Adjustment of Status


Immigration Attorneys – Green Cards

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Adjustment of status, or “obtaining a green card” is a process that our immigration attorneys are passionate about. We love being able to help great people feel secure in the United States, knowing that they can permanently reside here to live with their families.

Our firm has helped thousands of people obtain their lawful permanent residence status. (LPR)

If you need the services of our immigration lawyers, please know that the consultation is completely free. We understand that the process to become an LPR can be difficult and confusing. That’s why we offer a free consultation.

Our goal is to educate you on how to obtain a Green Card. We have found that it is critical for our clients to fully understand the process.

We have provided a wealth of information regarding how the adjustment process works. But know that you can always just pick up the phone and call us.

Free Consultations

If you need to hire an experienced and caring immigration attorney to help you with your adjustment of status, please call us at 602-989-5000.

shutterstock_280369727AOS Questions:

Here are some quick frequently asked questions. For qualifications scroll below.

What’s the first step?

The first step is your family member files an I-130 for you.  Immigration verifies that your family member qualifies to petition for you.

What happens after the I-130 is approved?

After approval, YOU file the adjustment of status application.

Can I adjust from my home country?

You can adjust from your home country, however this is a different process that requires different paperwork. This process is called consular process.  If you have previously traveled to the United States without obtaining a visa or entered without inspection you may be required to file a waiver.

If I am already in the US, do I have to have entered the US legally?

For adjustment of status within the United States, the short answer is yes. To be eligible for adjustment of status your entry must have been lawful. There are exceptions and waivers which you can read below.

How long does the process take?

The process can take anywhere from six months to a year. It varies due to government processing.

When will my biometrics (fingerprints) appointment be?

Usually you will give your fingerprints three months after you submit the initial application.

When do I do my interview?

The interview is usually 6 to 9 months after submitting initial application.

Can I leave to my home country after I apply?

No, you should remain in the United States while your application is pending.

Does this process lead to a “Green Card?”

Yes.  After you are approved in the interview, you normally get your “Green Card” in 30 days.

Once I go through this process can I include my family members later?

Yes, as long as they qualify.  We recommend that you contact us as this area of law can get complicated.

How much are the fees?

  • $535 for I-130 family petition
  • $700 for EAD work permit I-140
  • $1225 for adjustment of status (green card) application form 485

When can I start working?

You can apply for a work permit throughout the process. We have recently seen delays regarding approval, however.  It is not uncommon for the “Green Card” to arrive prior to the work permit. It is your decision whether or not you want to file for a work permit throught I-140.

Green Card Overview:

Adjustment of Status, or “AOS,” is the process that allows certain people to apply for lawful immigration status in the United States.  At the end of this process, the person will receive lawful permanent residence status, or become a green card holder.

If you are thinking about using this type of application to get a green card, we have some important information and tips we would like to share with you.  Unfortunately, there is a great deal of misinformation about Adjustment of Status and we hope to help you better understand your options.

Qualifications For Green Cards:

lawyer green cardIn order to become a legal permanent resident through Adjustment of Status, you must meet a number of specific factors.  Keep in mind, this letter only discusses Adjustment of Status and you may be eligible for other processes.

1: To adjust your status within the United States, you must have entered the U.S. legally.  This means with you came with some sort of visa that gave you permission to enter the United States.   You must be able to prove that you entered legally, which can be done by providing a copy of your visa.

245(i): 245(i) is a special section of immigration law that allows certain people to apply for a green card in the United States even though they did not enter the country legally.  To qualify under section 245(i), you must be the beneficiary of a petition that has a priority date on or before April 30, 2001.  The immigration petition giving your 245(i) protection can be either an I-130 family petition, or an I-140 petition for labor certification.  If you qualify for 245(i), there is an additional $1000 “penalty” fee that you must pay at the time of applying for your green card.

2: There can’t be anything on your criminal or immigration record that would keep you from becoming a resident.  This means you do not have any prior deportation orders or a criminal history that would otherwise prevent you from being admissible.  If you came with a visa, you may only apply for Adjustment of Status in the United States if you have one or less period of times you have overstayed your allowed stay in the United States.  This means you cannot apply for Adjustment of Status if you have stayed over the amount of time your visa allowed two or more times.

3:  You must have an immediate relative that can petition for you.  Eligible “immediate relatives” include: a U.S. citizen spouse, a U.S. citizen child who is at least 21 years old or older, and U.S. citizen parent whose child is under the age of 21.

4:  You must be physically present in the United States when you apply for AOS, and you cannot leave the United States while your application is pending without first seeking permission from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

5:  You must submit a medical examination with your application for Adjustment of Status.  The medical examination must be completed by a doctor who has been authorized by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to do the immigration exams.  The medical exam is done to make sure that you have all of your required vaccinations and that you don’t have any serious, contagious diseases that could get other people in the United States sick.  Each doctor has his or her own fee that is charged for completing the medical exam.

6: You must be able to show that the person petitioning for you makes a certain amount of money based on the number of people in his or her houshold.  To show this requirement is met, your petitioning family member must provide his or her tax returns for the most recent year and proof of employment.  The government requires this information to make sure that when you get your green card, you won’t need to depend on government assistance, like food stamps and welfare.  If your petitioner does not make the required income or is not working, a co-sponsor will be needed.

Documents and Fees:

Step One – Gather the required documents

Documents must be gathered to show that you meet the requirements. This means you must gather documents including your proof of legal entry or 245(i) protection, your completed medical exam, proof of your relationship with the petitioner, your petitioner’s taxes, and co-sponsor documents if needed.

Step Two – Mail applications and supporting documents to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”)

Once you have all the required documents and application forms completed, you are ready to file your Adjustment of Status application

  • Costs:
    • $535 for I-130 family petition
    • $1225 for adjustment of status (green card) application
    • If you have 245(i), $1000 fee
  • Processing time: About 6-8 months

You are also eligible to apply for a work permit with your application for your green card.  The work permit gives you permission to work in the United States while your application for your green card is still being reviewed by USCIS.

After the 6-9 month processing time is done and USCIS has completed the review of your application, you will either receive your approval notice by mail or receive an interview notice from USCIS.  Interviews are always required when your petitioner is your spouse.  At the interview, the Immigration Officer will ask questions to confirm the valid relationship between you and your petitioner, and ask you questions about your immigration and criminal history to make sure you qualify for a green card.

DO NOT APPLY IF:

There are certain situations that may make you ineligible adjustment of status in the Untied States.  Don’t file for adjustment of status if:

  • You have entered the U.S. illegally and don’t have 245(i) protection
  • You have used fake documents to enter the United States
  • You lied to get your visa to allow you to enter the United States
  • You have sold, smuggled, or trafficked drugs
  • You helped anyone else enter the United States illegally
  • You have told someone before that you are a U.S. citizen