An Adjustment of status application is filed with United States Citizenship & Immigration Services. It is filed by an alien who is physically present inside of the United States and wants to adjust his or her status to that of a permanent resident.
A “change of status” is different in immigration law and refers to changing from one in a non-immigrant classification to another non-immigrant classification.
The most common adjustment of status application arises where an individual who entered the US in one visa classification subsequently marries a US citizen.
The adjustment of status application can be a complicated process with the various forms and supporting documents USCIS requires you to submit. Adjustment of Status can be obtained through:
- If you are the spouse, parent of a United States Citizens over 21, or unmarried child under age 21.
- If you are the unmarried son or daughter over age 21, the married son or daughter, or the brother or sister of a United States citizen and have a visa petition approved in your behalf.
- If you are the spouse or unmarried son or daughter of any age of a lawful permanent resident and you have a family-based visa petition approved in your behalf.
You were a fiancé who was admitted to the United States on a K-1 visa and then married the U.S. citizen who applied for the K-1 visa for you. (If you married the U.S. citizen but not within the 90-day time limit, your spouse also must now file a Petition for Alien Relative). Your unmarried, minor children are also eligible for adjustment of status. If you did not marry the U.S. citizen who filed the K-1 petition in your behalf, or if you married another U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, you are not eligible to adjust status in the United States.
You must have an immigrant visa number available from the State Department unless you are in a category that is exempt from numerical limitations.
You are an asylee or refugee who has been in the United States for at least a year after being given asylum or refugee status and still qualify for asylum or refugee status.
If “otherwise eligible” to immigrate to the U.S., immediate relatives may adjust status to get a “green card” in the United States even if they may have done any of the following:
- worked without permission,
- remained in the U.S. past the period of lawful admission (e.g., past the expiration date on your I-94) and filed for adjustment of status while in an unlawful status because of that,
- failed otherwise to maintain lawful status and with the proper immigration documentation.