Gaining a visa to be in the United States can take a lot of hard work. Many visas have time limits on them. When your time is up, you may be able to renew your visa, but not always.
If you want to stay in the country permanently, it is best to seek an adjustment of status. If successful, you will receive a Green Card.
Can anyone apply for permanent resident status?
You can only apply to adjust your status if you fall into one of several categories. These include qualifying through family, work, asylum or refugee status. There are several other reasons you may qualify. If you are unsure, it’s time to ask questions.
What must I do if I qualify to apply for Green Card?
If you want to adjust your status, you will need to fill in several forms. First, you need to complete an immigration petition. If the authorities approve your immigration petition, you then need to fill out a second form. Known as I-485, this is your application to adjust your status to that of a permanent resident.
In certain circumstances, you may be able to file both forms at once. If you are in the U.S. already, you can file in-country. If you are applying from abroad, you will do so through the consular office.
How do I know if my adjustment of status is successful?
Once you submit your I-485, you will get an appointment to collect your fingerprints, photo and signature. The immigration authorities may grant or deny your application with the information they have up to this point. Or they could also ask for further evidence to support your application. They might also require an in-person interview before making a decision.
Filing for an adjustment of immigration status can be challenging. Seek legal help to ensure you submit your applications correctly. Mistakes could cost you the right to live in the U.S.