Adjustment of Status
An “Adjustment of status” is a procedure that allows a foreign national, who is physically present in the United States and if an immigrant visa number is available at the time of filing the application, to apply for a change of status to an immigrant status. The law allows this change in a foreign national’s immigration status, if specific requirements are met to qualify for Adjustment of Status in the United States. Application to adjust status to a lawful permanent residency can be filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) through employment-based petitions, as well as through family-based petitions and other programs allowed under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
The entire process of obtaining a green card takes place in the United States and a foreign national will not be required to travel overseas. However, a foreign national who is not present in the United States is not qualified for an Adjustment of Status. He/she will have to go through consular processing at a U.S. Consulate of their country of origin.
Once the Adjustment of Status application is filed with the USCIS, a foreign national cannot travel outside the United States until their receipt of the advance parole document unless he/ she has a valid H-1 work visa or L visa. If a foreign national travels outside the United States without an advance parole document, he/she will be considered to have abandoned his Adjustment of States application and may not be able to re-enter the United States. As mentioned above, if there is an emergency that requires immediate travel before receipt of the advance parole document, a foreign national can travel only if he/she has a valid H or L visa stamp in their passport. It is important to mention here that no other visa will suffice.
Generally, Adjustment of Status is a better option for everyone who is physically present in the United States and meets all the requirements. The major benefit of Adjustment of Status is that if a foreign national is married and has children, dependents can also apply for Adjustment of Status, work permits and travel documents. This eliminates the need for an Extension of Stay and consular visa processing for them. Nonetheless, it should be noted that in certain circumstances under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, failure to maintain status while adjudication of Adjustment application could be considered an overstay. This could also result in a foreign national being bared for unlawful presence in the United States for either three year or ten years. Therefore, if the foreign national has ever violated his immigration status or worked without USCIS authorization, he must consult an immigration attorney prior to filing of such application.
At The Ahluwalia Firm, our emphasis is on:
- providing careful review of your personal circumstances
- delivering value for money, ensuring seamless processing of your application
- providing careful coordination of all correspondence with the government agencies
- providing dependable advice and assistance on how to present yourself at the interview
- ensuring a service-delivery model that meets and exceeds your satisfaction
For additional information about our ability to evaluate, prepare, and file your Adjustment of Status application in the United States, contact us for reliable legal support.