Adjustment of Status

Adjustment of status is a process for obtaining your green card while you are in the United States. One of the benefits of adjustment of status is that you can get your green card without having to return to your home country. For many people, this makes the green card process much more convenient and affordable.
 

If you are already in the United States…

and qualify as an “immediate relative” of a United States citizen, you should consider whether the one-step adjustment of status process would be best for your situation.

An immediate relative is the spouse of a United States citizen, the child of a United States citizen if the child is under 21 years old, or the parent of a United States citizen (but children cannot apply for their parents until they turn 21 years old). If you fall into one of these categories, you may be able to submit all of your immigration forms in one step by filing everything with the initial package. You should always make sure that you qualify for adjustment of status before submitting a one-step adjustment of status package. Filing a one-step adjustment of package if you don’t qualify or are inadmissible will result in lost application fees and may result in deportation proceedings.
 

If you are already in the United States…

and do not qualify as an “immediate relative” of a United States citizen, you should consider whether you should file an I-130 followed by an adjustment of status application.

If you are in the United States but don’t qualify to file a one-step package, you may be able to have your relative file an I-130 petition to start the green card process, and then file your I-485 green card application after the I-130 has been approved and a visa number is available. As with the one-step adjustment of status process, you should always make sure that you qualify for adjustment of status before submitting your application. If you submit your application but don’t qualify or are inadmissible, you likely will lose your application fees and may be placed in deportation proceedings.
 

If you are not already in the United States…

you should not travel to the United States in order to apply for adjustment of status without first discussing your situation in detail with an immigration lawyer.

You should never use a tourist visa or the visa waiver program to travel to the United States if the purpose of your trip is to stay in the United States and apply for adjustment of status. Doing so will place you at risk of being accused of visa fraud and potentially facing severe penalties such as not being able to get a green card. If there is something special about your situation that makes you want to explore whether you may qualify for an exception to this rule, you should discuss your situation with a qualified immigration lawyer before you make any decisions about your case.
 
Note: If you entered the United States using a K1 fiance visa and married your petitioner within 90 days of your entry to the United States, you may also qualify to file an adjustment of status application to get your green card. Learn more about the K1 fiance visa process.
 

Adjustment of Status Frequently Asked Questions

“Do I need a Virginia immigration lawyer for my adjustment of status / green card case?”
“What is adjustment of status to get a green card?”
“What are the qualifications and requirements for adjustment of status to get a green card based on a family relationship?”
“How much will it cost to get a green card through adjustment of status?”
“How long will it take to get a green card through adjustment of status?”
“Can I apply for adjustment of status if I entered the United States illegally?”
 

Recent Adjustment of Status Articles

 

How much does it cost to get a green card through adjustment of status?

The costs involved in getting a green card through the adjustment of status process can be viewed in three groups: the required government filing fees, other required costs and attorney fees. The required government filing fees are: $420     Form I-130 filing fee $1,070   Form I-485 adjustment of status filing fee The other required costs that [...]

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Can I apply for adjustment of status in deportation proceedings?

A recent USCIS memo provides guidance regarding the handling of removal proceedings of people with pending or approved applications or petitions with USCIS. The memo discusses two key items: (1) expedited adjudication of applications or petitions of those in removal proceedings and (2) dismissal without prejudice of certain cases in removal proceedings. Expedited Adjudication. According [...]

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