Adjustment of status

/ Adjustment of status & consular processing / Immigration overview

Adjustment of status is a legal process in the United States that allows certain non-immigrants to change their immigration status from a temporary or non-immigrant status to that of a lawful permanent resident, commonly referred to as a “green holder“. This process is typically used by individuals who are already in the United States on a valid non-immigrant visa, such as a student visa (F-1), work visa (H-1B), or family-sponsored visa (K-1 for fiancés), and wish to become permanent residents.


Who is eligible for a green card?

There are several categories of individuals who are eligible to receive a Green Card. Some of the more common ways in which people obtain green cards are the following:


Family-based Green Cards

According to the Immigration & Nationality Act, people with the following relationships to U.S. Citizens may be able to obtain green cards:
  • Immediate relatives of the U.S. Citizens. This category includes spouses, widows, unmarried children under 21, and parents of U.S. citizens who are over 21.
  • Family-sponsored preferences. This category includes unmarried daughters or sons over 21, married children of any age, and siblings of U.S. citizens who are over the age of 21. There are certain family members of green card holders who fall under this category such as Spouses and Unmarried Children (Under 21) of Permanent Residents and Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 Years or Older) of Permanent Residents.

Employment-Based Green Cards

An employment-based green card allows foreign nationals to live and work permanently in the United States. This type of green card is obtained through employment sponsorship and is typically available to individuals with specific job offers or qualifications. Employment-based green cards are divided into several preference categories, each with its own eligibility requirements and quotas.

The process of obtaining an employment-based green card involves several steps, which typically include labor certification (for some categories), filing an immigrant petition by the sponsoring employer, and, once the petition is approved, applying for the green card itself.

The process may also include adjustment of status if the applicant is already in the United States or consular processing if they are outside the U.S.

It's important to note that the availability of employment-based green cards can be subject to annual quotas, per-country limits, and sometimes lengthy waiting periods, particularly for certain preference categories and countries with high demand. As a result, the process can be time-consuming, and applicants may need to maintain their non-immigrant status while waiting for their green card to become available.

Navigating the employment-based green card process can be complex, and it's advisable to seek legal counsel or guidance from an immigration attorney to ensure a successful application and to understand the specific requirements and procedures for the preferred category.

Asylum or Refugee Status-Based Green Cards

Green cards granted to individuals who have been granted asylum or refugee status in the United States are known as “asylee“ and “refugee“ green cards. These green cards are issued to people who have been granted asylum or refugee status and have met the necessary criteria, allowing them to live and work in the United States on a more permanent basis.

Here are the key points about asylee and refugee green cards:

1. Asylee Green Card:
  • Asylees are individuals who have been granted asylum in the United States. They have demonstrated a well-founded fear of persecution or have suffered persecution in their home country based on one of the five protected grounds: race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion;
  • Asylees can apply for a green card (lawful permanent resident status) one year after being granted asylum;
  • To apply for a green card, asylees typically use Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status;
  • Asylee green cards provide permanent resident status, allowing individuals to live and work in the United States indefinitely
2. Refugee Green Card:
  • Refugees are individuals who have been granted refugee status before arriving in the United States. They were often referred to the U.S. by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) or another authorized organization;
  • Refugees can apply for a green card one year after entering the United States;
  • Similar to asylees, refugees typically use Form I-485 to apply for a green card;
  • Refugee green cards also provide permanent resident status.
Both asylee and refugee green card holders enjoy many of the same benefits as other lawful permanent residents in the United States, including the ability to work and travel, access to various government services, and the option to apply for U.S. citizenship after several years of continuous residence.

It's important to note that the process of applying for and obtaining a green card based on asylum or refugee status involves several steps and requires meeting specific eligibility criteria. Legal representation or guidance from an immigration attorney is often recommended to navigate the application process successfully and ensure that all requirements are met.

How does the Adjustment of Status Process Work?

Obtaining an adjustment of status in the United States is the process by which certain individuals change their immigration status from a temporary or non-immigrant status to that of a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). The steps involved in obtaining an adjustment of status typically include the following:



Determine Eligibility

Ensure that you are eligible for adjustment of status. Eligibility can depend on factors such as your current non-immigrant status, the category under which you are applying (e.g., family-sponsored, employment-based, or as an asylee/refugee), and any potential inadmissibility issues.



File an Immigrant Petition

In most cases, someone must file an immigrant petition on your behalf. This could be a family member, employer, or you if you are a self-petitioning applicant (e.g., an asylee). Common forms used for immigrant petitions include Form I-130 (family-sponsored) or Form I-140 (employment-based).



Priority Date

For certain family and employment-based categories, your priority date is established when the immigrant petition is filed. The priority date is crucial because it determines your place in line for visa availability.

The adjustment of status process can vary depending on your specific circumstances, the category under which you are applying, and changes in immigration laws or policies. It is highly recommended to consult with an immigration attorney or an accredited representative to guide you through the process and ensure that all requirements are met accurately and on time.

How Kananchuk Law Office can help with your Adjustment of Status Process?

Adjustment of Status can be complex and involve various legal and administrative requirements. We have the experience and expertise to navigate the process successfully, ensuring that all steps are taken correctly and that any issues or complications are addressed effectively. We can provide guidance, representation, and advocacy to protect your interests and increase the likelihood of a successful outcome in your immigration case.

Immigration attorneys play a crucial role in helping individuals with adjustment of status by providing legal expertise, guidance, and representation throughout the complex immigration processes. here is how our attorney can assist with this procedure:


Eligibility Assessment

Our attorney will evaluate your eligibility for adjustment of status, helping you determine if you meet the criteria for a green card based on your specific circumstances, such as family relationships, employment, or asylum status.


Document Preparation

Our attorney will assist in the preparation and submission of the necessary forms and supporting documents, ensuring that all required information is complete, accurate, and up to date.


Inadmissibility Issues

If you have any issues that might make you inadmissible, such as a criminal record or immigration violations, our attorney can help assess these issues and, if necessary, assist in seeking waivers or remedies.


Visa Bulletin Monitoring

Our attorney closely monitor the Visa Bulletin to keep track of visa availability, helping you understand when you can proceed with the application process.


Interview Preparation

In cases where an interview is required, our attorney can prepare you for the interview, ensuring you are ready to answer questions accurately and confidently.


Work and Travel Authorization

Our attorney can help you apply for work authorization and travel documents if you're eligible while your adjustment of status application is pending.


Green Card Application

After approval of your application, our attorney can assist you with the filing of Form I-485 for permanent residence.

Book a consultation

Attorney Krystsina Kananchuk is committed to obtaining protection for you and your family.

get in touch with us

Attorney Advertising. This information is designed for general information only. The information presented should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Past results and testimonials are not a guarantee, warranty, or prediction of the outcome of your case, and should not be construed as such. Past results cannot guarantee future performance. Any result in a single case is not meant to create an expectation of similar results in future matters because each case involves many different factors, therefore, results will differ on a case-by-case basis. By providing certain contact information herein, you are expressly authorizing the recipient of this message to contact you via the methods of communication provided.

Developed by Edisoncorp