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Your Ultimate Guide to Adjustment of Status: Become a Permanent Resident Without Leaving the States

America is your home – and while you’re living in the United States, you haven’t obtained legal permanent resident status yet. If only there was a way that you could obtain your Green Card without having to return to your native country to complete visa processing…

We’re happy to inform you that it is possible! If you’re living in the U.S. and looking to become a permanent resident, you might not need to return home. 

For many immigrants, this news prompts a sigh of relief. But it is important to understand that there are a lot of conditions and restrictions on the process commonly called “Adjustment of Status.” In this article, we’ll share an overview of what the process looks like and what you can do to get started. 

Adjustment of Status: Just the Facts

Let’s get back to basics. You’re probably wondering what exactly Adjustment of Status means – and we are here to clear up any confusion. 

In simple terms, Adjustment of Status refers to the process of getting your Green Card after you have been living in the United States. There are numerous different eligibility criteria, but typically people who are immediate relatives of U.S. citizens or are eligible for family sponsorship can partake. 

There are a few different factors that will be considered to decide if you are eligible for Adjustment of Status. Here’s a quick breakdown: 

  • Current immigration status: Depending on your status at the time of your filing and most importantly depending on the way you entered the country, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will decide whether you can receive a Green Card. 
  • Visa availability: If this is a family preference category, then you will need to wait for a visa number to become available, which you can keep track of on the Visa Bulleting. Here are some common categories that will allow you to get a Green Card; 
  • Through family
  • Through employment 
  • Due to special immigrant status (such as religious workers, unattended juveniles)
  • Through refugee status
  • Due to abuse or persecution
  • And more.
  • Individual background: When deciding if you are eligible for Adjustment of Status, USCIS will investigate your personal background.
  • Compliance with immigration law: This one should come as no surprise. You will need to follow the laws related to U.S. immigration to be eligible for a Green Card. 

If you’re feeling confused or overwhelmed by the many different eligibility categories out there, you are not alone. While Adjustment of Status can be a challenging topic to understand due to the sheer amount of nuance involved, our team at Consulta Immigration is here to help you find the best path forward to legitimize your permanent U.S. residency. 

Let’s Get Down to Business

So where should you start if you are looking to become a permanent resident of the United States through Adjustment of Status? 

Remember, you do not have to do this on your own. Working with certified immigration professionals like the Consulta team can help you ensure that all of your paperwork and credentials are in order before you get started. 

That said, we are committed to empowering you with knowledge so that you can understand every step of the process. You deserve to be informed and in the loop – even when it might seem like immigration law is designed to keep you in the dark. 

5 Simple Steps for a Successful Adjustment of Status

So what’s next? Take a look at the steps to this process… 

Step #1: Find Out If You’re Eligible

First up, you will need to determine your Green Card eligibility. Remember those categories we mentioned earlier? You will need to fit into one of those categories. 

Step #2: File a Petition

Either you or your sponsor will need to file an immigration petition for you – the specifics of this petition will depend on what visa category you are hoping to hold.

Step #3: File Form I-485

You’re going to file another form, HOWEVER, if you are an immediate relative, you can file form I-485 concurrently with form I-130 (relative petition), I-765 (work authorization) and I-864 (affidavit of support). If not, you will need to wait for a visa number to be available in your category. Once it is, you can file your Adjustment of Status (form I-485) package.

Step #4: Participate in Follow-Up Actions

Depending on the status of your application, you may have to attend an interview at your local USCIS office. 

Step #5: Receive a Decision

While you wait for a decision, you will be able to check your case status online. Then, you will receive a written notification advising on the decision of your case whether it is approved or denied. In some instances, if the Immigration officer needs to see more documents, you will receive a Request for Evidence.

Adjustment of Status FAQs

Let’s dive into some of the questions that you are probably thinking about in terms of your Adjustment of Status application.

How much does Adjustment of Status cost? 

When you file your Adjustment of Status application with Form I-485, you will have to pay the USCIS filing fee, which is usually $1,760. When you work with Consulta to ensure the process is smooth and successful, you will pay 1,000 for our service. We believe in transparency, so we will never hit you with hidden fees. 

How long does it take to apply for Adjustment of Status? 

There is some variation in processing time depending on your visa category and where you are located.  The longest piece of this process is typically scheduling an interview, which some applicants will be required to do. 

Kick Off Your Adjustment of Status the Right Way

At Consulta Immigration, we are committed to making U.S. immigration attainable and helping clients like you navigate these often challenging waters. While legal jargon and confusing wording on official websites may make immigration seem like a black box, we will help you accomplish your goals with professionalism, respect, and ease. 

Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help you enjoy the smoothest Adjustment of Status process possible. 

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