Getting a green card sometimes requires the completion of visa processing in your home country. If you are in the United States, you can apply to become a permanent resident without traveling to your home country.
This process is commonly known as “adjustment of status.” The benefit of this process is simple: The applicant may remain in the U.S. and obtain permanent resident status without needing to travel abroad to obtain an immigration visa. Additionally, most applicants will receive employment authorization (Form I-765) and a travel permit (Form I-131) while the case is being processed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) allows certain individuals that are present in the U.S. to adjust their immigration status by submitting an application for adjustment of status (Form I-485). However, not everyone qualifies for this process and there are a number of requirements that need to be met in order to receive a favorable decision via adjustment of status.
The following are the 7 basic requirements to qualify for adjustment of status:
- An immigrant visa must be immediately available when the applicant files the adjustment of status application (Form I-485) and at the time of final adjudication.
- The applicant must have been inspected and admitted into the United States; or inspected and paroled into the United States.
- The applicant must properly file an adjustment of status application.
- The applicant must be physically present in the United States.
- The applicant must be eligible to receive an immigrant visa.
- The applicant must be admissible to the United States for lawful permanent residence or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other form of relief.
- The applicant merits the favorable exercise of discretion.
If you meet these requirements, you may be eligible to apply for adjustment of status. Otherwise, your green card application may require consular processing, which entails travel to your home country. Our knowledgeable lawyers can guide you through the steps to permanent residency.
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This blog is made available for educational purposes only and to provide a general understanding of U.S. immigration laws. The information published on this site should not be construed as legal advice. Further, the use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.