Adjustment of Status
Adjustment of status refers to the process wherein certain foreign nationals can use in order to apply for and become legal permanent residents of the United States when already in the United States, after a legal entry and a visa number is available for the category sought. An adjustment of status is also simply referred to as applying for a Green Card through USCIS. Through an Adjustment of Status, foreign nationals can obtain a Green Card without having to leave the country; they can complete the process of applying for a visa within the United States.
Eligibility for an Adjustment of Status
US citizens and legal permanent residents of the US are eligible to petition certain family members who are living in the US so that they can receive a Green card.
Those who meet the following qualifications can apply for an Adjustment of Status:
- Immediate Relatives: Individuals who fall within this category are given priority for a Green Card, meaning that they don’t have to wait for a visa number. Immediate Relatives are broken down into the following categories:
- IR1: Spouses of US citizens
- IR2: Unmarried minor children of US citizens (under the age of 21)
- IR3: Orphans who are adopted abroad by a US citizen
- IR4: Orphans who will be adopted in the US by a US citizen
- IR5: Parents of US citizens (over the age of 21)
- Family Preference: This category refers to family members of US citizens who are not immediate relatives. Family Preference categories are as follows:
- F1: Unmarried adult children of US citizens (over the age of 21)
- F2A: Spouses and unmarried children of legal permanent residence (under the age of 21)
- F2B: Unmarried adult children of legal permanent residents (over the age of 21)
- F3: Married children of US citizens
- F4: Siblings of adult US citizens
Other requirements for an Adjustment of Status include:
- Must be within the United States
- Entered the US legally
- An approved and current I-130 petition or in the case of an immediate relative, when the I-130 is filed concurrently
Adjustment of Status Timeline
The timeline for an Adjustment of Status varies and is case-dependent. An I-485 petition must be filed, and once it is, the following will occur:
- A notice for your biometrics services appointment will be sent to you.
- Officials of the USCIS will review your case and determine if an interview is required.
- You may be asked to respond to a request to visit the USCIS office, where you will have your passport stamped with a temporary green card.
- An I-551 Green Card from the USCIS will be issued once the Adjustment of Status is approved.