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 (
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
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
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 h