A 2014 report made by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) shows that 1,016,518 people obtained lawful permanent resident status that year. For some, becoming a permanent resident involved going through a process called adjustment of status (AOS). If you want to adjust your visa status, there is important information to know about who is eligible to begin petitioning and applying.
What Is an Adjustment of Status?
An adjustment of status involves a person already living in the U.S. transitioning, through an application process, from a temporary visa status to a permanent or conditional status with a green card—all without having to return to her country of origin. While working to obtain an adjustment of status, you can expect to:
- File a status-appropriate petition through a family member, employer, or special categorization
- File an application for permanent residence after a petition approval
- Undergo an interview with a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer
Who Is Eligible for an Adjustment of Status?
In order to go from holding temporary residency—a status that gives a person only 180 days to reside in the U.S.—to a permanent or conditional residency, you must meet some important qualifications before the petition and application process can commence, including:
- Already lawfully residing in the U.S.
- Already eligible for a green card—either through an employer, a family member, a fiancé, or a special refugee or humanitarian status—with an approved temporary visa in hand
If you meet these criteria, you may begin the process by petitioning through your original visa sponsor and, upon approval of the petition, applying formally for permanent residency status. In some cases, you may be required to submit the petition and application simultaneously. An experienced attorney can help you navigate these complicated procedures.
Get Help Adjusting Your Status
If you are ready to begin the process of becoming a permanent resident and have questions about paperwork, requirements, or the interview, we can help. The team at Duffy & Feemster puts people first, and we want to help you through this difficult process. To speak with us, fill out the online contact form on our website today.