Even after following the visa process closely and carefully, an individual may find that they would like to adjust their current immigration status and pursue a long-term residency in the United States. This process is very possible but requires another type of application and review process that may seem overwhelming. Because this process can sometimes overlap with or take longer than your current visa, it can be stressful to attempt alone. The Law Office of Nita Kundanmal, P.C. is prepared to assist you with your Adjustment of Status case across all 50 United States.
Adjustment of status (AOS) is the immigration process an individual can use to apply for Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status while present in the United States. For individuals outside the United States, they must apply for LPR status through the consular process; it is important to note the difference between these two processes, as only one of them may be applied for at a time. Additional information regarding consular processing is available on its own page.
Individuals that file for an adjustment of status may be able to stay in the United States while their application is being processed – even if their current visa runs out in the interim. Individuals may be ineligible to adjust their status if they entered the United States without authorization regardless of how long they have been living there, or if they have committed a crime that is considered a deportable offense.
To be eligible for adjustment of status, the individual must first be eligible for one of the LPR or “Green Card” categories through one of the following:
An individual who is eligible to file for adjustment of status must first have an approved petition. Certain individuals may file an application to adjust status concurrently with filing the immigration petition. To ensure this process is completed accurately and completely, hiring a knowledgeable immigration attorney may be helpful.
The form used to adjust status is Form I-485. This includes questions about personal information, immigration history, application type or immigration category, and eligibility or inadmissibility grounds.
After filing Form I-485, the applicant will receive a notice for biometrics services at a local Application Support Center (ASC). The biometrics are used to verify identity and conduct background and security checks; data collected at these appointments often includes fingerprints.
If an interview is required, the applicant will be scheduled for an interview to answer questions at a USCIS office. The USCIS will then issue a written decision to approve or deny the application or request additional follow-up documents. If your application is denied, then you may be subject to removal (deportation) proceedings. Because the United States is not required to provide you with legal assistance in a deportation hearing, it is important to hire a knowledgeable immigration attorney to help you with your case as soon as possible. For more information on removal proceedings and the services our firm offers for them, please visit our page dedicated to the removal proceedings process.
Denied I-485 forms may also be appealed and resubmitted as a new case if adjustments are made. An immigration attorney will be able to help you decide which option is best for your case.
If you have any questions about adjustment of status while present in the United States, or are facing removal proceedings due to a rejected adjustment of status, please contact the Law Office of Nita Kundanmal today by calling (201) 883-9800. We handle all aspects of family and employment immigration law in New Jersey and New York and throughout the United States and can help you make sure you’re applying for the right category.