San Diego Adjustment of Status Lawyer
Adjustment of Status
Adjustment of status is a procedure of immigration law that allows foreign nationals already living in the United States to apply for Lawful Permanent Resident status. The most common form for Adjustment of Status applications are “family based” petitions filed on behalf of spouses or parents of U.S. Citizens.
One of the quickest and most common ways for a foreign national to obtain lawful permanent resident status in the U.S. is through marriage
to a U.S. Citizen via an Adjustment of Status.
If a person entered the United States illegally, or entered with a visa but overstayed the scope of that visa, he or she would normally have to leave the United States before applying for Lawful Permanent Resident status. However, there are some cases in which a person can apply for adjustment of status without leaving the country.
An Adjustment of Status allows a permanent resident to obtain a green card while in the U.S. At the same time application for an adjustment of status is made, an application for an Employment Authorization Document (“EAD”) is automatically filed.
Employment Authorization Document
An EAD permits a person to work for any employer and change jobs as often as they want, as long as it’s in the same or similar occupation. The USCIS will request a letter from any new employer verifying an offer of permanent employment has been made. The letter must include the job description and salary for the USCIS to determine whether it meets the requirement for a same or similar job.
If they are eligible, a travel permit (“advance parole”) is also automatically filed. Generally, in order to be approved for an adjustment of status the person must legally be in the U.S. and never violated their immigration status.
Exceptions to this general rule include:
- Section 245(i) of the immigration law permits certain persons who have old priority dates to pay a penalty fee in order to adjust their status, in spite of having illegally entered the U.S. or overstayed or violated their non-immigration status.
- Section 245(k) permits a person to apply for an adjustment of status because of an employment-based immigrant visa petition, as long as they have not been out of status over 180 days since the last time they were admitted to the U.S.
- Persons who are immediate relatives (i.e., children of U.S. citizens, spouses, and parents) may adjust their status, without paying a penalty fee, if they legally entered the U.S., regardless if they overstayed or did not have authorization to work.
U.S. Embassy & Consolate
If you live outside the U.S., or are ineligible to adjust your status in the U.S., you may still be able to apply for legal permanent resident at a Consulate or U.S. Embassy in the country you are from.
After the USCIS approves your visa petition, submitted by a relative or employer, your approved petition will be sent to the National Visa Center (“NVC”), who will request payment of government filing fees and the submission of any necessary paperwork associated with your interview for an immigrant visa.
The NVC will then forward everything to the appropriate Consulate or U.S. Embassy who will schedule you, your spouse, and children, for your immigrant visa interview once your priority date is current.
Approval of Application and Waivers
Once your application and any required waivers have been approved, you and your family can come to the U.S. and request admission for legal permanent residence.
If you seek to apply for an Adjustment of Status, gather and organize your documents for easy reference. Gather and organize evidence including photographs in an orderly manner. Provide documents relating to you marriage, divorce, children, birth certificates, taxes, schools, criminal convictions and immigration history. Do not provide any fraudulent documents to the interviewer.
Hiring the best attorney for your immigration case can prove pivotal in your life, much like a marriage. A licensed lawyer is authorized and qualified to assist you with your immigration case or green card application. Unlike consultants, attorneys have completed extensive education and training before being licensed to represent clients. Just like a life partner, you want an attorney you can trust, communicate with, and relate to. Most importantly, you want an attorney who knows how to successfully proceed with your case so that you achieve the desired outcome. While many legitimate community and religious organizations provide immigration-related services, there are those who advertise as legal “consultants” or “notarios publicos” but are not authorized or qualified to help with immigration law-related matters. You face a big challenge, the power of the United States government. Don’t face it alone. Contact a San Diego Adjustment of Status Lawyer at Superior Immigration Lawyers.