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What is Adustment of Status?

If you meet the requirements for a green card and you were inspected and paroled or admitted into the United States, and remain in lawful status, then you may be able to change your immigration status from parolee or nonimmigrant (temporary) to immigrant (permanent).



According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, most immigrants who successfully petition for adjustment of status become eligible though a petition filed by their employer or a family member. However, becoming a permanent resident of the United States is never a straightforward process. You must meet strict requirements and submit extensive documentation to prove your eligibility.

If you would like to adjust your U.S. immigration status, contact Kuck Immigration Partners. Charles Kuck is an immigration lawyer in Atlanta who will help you gather the necessary documentation and avoid mistakes when petitioning for a green card. Call 404-816-8611 to schedule a consultation.

Read on to learn about three steps involved in adjusting an individual’s immigration status in the United States:

1. Find out Whether You Are Eligible for an Adjustment of Status

As previously mentioned, most immigrants become eligible for an adjustment of status though a petition filed by their employer or a family member. However, it is also possible to become a permanent resident by first obtaining asylum or refugee status, or by fulfilling other special provisions.

2. File the Appropriate Petition Form

When you know which immigrant category applies to your case, it’s time to file the appropriate petition form. Most individuals need to have the petition filed on their behalf.

Family-Based Adjustment of Status: If you have a relative who is a permanent resident or U.S. citizen, then he or she can file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on your behalf.

Employment-Based Adjustment of Status: In most cases, getting an adjustment of status through an employer requires that the employer files Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker. However, if an entrepreneur intends to invest a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business venture, then he or she may file Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur.

Humanitarian Programs: Humanitarian programs generally do not require a petition; however, the individual may have to fulfill additional requirements before adjusting his or her status.

Special Classes of Immigrants: Sometimes immigrants can file Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), and Special Immigrant. They may also have this form filed on their behalf.

Depending on which category you adjust under, it may be possible to file your petition at the same time that you file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. A visa must be available in order for you to file Form I-485.

3. Apply to Adjust Status or Register Permanent Residency

Mistakes are common when filing Form I-485. Sometimes applicants forget to provide the necessary evidence or documentation. This could lead to a delay or denial of your application.  And many people apply who may NOT be eligible for adjust status.  That is why it is so important to speak to an immigration lawyer like Kuck Immigration Partners about your eligibility before filing.

Other Steps Required to Adjust Your Immigration Status

Although these three steps are critical for adjusting your immigration status, the process does not end when you submit Form I-485. You will also need to go to your appointment at the Application Support Center, and you may have to go to an interview at a USCIS office. After you have submitted all paperwork, completed the necessary interviews and security checks, and fulfilled all other requirements, USCIS will make a decision on your case. You will receive a notification of the decision in writing.


If you would like to adjust your immigration status in the United States, turn to Kuck Immigration Partners. An immigration lawyer in Atlanta will help you avoid mistakes during the application process. Call 404-816-8611 to schedule a consultation.

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