I. Adjustment of Status
“Adjustment of Status” is self explanatory, defines to adjust the one’s status in context related to US Immigration Laws. The term Adjustment of Status depicts that to adjust the temporary status into permanent status i.e. permanent citizenship of United States. This is the unique phenomena of US Immigration process. The United States Immigration and Nationality Act facilitates to convert the status of an individual immigrant to become a permanent resident of United States, while he or she staying in United States as on temporary visa such as H-1B, F-1 etc. An individual, non-immigrant or any person having temporary status, if physically present in US for a authorized span of time and also mitigating the required qualifications for a Green Card (Permanent Resident) in a particular immigrant category and also he or she wanted to adjust his or her status as a permanent resident of United States, is commonly known as “Adjustment of Status”.
II. Eligibility to apply for Adjustment of Status?
The following prerequisites are required to apply for adjustment of status:-
A. The foreign aspirants for adjustment of status must be physically present in the United States; otherwise he or she must go via immigrant visa processing at US Consulate.
B. The foreign nationals must have entered legally in the United States. He or she must have been properly inspected and admitted legally in the United States.
C. He or she must have immigration visa number.
D. He or she could not change his or her status i.e. no change in situation or circumstance.
E. Apart from above conditions, one must fall under the following category:-
- Family Based Criterion: He or she must be immediate relative of US citizen. The bar is that if adjustment is pending and relative having US citizenship is dead then he or she thereby no longer eligible for adjustment of status.
- Marriage is another one of the important criterion. He or she must be spouse of a US citizen then he or she will eligible to adjust status but the major constraints are that if he or she pending petition divorced or separated or either the marriage was void one then he or she no longer be eligible to adjust status. However if marriage is last for 2 years and the spouse were not separated during that time and US citizen is dead during pending petition then he or she will still be eligible for adjust status.
- Employment Based Criterion is one of the most favored aspects for adjustment of status. He or she work in US on employment visa such as H-1B (work visa for professional) which permits one to stay for authorized time period then he or she can apply for adjust his or her status as a permanent resident of the United States. The basic requirement under this category is that one must under the status of an employment for certain period till the petition is adjudicated for adjustment of status.
- Foreign nationals having been entered legally in US under the status of the fiancé or fiancée K-1 visa and he or she have married to the US permanent resident within 90 days is eligible to convert his or her status as permanent resident of United States.
- Any individual or non-immigrant or alien who having status of refugee or asylum. This status must have been remained for last 1 year then one can eligible.
- Another unique category is diversity visa or lottery system. He or she may get notice from the department of immigration regarding Green Card by lottery system.
- If any non-immigrant is residing continuously since Jan 1, 1972 is also eligible to adjust his or her status as a permanent resident of United States.
- He or she is born in or either native place is Cuba and legally entered and paroled into the US after Jan 1, 1959 and has been physical present in US for at least one year is also eligible for adjustment of status.
III. Procedure for adjustment of status
The procedure is to file an application for adjustment of status determined by the category of one’s visa category which discussed above. In general foreign national file an application for adjustment of status (I-485) with the Citizenship and Immigration Services Office having jurisdiction over the category and also depend upon the applicant’s residence. Each district offices having its own procedure for adjustment of status.
IV. Type of documents he or she must filed along with the application
An individual or non-immigrant or parolee must file the following documents:-
a. Form I-485
b. Supplement A to Form I-485
c. Two photograph passport style
d. Form G-325A i.e. Biographic Information Form (Only for 14 or older applicants)
e. INS Form I-693 and Supplement (Medical Examination)
f. INS Form I-864 i.e. affidavit of support by the applicant relative.
g. Evidence of employment i.e. offer letter, appointment letter.
h. A copy of passport and Form I-94 which shows the applicants legal entry to the US.
i. Earlier notices of approval for non-immigrant status.
j. Birth certificate, marriage certificate, adoption certificate, name change certificate, Divorce certificate of applicant depend upon the case applicable.
k. Requisite fees
V. Interview requirement
The time taken in processing of application for adjustment of status is varying by office and procedure followed. Generally applications based on Family Criterion are interviewed by the adjudication officer and on the other hand employment based criterion applicants approved without interview. One must require attending interview with all documents
VI. Decision of USCIS
After all the procedure above discussed and security checks have been done then his or her case is ready for decision by the USCIS. USCIS will notify its decision through written notice through mail.
VII. If the application is either rejected or denied
There is no provision of appeal against the USCIS rejection or denial for adjustment of status. Notwithstanding applicant has a limited option to invoke a motion to reopen or reconsider or either reinitiating the adjustment procedure. The basis for no provision of appeal is that USCIS having discretionary powers to reject or deny the application either on the security issues also.
The process of adjustment of status is depends upon one’s eligibility criterion because this criterion is the back bone of the whole procedure. Throughout the process an individual or non-immigrant or parolee must have eligible to adjust his status as a permanent resident of United States. The process is bit complicated but facilitate to become a US citizen.