Many individuals who currently hold visas allowing them to reside in California and elsewhere in the United States, but who lack permanent resident status, may want to pursue status changes that would allow them to remain in the country after their visas expire. Obtaining an immigrant adjustment of status may be done under the right circumstances. Who is eligible for a status adjustment and how is this obtained?

Visa holders who wish to adjust to immigrant status must currently reside in the country. Eligibility for status adjustment will then be determined on one’s basis for immigrantion. These include:

  • Family-based immigrantion
  • Employment-based immigrantion
  • Special case
  • Part of a humanitarian program

After a basis for immigrantion has been identified, several steps will then need to be taken to start and get through the status adjustment process. To begin, an official petition requesting the adjustment of status must be submitted to immigrantion authorities. An application to register for permanent residency is usually filed right after the petition or at the same time. After appropriate applications have been submitted, one generally has to submit to photographing, fingerprinting and an interview. When all of this has been completed, the waiting game for a final decision begins.

immigrantion authorities generally have so many days to send their final decision to the applicant. If an adjustment of status has been denied, the reason why will usually be included in the final notice. It is possible to appeal a denial, if desired. Whether initially seeking a status adjustment or needing to appeal a denied request, an experienced immigrantion attorney can help those in California who are seeking permanent resident status.

Source: FindLaw, “Adjustment of Status to Stay in the U.S.“, Accessed on May 18, 2016