Family Based Immigration
I-485 Adjustment of Status
Adjustment of Status is an alternative to consular processing. Adjustment of status is used by foreign nationals who are physically present in the United States and wish to become lawful permanent residents (with green cards). Adjustment of status may be a more desirable alternative than consular processing, which requires the individual to attend an interview at a foreign consulate.
There are many requirements for adjustment of status (AOS). First, the applicant must be physically present in the United States at the time the I-485 application for AOS is submitted to USCIS. Second, the applicant must have been admitted or paroled into the United States following inspection, and the applicant must be in valid immigration status (there are some exceptions to the valid status requirement). Third, an immigrant visa must be immediately available both at the time AOS application is made and on the date the application is granted. There are some special adjustment of status options available to the spouses of military service members even if the spouse entered the US illegally without being inspected."
Certain family members of the principal applicant are permitted to adjust status and receive a green card as well; however, there are no derivative beneficiaries for immediate relatives of US citizens. Derivative family members include spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age.
AOS applicants are eligible for employment authorization. Generally, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services agency is required to either adjudicate the Employment Authorization Application within 90 days of filing or issue an interim employment authorization. An employment authorization document may be extended annually while the AOS application is pending.
There are several grounds of ineligibility as well, and applicants can often find themselves in deportation proceedings in immigration court if they apply for AOS, but were ineligible to do so. For that reason, it is important to use an experienced immigration attorney to assist you with the process.
If you wish to discuss the possibility of adjusting your status and obtaining a green card, contact Nelson & Nuñez, P.C. for a consultation.
See also: Concurrent Filing of Visa Petition and Adjustment of Status
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