Adjustment of StatusPermanent Residency

Adjustment of Status

Table of Contents

What is adjustment of status?

Adjustment of status is change of an individual’s immigration status from nonimmigrant or parolee (temporary) to immigrant (permanent) if the individual is able to meet all required qualifications. Adjustment of status is the process by which eligible individuals already in the United States can get green cards without having to return to their home country to complete immigrant visa processing.

Consular processing is an alternate process for an individual outside the United States to obtain a visa abroad and enter the United States as a permanent resident.

Who can apply for adjustment of status?

Most immigrants become eligible for a green card through a petition filed by a family member (Form I-130) or employer (Form I-140). Others become permanent residents through first obtaining refugee or asylum status, or through a number of other special provisions. 

Entrepreneurs who intend to invest significant amounts of capital into a business venture in the United States may file Form I-526 on their own behalf. Certain immigrants may file Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), and Special Immigrant, or have one filed on their behalf. 

Most humanitarian programs do not require a petition, although individuals may need to meet additional requirements before adjustment of status.

How to apply for adjustment of status?

If an immigrant visa is currently available to you, you may be able to apply for adjustment of status on Form I-485. You may not file your Form I-485 until a visa is available in your category. There are a few categories which may require a different form than Form I-485.

Fingerprints for adjustment of status

After you file your application for adjustment of status, you will be notified to appear at an Application Support Center for biometrics collection, which involves having your picture and signature taken and being fingerprinted. This information will be used to conduct your required security checks for adjustment of status and for eventual creation of a green card.

Interview for adjustment of status

You may be notified of the date, time, and location of an interview for adjustment of status at a USCIS office to answer questions under oath regarding your application for adjustment of status. You must attend all interviews when you receive a notice.

When you come to your interview for adjustment of status, you (and the family member that filed the Form I-130 petition on your behalf, if applicable) must bring originals of all documentation submitted with this application for adjustment of status including passports, official travel documents, and Form I-94.

Not all applications for adjustment of status require an interview.

Get you final decision on adjustment of status in the mail

After all paperwork has been received, interview for adjustment of status conducted (if necessary), security checks completed, and other eligibility requirements reviewed, your case will be ready for a decision. In all cases, you will be notified of the decision in writing.

Appeal a Denial of adjustment of status

If your application for adjustment of status is denied, your decision notice will let you know your appeal rights. Not every decision on adjustment of status can be appealed. Generally, if your decision can be appealed, you must file the appeal within 30 days of the service of the decision. You may also be able to file a Motion to Reopen or Reconsider your adjustment of status application.

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