If you are looking for a great place to reside in the US, Brooklyn, New York City’s most populous borough, is the place to go. It is full of beautiful landmarks and outdoor spaces but also packed with 36,732 people per square mile. Despite this population, Brooklyn is still popular with people who want to feel part of the community and enjoy outdoor activities.
If you would like to enjoy the beautiful sights of Brooklyn as a green card holder, there are two ways you can go about it. You can either go through Consular Processing or Adjustment of Status. Which way you go depends on where you are when applying for the Green Card and other factors that an immigration attorney in Brooklyn will better evaluate.
If you are applying for green cards outside of the US, you will need to visit your current country’s embassy or consulate. The NVC (National Visa Center) will handle your application instead of USCIS. The situation is similar if you live in the US but want to apply for green cards for a relative or friend outside the country.
Talking with an immigration attorney in Brooklyn can provide some tips and advice on how to do this. If you entered the US as a visitor and want to get a green card, you can apply for an Adjustment of Status to change your status. This is allowed and recognized by section 245 (a) of the INA.
Most people think of this route as the easiest way to get a green card in the US, but it comes with strict qualifications and conditions, which makes it difficult for people who do not know much about the process.
That is why it is more appealing to connect with an immigration attorney in Brooklyn who has the experience and knows the ins and outs of the Adjustment of Status process. To give you a brief insight into the process, here are some few tips you should know.
What does it mean to Adjust Status?
If you are a foreign national in the US, you may have heard of the adjustment of status process. It is a way for you to stay in the US while you wait for USCIS to process your green card application. You will need a valid visa to do this.
If you are a non-American with a valid US visa, you can adjust your status and become a legal permanent resident without leaving the country. You will need to apply to USCIS to do this.
This means that adjustment of status is when you switch your immigration status from a non-immigrant to become a green card holder. However, you must be eligible to apply to adjust your status.
Who is eligible?
If you want to become a permanent resident, you must meet certain requirements set by USCIS (which is part of the Department of Homeland Security). These requirements are complex and can be interpreted in different ways. Working with a skilled immigration attorney in Brooklyn can help you get the status adjustment you are looking for.
If you are an alien, you will need to meet certain requirements to change your status.
Maintain a physical presence in the US.
If you do not live in the US, you will not be able to change your immigration status in the US. Instead, you will have to go through the immigration process at a US consulate abroad.
You must have received an approval of your petition
This is only for people who are filing a family immigration petition (form I-130). But if you are a foreign national who is a close relative of a US citizen, you can file to adjust your status while your US citizen relative is filing form I-130.
You can also file an I-485 adjustment of status at the same time your US employer is filing an I-140 petition based on your job (if you have an EB-1 visa number or an EB-2 visa number).
You must know when to apply.
Your priority date must be current before you apply, especially if you are in the “preference category” (where you need a visa number for each kind of green card). Speaking with an immigration attorney in Brooklyn can help you clarify when to apply.
You must be in the US legally.
If you are a foreigner coming to the US, you must check out and be admitted legally. When you meet an immigration officer at the border, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) believes you have already checked out and legally entered the US.
When an officer tells you they have checked out and admitted you, they count it as being in the US legally. Most of the time, you will see a stamp on your passport that says your admission into the US was legal.
Your circumstances have not changed.
If your circumstances change, it can be damaging to your quest to adjust your status. For example, US citizens can petition for their foreign spouse. But if, before that happens, there is legal separation of the marriage, the USCIS will look at your separation when deciding if your marriage is real or fake.
This may affect your chances of getting an adjustment of status. People who have applied for asylum, have been a refugee, or are related to a US citizen may get green cards by changing their status if they are eligible.
To get a personalized assessment of your eligibility, you should get in touch with an immigration attorney in Brooklyn to assist you.
Those who cannot apply?
It is not everyone who can apply to adjust their status in the US. It is vital to know those conditions that can make one ineligible to be able to apply for adjustment of status.
Illegal presence in the US
If you are a foreigner who has been working illegally or was not in legal status when you filed your adjustment application, or if you have not maintained your status for even a day since you entered the US, you cannot adjust your status.
However, you can still adjust your status if you are related to a US citizen if you have been out of status for not more than 180 days, if you are only guilty of a technical violation, or if you have a physical disability that means you cannot apply for a legal status right away.
An immigration attorney in Brooklyn can help you go through this if this limitation catches you.
You are on J-visas
If you are a non-immigrant on J-1 0r J-2 visas, you must stay in the US for at least two years before you can apply to adjust your status. This means you are barred for the first two years from applying to adjust your status, except if you have been given a waiver.
There are several other classes of persons who suffer from one form of limitation or the other when it comes to adjustment of status. This makes it a good idea to begin the process by talking with an immigration attorney in Brooklyn.
How to apply
If you are looking to adjust your status, here is what you need to do:
- File a visa petition with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
- Once USCIS approves your I-130 petition, you will need to file Form I-485
- Attend a biometric appointment to get your biometric info checked out
- Appear for your green card interview at your local USCIS office
- USCIS will decide if you are eligible for a green card based on your info and the results of their criminal background check
- If you get an approval of your application, you will get your green card
If you have already changed your status from a fiancé visa to a marriage green card (which is a conditional green card), you will need to renew it. You can keep track of your green card’s status by entering the receipt number into USCIS’ online case tracker.
An immigration attorney in Brooklyn can walk you through the application process.
Are you ready to switch your immigration status to get a Green Card? Or have you started the adjustment process and you got stuck? Or do you not know where to start? Gehi & Associates is here to help you out and guide you through the whole process.
Get the help you need from our team of immigration attorneys in Brooklyn and around New York who have a lot of experience in immigration. Get in touch with us now to start your application journey!
What is an adjustment of status?
It is the process of changing your immigration status to become a green card holder.
Can someone outside the US apply for an adjustment of status?
No. You must be in the US physically and legally to be able to adjust your status. You can do consular processing, which is different from adjustment of status.
If you overstay your visa, can you still apply?
Yes, you may still be able to apply if it is not more than 180 days or you marry a US citizen.
How do you know if you are eligible to apply?
The sure way to know if you are eligible is to talk with an immigration attorney, who will help you assess your situation.
What should I expect after submitting my application?
Once you submit your packet, USCIS will schedule an in-person interview. They will ask you to show some ID and do a security check. They will also check your eligibility and financial situation. If you are applying through marriage, you will need to show proof that you and your spouse have been living together.