudicating officer before an application may be approved.
What documents are needed to adjust status?
All noncitizens seeking to adjust their status should carefully read the instructions to Form I-485. In general, in addition to an approved petition, an applicant will need:
(1) Two color photos;
(2) G-325A Biographic Data Form;
(3) A medical exam with form I-693 and its supplement;
(4) An Affidavit of Support;
(5) Proof of Inspection and proof of lawful current status;
(6) Photos and the appropriate filing fee.
Even if an individual intends on handling the process by him or herself, it would nevertheless be wise to consult with a qualified immigration professional to evaluate the case in order to identify any potential issues or complications. The consequences of a denied application can be severe-in some cases, leading to the start of immigration court proceedings to remove the individual.
We hope that you have enjoyed this article and learned at least one new thing or tip that you may not have known. To keep informed about the latest developments in immigration law, please subscribe to our blog feed by clicking on the "Subscribe To This Blog's Feed" button on the right. It is important to understand that the above is only general information and not legal advice. The law is extremely fact and circumstance sensitive. For an individual legal analysis of your specific legal case, please complete the "Case Evaluation" box to the right of the screen to get in touch with one of our attorneys.