Adjustments of Status
Adjustment of Status (AOS) is the process through which a person who entered the U.S. with a non-immigrant visa (tourist visa, fiancé visa, student visa, H1B, J1, etc.) obtains lawful permanent resident status in the U.S.
Because the process of applying for adjustment of status can be complicated and if an application is filed and denied, the applicant may be placed in removal proceedings in Immigration Court, we recommend that you use the services of an experienced attorney in the process.
Adjustment of Status Requirements
- Generally, the foreign national must have entered the U.S. legally. This means that people who entered without a visa are not eligible.
- An immigrant visa must be immediately available for the foreign national. Generally, if the foreign national is an Immediate Relative of a U.S. Citizen (spouse, unmarried child under the age of 21, or parent) an immigrant visa is immediately available. Otherwise, the foreign national must have an approved I-130 petition and an immigrant visa must be available.
- The foreign national cannot be “out of status.” A foreign national is “out of status” if they entered the U.S. legally but remained in the U.S. longer than authorized under the terms of their nonimmigrant visa. For example, if a foreign national is admitted into the U.S. as a tourist for a period of 3 months and the foreign national stays in the U.S. for 9 months the foreign national is “out of status” and may not adjust his or her status. THIS PROVISION DOES NOT APPLY TO IMMEDIATE RELATIVES OF U.S. CITIZENS.
In some cases, persons who entered the country illegal may qualify for adjustment of status under 245(i) also know as the Life Act. Generally, these are people who entered the United States before December 20, 2000 and who had an immigrant petition filed on their behalf on or before April 30, 2001.
Waivers of Inadmissibility
Although the beneficiary of an approved immigrant petition may be eligible to adjust status in the United States, he or she may be subject to a ground of inadmissibility and may need a waiver before adjustment of status may be granted. There are several reasons a prospective immigrant applicant for adjustment of status may need a waiver. In the case of applicants for adjustment of status, the most common reasons for inadmissibility are convictions of crimes or past use of fraudulent documents or a history of misrepresentation in connection with immigrant petitions or visa applications.
If you or your family member is inadmissible to the United States and requires a waiver or you are unsure whether or not you require a waiver we recommend that you proceed with the services of an experienced immigration lawyer and determine whether a waiver is necessary before seeking adjustment of status.
Although the waiver forms seem simple to fill out, the application process is very complicated. Approval is discretionary and the applicant must meet certain requirement and convince the adjudicating officer that he or she meets the legal standards to obtain a waiver
If you would like assistance with your adjustment of status case please contact us for a consultation. We will determine if you are eligible and if you hire us to represent you, your initial consultation fee will be applied to your fixed fee retainer.