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What is Adjustment of Status?

Adjustment of status is a legal process in which one can apply for lawful permanent resident status (also known as a Green Card) in the United States. In these cases, the applicant does not need to return to his or her home country to complete visa processing, and instead is able to apply while he or she is present in the United States.

Key Takeaways

  • Adjustment of status refers to the legal process in which an eligible foreign national can apply for a Green Card while residing in the United States.
  • This process changes an individual’s status from a non-immigrant status to a permanent immigrant status.
  • In order to be eligible for adjustment of status, an individual typically needs to meet certain criteria.

Who is Eligible to File an Adjustment of Status?

In order to find out if you qualify for adjustment of status, it is advised to consult with a professional immigration attorney. Nevertheless, certain conditions must generally be met by the individual:

  • You must already meet the necessary requirements for a United States green card (lawful permanent or conditional residence) 
  • You must be physically in the United States
  • You must not have entered the United States as a foreign national crewman, in transit without a visa (TWOV) or under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
  • You must have entered the United States with permission and after inspection by border agents (although this requirement may be subject to exceptions)

If any of the above criteria are not fulfilled, it is important to remember that you may still be able to file an adjustment of status. There are several exceptions that may be relevant to your personal circumstances. It is highly advised to consult with a professional immigration attorney to help determine eligibility. 

How Long Does the Adjustment of Status Process Take?

The exact timeline regarding an adjustment of status can vary depending on a number of factors such as case complexity, age of the applicant and volume of applications received. Overall, from start to finish, the entire process typically lasts about eight months to two years. While this process can seem lengthy, it is essential to remain patient and anticipate delays or complications, as this is a highly complex legal process. Once you receive your green card in the mail, you can now work and live lawfully within the United States as well as travel overseas and return.

Bottom Line

In summary, the adjustment of status process is a crucial step for those looking to secure permanent residency in the United States. Whether your goal is to reunite with family or pursue career opportunities, it's vital to have a clear understanding of this process. Working with legal experts and staying informed about immigration laws can help you navigate this path smoothly. Schedule a consultation with an Attorney At Law immigration lawyer today for personalized support.

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