Achieve Permanent Residence Through an Adjustment of Status
If you are currently in the U.S. on a temporary visa, we may be able to put you on a path to permanent residency and citizenship through naturalization. We can do this by guiding you through an adjustment of status proceeding. If you qualify for an adjustment of status, you will be able to apply without having to return to your home country for processing. You will also be allowed to apply for a work permit or employment authorization document (EAD) during processing. You may even be allowed to travel during processing.
Contact The Lozano Law Firm in San Antonio, San Angelo, and Eagle Pass to find out whether you may be eligible for an adjustment of status. An experienced immigration attorney can help you determine your eligibility. We can also walk you through every step required for filing a successful I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
What Is an Adjustment of Status?
Adjustment of status is a process through which you may go from one immigration status to becoming a lawful permanent resident or Green Card holder. An adjustment of status takes place without you having to leave the United States and return to your home country. For example, you may have a temporary visa that you wish to adjust to a Green Card.
If you are outside of the United States or still live in your home country, you must go through consular processing to become a lawful permanent resident in the United States. This can involve two or more status steps that require visas and a Green Card. You should work with an attorney throughout the adjustment of status or consular processing. Both of these processes can be complex and require knowledge of U.S. immigration laws.
Help for Newly-Married Immigrants and Their Children
An adjustment of status is available for people who entered the country on a K-1 non-immigrant visa (also known as a fiancé(e) visa) for the purpose of marriage, and who married their fiancé(e) within 90 days of entry. Additionally, any children who came over on a K-2 derivative visa may be eligible for an adjustment of status as well. Once you adjust your status, you and your children will receive a Green Card. You will then be entitled to lawful permanent residence in the U.S.
An adjustment of status proceeding is a complex process, and not everyone is eligible. For instance, if you entered the country without proper entry clearance or became a public charge, then you may be deemed ineligible. Other requirements/qualifications include:
Having current legal status as an immigrant
Having received approval of all required prerequisite petitions
An immigrant visa number is immediately available based on an approved immigrant petition, or your application is filed along with another petition which would make an immigrant visa number immediately available if approved
There are no pending removal proceedings lodged against you
You have no history of unauthorized employment or criminal activity
You must remain eligible for permanent residency during the application process
Filing an Immigrant Petition and Other Documents for Adjustment of Status
After you determine if you are eligible for an adjustment of status, you will need to complete necessary forms and submit them to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). That will include an immigration petition and Green Card application. These forms will include an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, Form I-485. You may file the application separate or along with other forms. If you file everything together, it will be called “concurrent filing.” Although concurrent filing can be complex because you must submit many official forms at once, it can cut down on time in the long run.
You may have to wait to file your application and additional documentation until a visa is available in your category. There are specific visa availability and priority dates that you must wait for if you are seeking an adjustment of status. It’s best to work with a skilled immigration attorney. We can help make sure you are submitting everything at the proper time so that you can achieve an adjustment of status.
Appointment at the Application Support Center
After you file your Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485), you will be notified of a date, time, and location to appear at an Application Support Center (ASC). This ASC visit will require you to submit biometrics. fingerprints so that the USCIS can verify your identity and conduct necessary background and security checks.
If you miss your ASC visit, your Form I-485 may be denied. In order to avoid this, you should notify the ASC immediately if you are not able to attend the appointment. You will have an opportunity to reschedule your ASC visit so that you can complete your biometrics services.
Interview With the USCIS
After your ASC appointment, you may be called in for an interview with the USCIS. An interview is not always necessary, but if the USCIS has any questions for you, they may request one. At the interview, they will ask you questions based on your background check and information you provided in your application and related documents.
The USCIS interview can be extremely intimidating. The USCIS may have specific questions about your past, your current intentions, or your family. A knowledgeable attorney can help you prepare for the interview. With proper preparation you can remain calm and provide relevant information to the USCIS.
Submitting Additional Evidence to the USCIS
In some situations, the USCIS may ask you to submit additional evidence after you’ve submitted your application and related documentation. The following situations may result in a request for additional evidence:
You did not submit all of the evidence initially required by the USCIS;
You submitted evidence that is no longer valid; and/or
USCIS officers need additional evidence to determine your eligibility.
If additional evidence is needed, you will receive a written request in the mail. It will indicate what type of evidence you need to gather and where to send it. There will also be a deadline by which you must submit the additional evidence. If you do not meet that deadline or fail to submit additional evidence to the USCIS, then your application for adjustment of status may be denied.
Checking Your Case Status for Adjustment of Status
Once you submit your application, or Form I-485, you may check the status of your case. This may be completed online or by phone. The USCIS has a location on its website where you can input personal information and learn the status of your case. You may also call 800-375-5283 to find out the status of your Form I-485. If you have a hearing or speech disability, you may call TTY 800-767-1833.
When you call the USCIS to find out the status of your application, you will need to provide specific information about your application. You may need to know your name, date of birth, receipt number, and A-Number. This information will allow the USCIS representative to look up your application and inform you of the status.
Receiving a Decision Regarding Your Adjustment of Status
When the USCIS issues a determination about your application for adjustment of status, you will receive a written decision notice in the mail. If the USCIS approves your application, you will receive an approval notice. Later you will receive your actual Green Card, or Permanent Resident Card. If the USCIS denies your application, you will receive a notice telling you the reason for the denial and how to submit an appeal.
Do you believe you qualify for an adjustment of status, but your application was denied? Contact an immigration attorney right away. You may be able to appeal quickly and achieve an adjustment of status. Denials are common when you don’t work with an attorney throughout the process. It’s best to consult a professional from the first step of the permanent resident process.
Call The Lozano Law Firm for Immediate Assistance With I-485 Adjustment of Status Petitions
You may be eligible to apply for an adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence if you:
Entered the U.S. under a K-1 fiancé(e) visa and married within 90 days,
Have been present in the U.S. for one year under asylum or refugee status, or