Applying for your lawful permanent residency status – often referred to as your “green card” – can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. When you are applying for lawful permanent residency status while already located in the United States, this process is referred to as Adjustment of Status.
To achieve Adjustment of Status, you must first be eligible for a Green Card. The main categories through which immigrants can be eligible are as follows:
- Through family
- Through employment
- Through refugee or asylum status
To begin the process, someone else (generally your U.S. citizen family member or employer) must file the appropriate petition for you. If you have been the victim of abuse at the hands of your U.S. citizen spouse, child, or parent, you can do a VAWA self-petition. VAWA stands for the Violence Against Women Act.
When a visa is available in your category, you will need to file an I-485 form with USCIS. Once this form is filed, you will need to attend an appointment at your local Application Support System, where you will provide fingerprints, a photograph, and/or a signature. It is important not to miss this appointment because it can result in your form being denied.
Next, you may or may not be required to undergo an interview at a USCIS office. If so, you will need to bring the originals of all of the documents submitted with your application.
Finally, you may receive a request for additional information if any part of your application evidence is no longer valid, or your USCIS representative needs more information for any other reason.
Once the process is complete, you will receive your decision. If your application is denied, you’ll likely have the chance to make an appeal. If it is accepted, you will first receive an approval notice, and then your Permanent Resident Card (green card).
Who Can Help Me Apply for Adjustment of Status?
If you are already living in the United States and want to obtain your green card, contact Atlanta Family & Immigration Law for guidance. We have helped countless clients navigate this process. We are eager to use our knowledge and experience to help you make this endeavor as easy and stress-free as possible. Give us a call to set up your consultation and learn more about how we can help you with this and other immigration matters.