Adjustment of Status
How to Get a Green Card in the US

Adjustment of Status Adjustment of status (AOS) allows a person who qualifies to be a permanent resident to obtain a green card without having to leave the United States.

When a person applies for AOS, he also applies for a work permit (EAD) and, if eligible, for a travel permit (Advance Parole or AP). Generally, an applicant for AOS must have entered the U.S. legally and have never violated his immigration status.

To apply for adjustment of status, you must submit a form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status plus supporting evidence and the proper filing fee.   Use form I-765 to apply for an EAD work permit and form I-131 to apply for an Advance Parole travel permit.

There are some exceptions to the general rule to qualify for Adjustment of Status.

Section 245(i) of the law provides that certain persons with old priority dates may pay a penalty fee and adjust their status despite entering the U.S. illegally or violating or overstaying their nonimmigrant status.

Section 245(k) provides that if a person is applying for AOS pursuant to an employment-based immigrant visa petition, he is eligible to do so as long as he entered the U.S. lawfully and has not been out of status for over 180 days since his most recent admission.

Also, persons who are immediate relatives (parents, spouses and children of U.S. citizens) may adjust their status if they entered the U.S. lawfully even if they overstayed or worked without authorization without having to pay a penalty fee.  A U.S. citizen son or daughter must be 21 years of age or older in order to sponsor his parents for green cards.

You can stay up-to-date with the waiting times in the Visa Bulletin by subscribing to our Free E-Mail Newsletter.


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We hope that the following videos, articles and practice advisories assist you in becoming a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. through AOS.

This page is divided into the following sub-sections:

General Information – Adjustment of Status

Adjustment of Status Videos

  • Adjustment of Status – This video explains the process of obtaining permanent residence without having to leave the United States.


  • Adjustment of Status Through Section 245i – Section 245(i) of the immigration law allows certain persons who have overstayed their visas or entered the United States without inspection to adjust their status to permanent residents without having to leave the U.S.


Success Stories

Adjustment of Status

Practice Advisories

Permanent Residence and Adjusting Status: Additional Resources

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Immigration Updates
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