Are you a legal nonimmigrant who recently married a U.S. citizen? The Adjustment of Status after marriage is your next important step. This essential process allows you to transition from your nonimmigrant status to that of a lawful permanent resident. It grants you the privilege to live and work in the United States indefinitely.
An Adjustment of Status opens the path to a secure and promising future for both of you as a couple in the United States. Embracing this opportunity will open doors to new possibilities, namely education, employment, and overall life experiences.
This article explains what Adjustment of Status (AOS) is, how the interview process works, and common challenges during the application. It also emphasizes the importance of having a lawyer’s assistance to navigate the process successfully.
Adjustment Of Status After Marriage: Necessary Forms
Obtaining lawful permanent resident status in the United States is a common goal for many foreign nationals. Marriage to a U.S. citizen is one of the ways to achieve this status. This process can be complex due to immigration laws and the need to prove the authenticity of the marital relationship.
As you proceed with the Adjustment of Status, there are various steps you must take. It includes submitting documents, such as Form I-130, or the Petition for Alien Relative.
Form I-130 Or Petition For Alien Relative
Form I-130 connects the foreign spouse with a U.S. citizen. The U.S. citizen files this form to establish their relationship with the foreign national spouse. After Form I-130 approval, the foreign spouse may file Form I-485 to continue applying for lawful permanent resident status.
Form I-130A Or Supplemental Information For Spouse Beneficiary
You must complete additional forms, such as I-130A, with general biographical information. It is a form to collect basic information about the spouse beneficiary. Applicants should provide evidence such as affidavits from friends and relatives, love letters, and photos to prevent marriage fraud.
Form I-485 Or Application To Register Permanent Residence Or Adjust
This form allows eligible foreign nationals physically present in the United States to transition from nonimmigrant to permanent resident status. Applicants must prove eligibility based on categories like family sponsorship, employment, asylum/refugee status, or special programs.
Form I-131 Or Application For Travel Document
Form I-131 is for individuals seeking permission to travel abroad temporarily while their immigration status is pending. This travel document, often called an “advance parole,” is essential for immigrants to avoid abandoning their applications or jeopardizing their immigration status. It allows them to re-enter the United States after international travel, ensuring continuity in their immigration journey.
The Interview Process
The interview process is a crucial step in the application for Adjustment of Status. Once the couple submits the required forms and documents, the USCIS will schedule an interview. During this time, a USCIS officer will assess the validity of the marriage.
What To Expect?
Are you curious about what happens during an Adjustment of Status interview? Explore what to expect during this vital step to permanent residency in the United States.
- Meeting with an officer. The couple will meet with a USCIS officer, who will conduct the interview.
- Questioning. The officer will ask the U.S. citizen and the foreign spouse questions. They may be about their relationship, history, and background.
- Review of documents. They may review the submitted papers and inquire about discrepancies or missing information.
- Bona fide marriage. The couple must demonstrate that the marriage is genuine, not solely for immigration purposes.
- Possible request for additional evidence. If the officer finds any gaps in the evidence, they may request other documents to support the marriage’s authenticity.
- Decision. After the interview, the USCIS officer will determine whether to approve or deny the Adjustment of Status application.
How To Prepare?
Are you getting ready for the interview process? Discover how to prepare effectively for this crucial step in obtaining a Green Card.
- Review your case. Familiarize yourself with the details of your application and the documents submitted.
- Practice interview questions. Prepare for questions about your relationship, marriage, and daily life together.
- Bring originals of essential documents. Have all relevant original documents ready to present, as the officer may request to see them.
- Dress appropriately. Dress neatly and professionally to make a positive impression.
- Be honest and consistent. Provide truthful answers and ensure that both spouses are on the same page while answering questions.
- Stay calm. The interview may be nerve-wracking, but staying calm and composed will help you communicate effectively.
The purpose of the interview is to confirm the authenticity of the marriage. It will verify that the couple meets the eligibility requirements for Adjustment of Status. As you prepare for the interview, it would also be helpful if you know about the complexities of a conditional Green Card.
Conditional Green Card
A Conditional Green Card, officially known as a “Conditional Permanent Resident Card” in the United States, is a temporary legal residency granted to certain immigrants. Typically, it is issued to individuals who obtain their Green Card through marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. It is when the marriage is less than two years old at the time of approval.
Conditional Green Cards are valid for two years and are meant to ensure a genuine marriage. Near the end of the two-year period, the conditional permanent resident must jointly petition with their spouse. This will remove the conditions and convert the card into a regular (unconditional) Green Card. The process involves providing evidence that the marriage is bona fide and continuing.
Conditional Green Cards are designed to prevent fraudulent or sham marriages for immigration purposes. It allows the authorities to assess the validity of the union over this initial period. Once the conditions are removed, the individual receives a permanent Green Card. It means permanent residency in the United States without further renewal.
Common Challenges & Delays In The Adjustment Process
Applying for a Green Card after a nonimmigrant’s marriage to a U.S. citizen can come with its fair share of challenges and potential delays. Identifying these challenges can help you prepare and overcome them.
Need For More Accurate Documentation
Providing the required documents is crucial. Therefore, you must present accurate information to avoid delays or even denial. Moreover, you need to complete all the necessary forms and fees to ensure timely application processing.
Requests For Additional Evidence
USCIS might request more information or documentation to verify the authenticity of the marriage. Preparing for additional evidence requests is crucial as it can lead to delays if not provided promptly. A skilled immigration attorney can assist you in obtaining any supplemental paperwork the immigration officers ask for.
Background Checks & Further Investigations
USCIS conducts thorough background checks. It may cause processing delays if there are any issues or discrepancies. Ensure you provide the agency with complete and honest information to avoid such complications.
In addition, the adjustment interview can be stressful. Inadequate preparation or inconsistent responses from the couple may lead to further investigation and delays. It is crucial to practice potential interview questions. They may be about your relationship, daily life, or marriage.
Immigration Policy Changes
Changes in immigration policies or regulations can impact the processing of applications. Thus, staying informed is crucial during the Adjustment of Status. In line with this, hiring a lawyer will help you navigate the process. Discover how legal assistance can make your journey to permanent residency easier.
Hiring An Immigration Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer for the Adjustment of Status application can be beneficial. The journey to obtaining permanent residency in the United States can be intricate. Therefore, having a qualified immigration attorney can make a significant difference.
A skilled lawyer can provide valuable guidance and step-by-step assistance throughout the application. They will carefully review your case and make sure to complete all the necessary forms accurately.
An experienced attorney is familiar with the intricacies of the immigration system. They can help you navigate potential challenges and obstacles that may arise during the process.
Moreover, a lawyer for immigration can protect your rights throughout the process. They will represent your interests and communicate with USCIS on your behalf. An attorney can also advocate for a favorable outcome for your case. Their knowledge can significantly increase the likelihood of a successful application. It leads you closer to achieving your dream of permanent residency in the United States.
Adjusting your immigration status following marriage to a U.S. citizen is pivotal to obtaining permanent residency in the United States. This multifaceted journey involves submitting several crucial forms, such as Form I-130, to substantiate the marital relationship. Throughout the process, applicants encounter challenges, including requests for additional evidence and rigorous background checks.
Moreover, conditional Green Cards are issued for marriages under two years old at the time of approval, bearing conditions to validate the marriage’s authenticity. With this, securing the services of an immigration attorney can be invaluable as they deal with the intricate process, ensure precision, mitigate challenges, and safeguard your rights.