A person who qualifies to be a permanent resident may be able to apply to obtain a green card without leaving the U.S. This procedure is called adjustment of status (AOS). When a person applies for adjustment of status, he also applies for a work permit (EAD) and, if he is eligible, for a travel permit (“advance parole”). Generally, an applicant for adjustment of status 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.
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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 adjustment of status.
This page is divided into the following sub-sections:
General Information – Adjustment of Status
- How Do I Become a Lawful Permanent Resident While In The United States? (USCIS)
- Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
- Advance Parole Travel Document (CBP)
- Find a Doctor (USCIS)
- USCIS FAQ on AP/EAD Cards
- Pending Employment-Based I-485 Inventory (USCIS)
- Policy Memo: Extension of Validity of Medical Certifications on Form I-693 (9-4-13)
- USCIS: Section 245(k)’s Application to 245(c) for Certain Employment-Based Applications (7-14-08)
- USCIS Memo: FBI Name Checks Policy and Process Clarification for Domestic Operations (12-21-06)
- USCIS Memo: Determination of Ability to Pay under 8 CFR 204.5(g)(2) – (5-04-04)
- INS Memo on Concurrent Filing When Visa Petition is Denied (2-28-03)
- Concurrent Filing FAQ (2002)
- INS Memo Re: Hs and Ls Who Work After Entering on Advance Parole (5-16-00)
- Adjustment of Status – This video explains “Adjustment of Status”, 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.
- Helping a Foreign-Born Physician Get a Green Card
- Overcoming an Adjustment of Status Denial
- Using Section 245(i) to Help a Client Avoid Deportation
- 245(i): Turning Denials into Approvals
- Family-Based Adjustment of Status (December 2018)
- Potential Adjustment of Status Options After the Termination of TPS (1-22-18)
- “Arriving Aliens” and Adjustment of Status (11-01-15)
- Adjustment of Status of “Arriving Aliens” Under the Interim Regulations: Challenging the BIA’s Denial of a Motion to Reopen, Remand, or Continue a Case (4-16-07)
Permanent Residence and Adjusting Status: Additional Resources
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Carl Shusterman served as an INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) before opening a firm specializing exclusively in US immigration law. He is a Certified Specialist in Immigration Law who has testified as an expert witness before the US Senate Immigration Subcommittee. Carl was featured in the February 2018 edition of SuperLawyers Magazine.
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