Have Questions About Adjustment of Status? Our Portland Immigration Lawyers Can Help

Adjustment of status is a method that allows foreign nationals to apply for legal permanent status (green card) while in the United States. It is an alternative to returning to their home country and going through consular processing. If successful, the applicant will be a Green Card holder with all the rights that go with it. At Vanderwall Immigration, our Adjustment of Status attorney can guide your case every step of the way. Adjustment of status is not automatic. Many hurdles confront an applicant, and some people are denied, which might lead to their deportation. To get the legal help you need, call our law firm today to speak with an experienced immigration lawyer.

Can You Request an Adjustment of Status?

Not everyone physically present in the United States can apply for adjustment of status. You can seek an adjustment of status only if the following are true:

  1. You are physically present in the United States. If not, you should consider the consular process in your home country.
  2. You entered the United States legally. If you enter illegally, you can be sure this issue will arise, and it might prevent you from seeking a green card.
  3. You qualify for an eligibility category:
  • Family
  • Employment
  • Special immigrant
  • Refugee or asylee
  • Human trafficking or crime victims
  • Victims of abuse
  • Other
  • Registry
  1. You are not statutorily barred from adjusting your status. Some bars include unauthorized employment, waiting periods for certain visas, sham marriages, and others. Work with an attorney to review.

What to Expect: The Adjustment of Status Process

Every client’s immigration journey is somewhat different. Nonetheless, we can provide a general overview of the adjustment of status process. Our legal team is here and ready to help.

The first step is to review eligibility with an attorney. Adjustment of status is discretionary, and there are many requirements you must satisfy. We can work closely to help you identify whether you can apply for a green card.

Next, you will probably need to file an immigration petition before you can file Form I-485, the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Most petitions are filed by sponsors, such as a family member in the U.S. or an employer. In other situations, you might file your own petition. Our law firm can identify who must file and help prepare the petition.

You also must check that a visa is available in your eligibility category. This is usually a prerequisite before you file Form I-485. Visas are limited, so you should check regularly.

Next, our firm will complete and submit your Form I-485. We will ensure it is complete and accurate so there are no snags or delays in processing. We can also file supplemental documentation.

After you file Form I-485, you will receive a notice for biometrics services at a nearby Application Support Center. Biometrics is essential for confirming your identity and performing a background check. You cannot skip this appointment.

Some applicants must attend an interview with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The agency typically schedules interviews to request additional information or probe some of the answers you gave on your I-485 application.

Once you have submitted everything, you will wait for a written decision from USCIS. If you are denied, the decision should identify the reasons and explain your rights to appeal, if any. Most denials are not appealable, though we can file a motion to reconsider or reopen.

Why Should You Hire an Adjustment of Status Lawyer?

Adjustment of status might sound like a mountain to climb. In fairness, this is a detailed and complex process. The United States government is very particular about who they give a green card to. Any applicant can improve their chances by hiring an experienced adjustment of a status lawyer to:

  • Review eligibility and address any roadblocks proactively. For example, you might have entered the United States on a nonimmigrant visa. If you took any action in the U.S. which is inconsistent with your visa, then you could end up denied adjustment of status. You benefit by addressing these problems ahead of time.
  • Provide requested information. USCIS requests considerable information and supporting documentation as part of the adjustment of status process. It can be a hassle to track everything down, and many people end up delaying their application.
  • Ensure accuracy and completeness. Misleading applications will end up rejected, and you could be further barred from ever requesting a green card in the future. Our legal team will ensure your application is complete and accurate.
  • Prepare for an interview. The interview is a critical step if USCIS has doubts about your application. We can prepare nervous applicants for what to expect.

Reach out to our firm to learn more about the services we provide. We have helped countless people successfully obtain a green card by adjusting their status.

What Information is Requested in this Process?

Your Form I-485 will request substantial information, such as:

  • Personal information, including your name, country of birth, mailing address, and recent immigration history.
  • Filing category, such as employment-based, family-based, or another category.
  • Employment history, including name and address of your employers.
  • Parental information, including their current residence if living.
  • Information about your spouse and children (if applicable).
  • Biographic information, such as your ethnicity, race, height, weight, eye color, and hair color.
  • Criminal history, including arrests and prosecutions.
  • Financial information, including information about your income and assets.
  • Educational credentials, such as any degrees, licenses, certifications, or other credentials earned.
  • Immigration violations, such as illegal entries into the United States.

This is only a sample of some of the information requested as part of an I-485 application. We encourage you to meet with our firm if you have questions about what information you will need to present.

Common Questions Regarding Adjustment of Status (FAQs)

How long is the adjustment of the status process?

Typically, the process takes 8-14 months. USCIS is buried with work, so waiting is simply part of the process. One reason to work with an experienced immigration attorney is to ensure all requested information is submitted properly the first time, which can speed up the consideration of your application.

Why are Adjustment of Status applications rejected?

There are many reasons. Some people are rejected because of statutory bars. For example, someone in the United States on a J visa cannot apply to adjust their status until they have completed two years of residency. If you apply early, you will be rejected.

USCIS rejects other applicants because they cannot prove that they won’t become a public charge. Put differently, you must show either you or a sponsor (like a family member) has the resources to support you while in the United States.

Still, other applicants are denied due to fraud or misrepresentation in the application. It is vital to provide accurate information in all dealings with USCIS.

If you are worried about being approved, talk with an attorney today. Likewise, call Vanderwall Immigration if USCIS denies your application so that we can review options.

Will I have to return to my home country if my application is denied?

That’s possible. If you challenge the denial legally, you may continue to remain in the United States.

Call Vanderwall Immigration Today

Obtaining a green card is a dream for many, and the adjustment of status process makes it convenient to seek a green card while here in the United States. For legal assistance, please reach out to Vanderwall Immigration today to speak with our adjustment of status attorney about your specific situation.