1. What is Adjustment of Status?
Adjustment of Status is a procedure allowing certain foreign nationals already in the U.S. to apply for immigrant status. Foreign nationals admitted to the U.S. in a nonimmigrant, refugee, or parole category may have their status changed to that of lawful permanent resident if they are eligible to receive an immigrant visa and one is immediately available.
Note: In such cases, the foreign national is counted as an immigrant as of the date of adjustment, even though the alien may have been in the United States for an extended period of time.
2. How do I apply for Adjustment of Status in the U.S.?
To adjust your status in the U.S., you must submit:
- Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
Note: Please read the introductory page to the Form I-485 carefully for complete details. These details are different depending on the visa qualifications that you have. The introductory page will also tell you where to file your application for Adjustment of Status. After you submit your application materials, you will be asked to go to a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office to answer questions about your applications.
3. Will I get a Work Permit after applying for Adjustment of Status?
Yes, if you are inside the U.S. and have filed Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, you are eligible to apply for a Work Permit while your case is pending. You should use Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization to apply for a work permit.
Note: You do not need to apply for a Work Permit once you are granted an immigrant visa or adjust to permanent resident status. As a legal permanent resident, you should receive a permanent resident card that will provide evidence that you have a right to live and work in the U.S. permanently.
4. Can I travel outside the U.S. after applying for Adjustment of Status?
Yes, you may travel outside the U.S. while your Adjustment of Status application is being processed, however, you must receive advance permission called Advance Parole to return to the U.S. if you are traveling outside the U.S. If you do not apply for Advance Parole before you leave the country, you will abandon your application with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and you may not be permitted to return to the U.S.
Note: However, if you have accrued more than 180 days of unlawful presence and then travel abroad, you will be barred from Adjustment of Status for either three years or 10 years, even if you were granted Advance Parole, unless you are granted a hardship waiver.
5. How can I check the status of my Adjustment of Status application?
You may check visa status by using VisaPro’s free visa status service.
6. How can I appeal against a denial of my Adjustment of Status application?
If your application to adjust status to permanent residence is denied, you will receive a letter that will tell you why the application was denied. If you are not in a current, legal status, the process to remove you from the country will begin as soon as your application is denied. You will be allowed to have an immigration judge review the denial of your application during removal proceedings. During this review, Immigration must prove that the facts on your application were untruthful and that your application was properly denied. If the immigration judge decides to remove you from the country, you may appeal this decision. Generally, you may appeal within 33 days after the immigration judge decides to remove you from the country. After your appeal form and a required fee are processed, the appeal will be referred to the Board of Immigration Appeals in Washington, D.C.
7. What is an Aging Out case for the purpose of Adjustment of Immigration Status?
An Aging Out case is a situation referring to a person’s petition to become a legal permanent resident as a child, and in the time that passes during the processing of the application, the child turns 21, and ages-out.
8. Does the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) prevent my child from Aging Out?
Yes, if you are a U.S. citizen petitioning on behalf of your child, the CSPA prevents your child from Aging Out. If you are a legal permanent resident petitioning on behalf of your child, you will have to run the facts through the formula to determine the child’s “age” for immigration purposes.
9. What does the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) say about children of U.S. citizens?
Under the CSPA, if you are a U.S. citizen and you file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of your child before your child turns 21, your child will continue to be considered a child for immigration purposes even if the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) does not act on the petition before your child turns 21.
10. What does the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) say about children of legal permanent residents?
Under the CSPA, if you are a legal permanent resident and you file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative on behalf of your child before your child turns 21, your child’s age will be determined using the date that the priority date of the Form I-130 becomes current, minus the number of days that the Form I-130 is pending. In addition, your child must seek to acquire the status of a legal permanent resident within one year of visa availability. This provision also applies to derivative beneficiaries on family-based and employment-based petitions.
11. What does the U.S. Immigration law say about Adjustment of Status?
The Immigration and Nationality Act is the law that governs the admission of immigrants to the U.S. For the part of the law concerning Adjustment of Status. please see INA § 245. The specific eligibility requirements and procedures for applying to adjust status are included in the Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] at 8 CFR § 245.1, et seq
12. What is the eligibility criteria for Cuban Nationals or citizens seeking legal permanent resident status in the U.S.?
As a Cuban national or citizen, you may apply for Adjustment of Status if you have been present in the U.S. for at least one year since admission or parole and are admissible as immigrants. The public charge ground of inadmissibility does not apply to applicants filing for benefits under the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA). Nor does inadmissibility for having arrived at a place other than an open port of entry apply. If you arrive at a place other than an open port-of-entry, you are still eligible for Adjustment of Status as long as you have been paroled. If you are inadmissible on any other ground, you are not eligible for Adjustment of Status under the CAA unless you are eligible for, and have obtained, a waiver of inadmissibility.