Adjustment of Status FAQs

Foreign mother looking at a paper with her toddler son in her lap

One option for immigrants currently in the United States who are looking to obtain a green card is by applying for “adjustment of status.”

Below are some of the most common questions asked by individuals or their loved ones when considering filing for adjustment of status.

Do I Have to Return to My Home Country to Complete Adjustment of Status?

Answer: No, adjustment of status is specifically for immigrants who are already in the United States. If your visa has expired and you have applied for or intend to apply for adjustment of status, you should seek help from an experienced immigration lawyer.

How Do I Know if I’m Eligible for Adjustment of Status?

Answer: Several factors can help determine if you are eligible for an adjustment of status including:

  • You entered the United States with a valid visa and are currently in the country;
  • You meet the requirements for the type of green card for which you are applying;
  • You already have an approved Form I-130 or I-140 or are eligible to concurrently file one with your application for adjustment of status;
  • You were in the U.S. on a K-1 fiancé or fiancée visa and got married while your visa was still in effect;
  • It’s been at least one year since you were granted refugee or asylum status from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); or
  • You currently have lawful status that has a path towards permanent residency.

What Is the Process to File for Adjustment of Status?

Answer: There are five basic steps to complete the adjustment of status process.

  1. Determine whether you are eligible for a green card: U.S. immigration laws provide numerous green card categories for which immigrants may be eligible. The eligibility requirements for adjustment of status may vary depending on the immigrant category you are applying under. The first step in the adjustment of status process is to determine if you fit into a specific immigrant category.
  2. File the required immigrant petitions: Some green card categories require you, your U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident family member, or your employer in the United States to file an immigration petition on your behalf. Before you can apply for adjustment of status, you may need an approved immigrant petition.
  3. Form I-485: Once the immigrant petition is approved (if necessary), you need to complete Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. You will need to submit this application to USCIS and pay the appropriate filing fee. In some family-based immigration cases, you may be able to file your immigrant petition and Form I-485 at the same time. See our blog post on family-based green cards if you believe you may be eligible for this form of relief. Form I-485 is critical because this is the official application for adjustment of status.
  4. Biometrics Appointment: Most people who apply for adjustment of status will need to provide biometrics information during an appointment at a USCIS application support center. During your biometrics appointment, a USCIS officer will ask you basic information about yourself, ask you to provide your fingerprints, and will take your photograph. The officer will also ask you to consent to a criminal background check.
  5. Green Card Interview: Some applicants may also be required to attend an adjustment of status interview. The interview gives the USCIS officer the opportunity to ask questions about your application for adjustment of status and determine your eligibility for a green card.
  6. USCIS Decision: After all of the interviews and evidence has been submitted, USCIS will issue a decision on your application for adjustment of status. USCIS may approve your application, request additional evidence on your eligibility, or issue a notice of intent to deny the application.

I Have More Questions About an Adjustment of Status

There are many more questions you might have about an application for adjustment of status. The experienced team at Murray Osorio PLLC is ready to answer those questions or any other questions you may have about immigration. Contact us today online or by phone — (800) 929-7142.

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