Determining Eligibility to Get a Green Card Through Adjustment of Status
As an immigrant already living in the United States, when you know you’re eligible for a green card, it can be confusing if you can apply at an office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or if you’ll need to leave the country to go to a U.S. consulate to file an application for lawful U.S. residence.
Working with an experienced lawyer, who has a deep understanding of the U.S. immigration system, can help guide you in making the process easier.
What Is An Adjustment Of Status?
When immigrants are allowed to remain in the United States and apply for a green card, this is known as an adjustment of status.
Before an adjustment of status can occur, the immigrant must meet the eligibility criteria for a green card.
Being allowed to file for an adjustment of status bears great consequence on how an immigrant’s future plays out. If they have spent 180 days or more of “unlawful presence” in the U.S., as described in Consequences of Unlawful Presence in the U.S.: Three- and Ten-Year Time Bars, and they are forced to leave the US to apply for a green card, they may be banned from returning because of the unlawful presence.
What Categories of Green Card Applicant Can Use the Adjustment of Status Procedure?
Unfortunately, the government only deems certain people eligible for an adjustment of status.
In order to remain in the country while applying for a green card, you must:
- Be eligible for a green card through a U.S. employer, a family member who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, or because you were granted asylum or refugee status at least one year prior.
- Already have an approved petition from USCIS (Form I-130 or I-140) on file, and your priority date, if any, must be current if your eligibility is based on employment or family member.
- Have married the person who petitioned you to receive that visa if you entered the U.S. on a K-1 fiancé visa within 90 days.
- Currently, be in the United States.
- I have entered the United States with a visa.
What Should I Do If I’m An Immigrant Who Needs To Apply For A Green Card?
If you’re currently in the United States and need to apply for a green card but not sure if you’re eligible for an adjustment of status, reach out to the legal team at Fay Grafton & Nuñez.
Our team has deep experience in the world of immigration law, which constantly evolves. We can schedule a consultation to learn more about our services and start guiding you on the next steps of your green card process.