The U.S. immigration process is complicated. Confusing phrases and official forms are just some of the obstacles you will have to navigate. One phrase you are likely to hear a lot is “adjustment of status.” Put simply, this phrase refers to when an immigrant receives their green card and becomes a lawful permanent resident of the United States.
The path toward adjustment of status
There are a few paths you can take to adjust your immigration status. One of the more common ways is through marriage to a U.S. citizen. Another potential avenue is to have a family member residing in the U.S. file a petition of support.
If you receive a visa through marriage to a U.S. citizen, you can apply for an adjustment of status almost immediately. If you are attempting to get an adjustment of status through a petition of support filed by a family member, the process can take a long time.
Whether you seek permanent residency through marriage or through a family member, the person who is sponsoring you must first complete an I-130 petition. This petition states that they will provide you with financial support when you are granted permanent residency.
You will have to complete an I-485 application after the I-130 petition has been filed. You will receive your green card and become a lawful permanent resident of the United States when your application has been approved.
Seeking an adjustment of status is not without risk
Seeking an adjustment of status could result in your deportation. You will need to be especially careful if you have any type of criminal record. It’s important that you work closely with a skilled immigration law professional to help avoid any potential trouble areas.