If you are eligible for a green card, you might be able to apply for lawful permanent residency in the United States.
The process of applying for a green card inside the U.S is called “Adjustment of status”.
The eligibility requirements for adjustment of status may vary depending on the immigrant category you are applying under. In general, to be eligible to apply for a green card without returning to your home country, you must generally comply with the following requirements*:
- You must be eligible for a green card– this means that you have someone that can petition you (a family member or an employer), or that you fall within another eligibility category (for examples: victims of abuse, Asylees, refugees, special immigrants and more).
- Visa available– In general, there must be a visa available for you before you can apply for a Green Card. In some categories- like “immediate relatives”, visas are always available, while in others, there are a limited number. Priority dates are given to immigrants waiting in line to get an immigrant visa and determine when a visa becomes available.
- Entered the U.S with permission after an inspection by border agents– In general, you must have entered with permission (usually with a visa) in order to adjust your status in the U.S. This is the general rule, however it does not apply to every type of immigrant category and your category might exempt you from this requirement.
- Maintaining legal status in the U.S– Generally, you must be maintaining valid status in the U.S. in order to file for your green card in the U.S. Please note that immediate relatives are exempt from this requirement!
*These are the general requirements and exceptions to these requirements exist in many cases (for example- in the immediate relative category).
To apply for Adjustment of Status, you will need to file Form I-485, “Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status” with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You can find this form here: https://www.uscis.gov/i-485
If you have questions about the Adjustment of Status process, our office would love to assist you. We are committed to helping families navigate the often-complex landscape of U.S. immigration law. To schedule a consultation, call our office today or contact us online.