Adjustment of status is a request made to the immigration service to obtain a green card in the United States instead of having it processed at a US embassy abroad. Before you can adjust your status, you must be eligible for a green card.
Who would be eligible for a green card?
There are different categories: employment-based, or person with extraordinary ability who sponsored themselves, or family-based on the quota system. You would be on a waiting list and when your date is reached, then you will become eligible for your green card. Other people are non-quota immigrants. These are people are eligible for their green card immediately and will not be placed on a waiting list. The non-quota immigrants are people who are married to US citizens, children (under 21) of US Citizens and parents of US citizens (if child is over 21). Other people may be eligible. If you have applied for and have been granted asylum, after one year, you would be eligible for adjustment of status. Investing money (eg. $1 million) into a business will make you eligible to adjust your status.
When is Adjustment of Status Proper?
You may be eligible to apply for adjust your status under one of three senarios:
- Legal Status: You will be immediately eligible for his is where you were inspected and admitted into the United States with a visa or through advance parol. You will eligible for a green card if your date on the visa waiting list was reached on the quota system or if you were granted asylum and applied after a year.
- Grandfathered under 245i: if you have an application filed on your behalf prior to April 30, 2001 and you were physically present in the United State on December 21, 2000 or if you had any filed for you before January 14, 1998, you are eligible to adjust your status on any of the quota category (ie. Family-based or employment-based). There is a $1,000 penalty fee. Many people do not realize that they are grandfathered in. The person may have been a derivative beneficiary of a parent’s application back in 2000. For example, parent was sponsored for a work visa that went in back in back in 2000, you were physically present in the US in 1998, but when you turned 21 and your parent was approve for a green card.
- Immediate Relatives: If you are related to a US citizen by marriage, a child or a parent, as long as you made a legal entry into the US (even if you over-stayed) you can adjust your status.
It is very important to know whether you are eligible to file an adjustment of status prior to filing the application because if you are ineligible or become ineligible, your application will be denied and you will be put into deportation.
For more detail on how to file for a family member, please contact our office: http://www.drclawfirm.com