The Good News: 75 Percent of Americans Support Immigration

Generally, a person who wants to apply for green card status as a legal permanent resident (a green card) in the United States must be in his or her home country to process the application.  However, this can be a problem for people who have already arrived in the United States legally.  For example, for people who have arrived as refugees, someone’s fiancée, or on a work visa, returning to their native land can represent a serious and sometimes dangerous disruption to their lives.  For people in such circumstances, an “adjustment of status” or “application for lawful permanent residence (LPR)”can be a good solution.  An adjustment of status allows a person who is already present in the United States to apply for legal permanent residence without returning to his or her home country.

Who is eligible for an adjustment of status?

Determining eligibility for an adjustment of status is a complicated process.  To begin, only a person who would already be eligible for legal permanent residence can apply for an adjustment.  As noted above, this can encompass a wide variety of people, including refugees, family members of US residents, workers, and victims of crime, trafficking, or abuse.  You also must have filed an application for legal permanent residence, which typically requires a “sponsor” to file the documents on your behalf.  Finally, applications for an adjustment of status are typically not accepted until there are visas available in the category for which a person is applying. The best option for you is to talk with an experienced immigration lawyer before you do anything.

How do I apply for an adjustment?

To initiate an application for an adjustment of status, you need to file a Form I-485.  Depending on your particular circumstances, your I-485 will need to be accompanied by various supporting documents.  For example, nearly every applicant must also visit a doctor for an examination, and have the doctor submit the results of the exam on a Form I-693 in a sealed envelope.  People who are seeking status based on a marriage to a citizen will need to file a Form I-130 as well as a marriage certificate.  Individuals seeking asylum would need to submit their notice of approval as an asylee.

Once you’ve filed your I-485, you will be contacted by your local Application Support Center to schedule an appointment.  At that appointment, they will collect biometric data, such as fingerprints, signatures, and photographs to help verify your identity.  It is extremely important that you do not miss your appointment; if you do, your application can be denied.  After your appointment, you may be asked to return for an interview to answer questions under oath about the information provided on your application.  Finally, in some cases you may be required to submit additional evidence after the interview to provide additional information.

Clearly, the process of applying for permanent residence through an adjustment of status can be very complicated.  And in most cases, the results can have enormous impacts on the applicant’s life, with denials sometimes meaning the applicant would have to return to his or her home country in order to obtain permanent resident status.  Our firm’s attorneys truly understand what is at stake in applications for an adjustment of status, and understand the adjustment process just as thoroughly.  If you are considering seeking legal permanent residence through an adjustment of status and want guidance from an experienced attorney, please call us today to schedule a consult with an immigration attorney at NPZ Law Group. 

If you should have any questions or need more information about the way that 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-mail us at or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x107) or by visiting our Law Firm’s website at