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Adjustment of Status Application (from Visitor to a Permanent Resident)

Adjustment of Status Application (from Visitor to a Permanent Resident)

The United States (US) immigration law has provided two distinct routes to obtaining a Green Card (Permanent Residency Status) through Consular Processing or Adjustment of Status Application. The route an applicant utilizes depends on the applicant’s location when seeking the Green Card and other relevant details, which an immigration Attorney in Corona better assesses.

Consular Processing is a process where an applicant outside the US applies for a Green Card through the nearest US Embassy or Consular in the country where the applicant resides. The application for a Green Card using the Consular Processing is processed by the National Visa Center (NVC) and not the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

For those within the US seeking to obtain a Green Card for their relatives or friends outside the US, this can be a viable route. In this regard, an immigration attorney in Corona, NY will be most helpful in providing relevant tips and guidance on this route.

Conversely, the Adjustment of Status Application allows persons who entered the US as visitors to apply for a Green Card by changing their status. This route is provided for and acknowledged in section 245(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Most people consider this route as an easier route to become a permanent resident in the US.

However, it is subject to strict qualifications and conditions, complicating the application process for ignorant applicants. This makes it more attractive to connect with an Immigration Attorney in Corona NY, who has the requisite experience and understands the nuances of the Adjustment of Status process.

Regardless, to enable applicants to get an overview of the Adjustment of Status application process, this post provides a cursory analysis of it.

 Who can apply for Adjustment of Status?

The adjustment of status is not approved automatically, as certain conditions must be met to be eligible to apply for adjustment of status.  The essential conditions to be met, which are not cumulative, are as follows:

  1. Physically resident within the US.
  2. The applicant must have entered the US legally.
  3. Must be eligible for an immigrant visa.
  4. Sponsored by an immediate family member who is a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident.
  5. Sponsored by an employer in the US.
  6. Possess special skill
  7. An investor
  8. Victims of abuse, human trafficking, or humanitarian issues.
  9. A change in circumstances may affect the Adjustment of Status application. These circumstances may be family, marriage or employment related.
    1. For example, the death of a US citizen requesting for the adjustment of the status of an immediate relative may affect the adjustment of the status application.
  10. The application is made within the numerical annual quota for immigrant visas.

The Application Process

Generally, the Adjustment of Status application process is initiated by filing Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status). The first hurdle in filing this form is to identify the right edition of Form I-485 to file depending on the time of filing; however, a consultation with an immigration attorney in Corona, NY will eliminate this hurdle.

Usually, an immigration petition is filed along with the application, and most often, someone must file the immigration petition on the applicant’s behalf. However, in certain cases, the applicant may be able to file the petition directly.

Asides from Form I-485, other forms that may be relevant depending on the applicant’s needs are – Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative), Form I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker), Form I-730 (Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition), Form I-589 (Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal), Form I-360 (Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er) or Special Immigrant), Form I-526 (Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur), Form I-918 (Petition for U Non-immigrant Status), and Form I-929 (Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Non-immigrant).

The Application Process (Continued) 

Identifying which forms to file and how to file the same can be quite challenging, but with the help of an immigration attorney in Corona, an applicant’s situation can easily be assessed, and the relevant forms can be identified.

It is important to note that filing an application for adjustment of status alongside a petition by a US citizen or lawful permanent resident’s sponsor on family grounds (Form I-130), employment grounds (Form I-140), or humanitarian grounds (Form I-730) will rarely be denied by the USCIS.

Upon applying for adjustment of status, the USCIS will undertake a background check based on the information provided in the application form. Subsequently, the USCIS may schedule an interview with the applicant, often at the last stage of the application.

To ensure that applicants did not enter the US based on misrepresented facts, the USCIS employs the well-known 90-day rule to infer the applicant’s intent during initial entry into the US.

The Application Process (Continued) 

This means that where an applicant makes an application for adjustment of status within 90 days of entering the US, the USCIS will infer that the applicant entered the US by willfully misrepresenting facts.

Convincing the USCIS otherwise in an application for adjustment of status made in less than 90 days upon entering the US is an onerous but not impossible burden – an immigration attorney in Corona will greatly assist.

This does not mean that applications for adjustment of status made after 90 days are free from this inference, as the USCIS may still infer a misrepresented intention in entering the US after assessing the application. To avoid this, it is relevant to work closely with an immigration attorney in Corona to apply for status adjustment.

Where to apply depends on the eligibility category of the applicant, and the application must be supported with initial evidence (this depends on the grounds on which the application is based). Except in limited cases (such as travel approval for emergency), an applicant has to reside within the US throughout the pendency of the application.

In Need of Legal Assistance?

Are you looking forward to changing your immigration status to become a Green Card holder? Or have you commenced the adjustment of the status process and got stuck? Or you don’t even know how to begin the process? Gehi and Associates are strategically positioned to assist you and walk you through the process.

Leverage and take advantage of Gehi & Associates’ dedicated team of immigration attorneys in Corona and other parts of New York who are experienced in immigration matters. You can contact us and schedule a free consultation for a successful application journey.

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