Adjustment of Status Lawyer in St. Charles
Individuals who were not born in the United States and did not have legal permanent resident status (also known as a “green card holder” or “lawful permanent resident”) must go through the “adjustment of status” procedure to stay in the country.
A nonimmigrant visa holder or parolee (temporary) switching to immigrant status to get a green card for lawful permanent residence is a status adjustment.
If a foreign national is not in the country or is not eligible to modify status while in the U.S., they must apply for an immigrant visa in their home country and enter the U.S. through “consular processing.”
Only a small percentage of immigrants are eligible to alter their status in the United States. Applying for a status adjustment at the incorrect time or while ineligible might result in severe repercussions, including deportation. This is why, before completing any immigration paperwork with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), you should always consult an adjustment of status lawyer in St. Charles, MO.
Am I eligible for adjustment of status?
The prospective immigrant must fulfill three primary conditions to file an adjustment of status application. To be eligible for adjustment of status, the applicant must meet the following requirements:
You must be physically present in the United States.
When you file an adjustment of status application, you must be in the United States (and need to complete the process inside the U.S.).
You entered the United States lawfully.
You were admitted or paroled into the United States legally. For the most part, this implies you entered the United States with legitimate documents and made face-to-face contact with a U.S. immigration official, who acknowledged your arrival. You still had a legal entrance if you came with a valid visa that has subsequently expired.
You have an immigrant visa immediately available to you.
The adjustment of status application can be filed along with the I-130 petition by immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. This is because a visa is always accessible. On the other hand, family preference candidates must ensure that a visa is available. Before submitting Form I-485, their visa category must be “current” in the visa bulletin.
It’s also crucial that prospective immigrant maintains their eligibility throughout the adjustment process. Changes in circumstances can have an impact on an adjustment application’s success. Only a small number of persons can change their status. As a result, adjustment is often reserved for relatives, spouses who entered as K-1 fiancés, asylees, refugees, or individuals who arrived on a work visa (e.g., H-1B) and were sponsored for a green card by their company.
What is the Application Process for Adjustment of Status?
Intentional immigrants who fulfill the conditions for adjustment of status may submit Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status to the USCIS. As previously stated, immediate relatives may apply to USCIS when they fulfill the qualifying criteria. Close relatives are allowed to file “concurrently.” This implies that Form I-485 must be submitted along with Form I-130. In truth, they are only the two most basic types. The following forms are usually included in family-based adjustment application packages:
- I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status)
- I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative)
- I-130A (Biographic Information; if a relative is a spouse)
- I-864 (Affidavit of Support)
- I-693 ( Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record)
- I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization; optional)
- I-131 (Application for Travel Document; optional)
USCIS will send you an appointment notification for a biometric screening once you submit your application. This is a fast appointment to get your photo, fingerprints, and signature at a USCIS Application Support Center. USCIS uses biometric data to complete a necessary criminal background check.
USCIS will most likely need you to attend an adjustment interview a few months later. Many times, the relative who submitted Form I-130 will also need to appear. Certain persons may be exempt from having to attend an interview with USCIS. They’ll send you an email with your interview’s time, date, and place. USCIS uses the adjustment of status interview to verify the information you and your petitioner submitted on the petition and adjustment application. It’s also a chance for them to evaluate whether anything has changed in your life that would render you ineligible. This is a brief interview lasting 20 to 30 minutes in most cases.
The complete adjustment procedure might take anywhere from 8 to 14 months for most applicants.
What Are the Benefits of Adjustment of Status?
The primary advantage of being qualified for an adjustment of status (AOS) is that you are on the verge of getting a green card. After USCIS accepts an AOS application, the alien beneficiary is granted permanent residence status in the United States.
On the other hand, AOS applicants are entitled to extra benefits while their Form I-485 applications are pending. Advance parole, job permission, and legal stay are the three key benefits AOS candidates receive.
When an immigrant applies for adjustment, they can also apply for advance parole simultaneously. Approved advance parole permits an alien to travel freely overseas while their AOS application is pending, without having to abandon her application, lose any AOS-related benefits, or apply for and get a nonimmigrant visa to re-enter the United States. Advance parole is unnecessary for some visa holders, such as those with H and L visas: H and L visa holders with outstanding I-485s can go outside the United States without their AOS applications being considered abandoned by USCIS.
Employment Authorization Document
Prospective AOS recipients can apply for an employment authorization document (EAD), often known as a work permit, in the same way as they can for advance parole. As long as their I-485s are pending, aliens with EADs can work for any company in the United States.
For as long as their adjustment applications are outstanding, aliens with pending AOS petitions are allowed to remain in the United States legally—that is, without any other legitimate status. While it is permissible to let one’s previous nonimmigrant status expire while an AOS application is ongoing. We strongly advise applicants to keep their prior status while their AOS petitions are pending. This is especially crucial for applicants who did not hire a professional immigration counsel and were caught off guard when their adjustment applications were refused.
We're Here to Help
Individuals seeking permanent residency should always consult an attorney about their circumstances. The aid of an adjustment of status lawyer makes the process of acquiring a green card as simple as possible, even in the most straightforward and uncomplicated conditions. Call Gateway Immigration Law Firm now to book a consultation with one of our Missouri immigration lawyers.