Seeking an Adjustment of Status

What is the process for going from a temporary immigrant to a permanent resident?

Immigrants already in the United States can seek an adjustment of status, which will allow them to become a permanent U.S. resident without the need to return to their home country.  To be eligible for an adjustment of status, you must already be in America. If you are outside of the country, you will instead need to apply for an immigrant visa. You will need to meet several key requirements to be eligible for an adjustment of status. Our New York and New Jersey immigration lawyers discuss the steps for seeking an adjustment of status below.

Who Can Seek an Adjustment of Status

Section 245 of the Immigration and Nationality Act sets out the requirements for an adjustment of status.  To qualify for an adjustment of status, you must first be eligible for a green card through some lawful manner.  The most common grounds for a green card are through a family member or employer. Others may qualify as a refugee or through asylum. Keep in mind that there are caps on certain types of green cards.  Typically, family members of U.S. citizens will be given priority.

You will want to carefully review and potentially sit down with an immigration attorney to determine which immigration category you may qualify under.  With this information prepared, you can then file an immigrant petition or have one filed on your behalf. You will then either need to wait for an approved immigration petition or concurrently file for an adjustment of status.  Your ability to apply concurrently depends on the category of green card you seek.

A Form I-485 is used to pursue an adjustment of status.  The form will require that you provide crucial information like your date of arrival in the U.S., basis for eligibility for a green card, Social Security Number, a medical examination sheet, tax documents, evidence of any criminal convictions, and more.  At times, you will need to complete an interview to receive your adjustment of status. The interview will last about 20 minutes and during the interview you will be asked for information and verification of data within your application. Your immigration lawyer can help you prepare your application and complete the interview.

If you should have any questions or need more information about the ways in which the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Laws may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please contact the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mailing us at or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x107). You can also visit our Law Firm’s website at