Adjustment of Status Lawyer in Milwaukee, WI
A green card holder, commonly known as a lawful permanent resident, must go through the “adjustment of status” procedure to stay in the U.S. These individuals were not born in the United States and did not have legal permanent resident status.
An adjustment of status is when a nonimmigrant visa holder or parolee (temporary) switches to immigrant status to get a green card for lawful permanent residence.
- If you are not in the country or are not eligible to modify status while in the U.S., you must apply for an immigrant visa in your home country and enter the U.S. through “consular processing.”
- If you belong to the small portion of immigrants eligible to amend your status in the United States, you still need to check your eligibility before proceeding with your application. Applying for an adjustment of status while ineligible might result in serious repercussions, including deportation.
Before completing any immigration paperwork with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), it is always best to consult an immigration lawyer in Milwaukee, WI.
Do I Qualify for Adjustment of Status?
A potential immigrant must fulfill three primary conditions to file an adjustment of status application. To be eligible for this, an applicant must ensure the following requirements are met:
1. You must be physically present in the United States.
You must be in the United States (and need to complete the process inside the U.S.) when you file an adjustment of status application.
2. You entered the United States legally.
You were admitted or paroled into the United States lawfully. To put it simply, this means you entered the U.S with legitimate documents and made face-to-face contact with a U.S. immigration officer, who acknowledged your arrival. You still had a legal entrance if you came with a valid visa that has subsequently expired.
3. You have an immigrant visa immediately available.
I-130 petition by immediate relatives of U.S. citizens can be filed along with the adjustment of status application. This visa is always accessible.
On the contrary, family preference candidates must ensure that a visa is available. Prior to submission of Form I-485, their visa category must be “current” in the visa bulletin.
You must maintain their eligibility throughout the adjustment process. Circumstantial changes can have an impact on your adjustment application’s success.
Only a small percentage of persons can change their status. As a result, adjustment is often reserved for relatives, spouses who entered as K-1 fiancés, asylees, refugees, or individuals who arrived on a work visa (e.g., H-1B) and were sponsored for a green card by their company.
How to Apply for Adjustment of Status
Prospective immigrants who fulfill the conditions for adjustment of status may submit Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence, or Adjust Status to the USCIS.
- Immediate relatives may apply to USCIS when they fulfill the qualifying criteria.
- Close relatives are allowed to file “concurrently.” This implies that Form I-485 must be submitted along with Form I-130.
For family-based adjustment application packages, the following forms are normally included:
- I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status)
- I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative)
- I-130A (Biographic Information; if a relative is a spouse)
- I-864 (Affidavit of Support)
- I-693 ( Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record)
- I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization; optional)
- I-131 (Application for Travel Document; optional)
USCIS will send you an appointment notification for a biometric screening once you submit your application. This is a fast appointment to get your photo, fingerprints, and signature at a USCIS Application Support Center. USCIS uses biometric data to complete a necessary criminal background check.
USCIS will require you to attend an adjustment interview a few months later. Many times, the relative who submitted Form I-130 will also need to appear.
Certain persons may be exempt from having to attend an interview with USCIS. They’ll send you an email with your interview’s time, date, and place. USCIS uses the adjustment of status interview to verify the information you and your petitioner submitted on the petition and adjustment application. It’s also a chance for them to evaluate whether anything has changed in your life that would render you ineligible. This is a brief interview lasting 20 to 30 minutes in most cases.
It usually takes 8 to 14 months for most applicants to complete adjustment procedure.
Benefits of Status Adjustment
Advance parole, job permission, and legal stay are some of the benefits adjustment of status (AOS) candidates receive. Additionally, the main benefit of being qualified for AOS)is that you are on the verge of getting a green card. Once USCIS accepts an AOS application, the alien beneficiary is granted permanent residence status in the United States.
AOS applicants are entitled to extra benefits while their Form I-485 applications are pending.
When an immigrant applies for adjustment, they can also apply for advance parole simultaneously.
Advance parole permits an alien to travel freely overseas while their AOS application is pending, without having to abandon her application, lose any AOS-related benefits, or apply for and get a nonimmigrant visa to re-enter the United States.
Advance parole is unnecessary for some visa holders, such as those with H and L visas: H and L visa holders with outstanding I-485s can go outside the United States without their AOS applications being considered abandoned by USCIS.
Advance parole can also be applied simultaneously when an immigrant applies for adjustment.
Employment Authorization Document
Potential AOS recipients can apply for an employment authorization document (EAD), commonly known as a work permit, in the same way as they can for advance parole. As long as their I-485s are pending, aliens with EADs can work for any company in the United States.
Legal Stay in the United States
Aliens with pending AOS petitions are allowed to remain in the United States legally while their application for adjustment of status is still pending.
While it is permitted to let one’s previous nonimmigrant status expire while an AOS application is ongoing, we strongly advise applicants to keep their prior status while their AOS petitions are pending.
This is especially crucial for applicants who did not hire a professional immigration counsel and were caught off guard when their adjustment applications were rejected.
We're Here to Help
It is best to consult an immigration attorney for individuals seeking permanent residency.
The assistance of an adjustment of status lawyer makes the process of acquiring a green card easier, even in the most straightforward and uncomplicated conditions.
Call Miller & Miller Immigration Lawyers, LLC now to book a consultation with one of our Wisconsin immigration lawyers!