Applying for a Green Card? Know the Process

Adjustment of Status (AOS) is the procedure used to submit a green card application from within the US. Even if your visa expires before your green card is issued, you can use AOS to remain in the country while your application is being processed. Immigration lawyers GF who are experts in these laws can guide you.

Let us look at the AOS process and its eligibility:

Not All Those Who Deserve a Green Card Are Eligible to Adjust Status

The Immigration and Nationality Act made it feasible for individuals to adjust their status as a means of obtaining permanent residency. Only a select group of Americans are eligible under the statute. Therefore, you should first check whether you are qualified for an adjustment of status before becoming overly excited about skipping a trip to the embassy.

The intended immigrant must fulfill three basic requirements to apply for adjustment of status:

  1. You must be physically present in the country when the application for adjustment of status is submitted (and will need to complete the process inside the U.S.).
  • With a few exceptions, you must have obtained permission to enter the country, passed a border inspection, and own a valid visa at the time of your application to adjust your status.
  • If you are the spouse, child, parent, or other close relatives of a citizen or green card holder of the United States, you may be eligible for a family-based green card

Adjustment of Status Does Not Always Guarantee a Green Card

Know that status adjustment is a practice that is considered “discretionary.” This gives the immigration officer hearing your case extensive discretion to accept or reject your application for an adjustment of status if certain conditions apply.

Some Special eligibility cases for Status change:

Based on some outdated statutes named Section 245(i) and the LIFE Act, a small number of individuals who have resided in the United States for a while are still permitted to modify their status.

If you meet the majority of the aforementioned requirements but are ineligible to alter status because of an unauthorized entry into the United States or another visa or status violation. However, there are a few important criteria for eligibility that severely restrict who can utilize it. Before April 30, 2001, you would need to have had a family member file a relative petition on your behalf or a potential employer file a labor certification application. Second, the protection under Section 245(i) was last extended on December 21, 2000, thus if the petition or application were submitted after that date, you would need to have been physically present in the country at that time.

Additionally, there is a $1,000 filing fee that you would have to pay if you met these minimum standards.

The law in this area is complicated. As you work through the green card procedure, you should carefully assess your circumstances to see if you may take advantage of the option for an adjustment of status as the final step toward obtaining permanent resident status. if you have any doubts about your ability to modify your status. To fully understand your rights and alternatives, speak with an immigration lawyer GF at Autrey Law Firm.