Adjustment of Status
Adjustment of Status under the Immigration and Nationality Act is the process of changing an individual’s non-immigration status to Immigrant Status (Green Card) as long as the individual was inspected, admitted or paroled in the United States. Adjustment of Status applications occur in both employment based and family based cases. To adjust, an Immigrant Visa must be readily available and current based on the Applicant’s Priority Date and Current Visa Bulletin Schedule, and the Applicant must be eligible and otherwise admissible.
In some cases, the Adjustment of Status Applicant may be eligible for employment authorization and advanced parole (travel outside the US) while the Adjustment of Status is pending. However, there are many potential issues affecting eligibility to adjust status including:
- Preconceived Intent Issues;
- Medical Issues
- Criminal & Conviction Issues
- Inspection Issues
- Moral Turpitude Issues
- Overstay and Unlawful Presence
- Fraud Issues
- H1B Portability Issues
Overstay Visa Problems, Adjustment of Status & Marriage to a US Citizen
A common problem associates with adjustment of status application is that a person previously admitted into the US on a valid visa or a visa waiver program and to overstay past their authorized date of stay or the I-94 expiry date. Generally speaking, Immigration and Nationality Act provides that persons staying longer than 180 days past their authorized date are subject to a 3 year bar or, if in excess of 1 year are subject to a 10 year bar. The so-called 3 or 10 year bar means that once the overstayed person leaves the United States, s/he is not allowed to enter the United States until the 3 or 10 year bar ends.
However, having an Immediate Relative sponsor such as a US Citizen Spouse or a qualified US Citizen child, an Immigrant Visa is generally available, unless there are other inadmissibility issues involve. To obtain a “green card” through the adjustment of status process, the US Citizen may petition and the Applicant may apply for adjustment of Status (INA 245(i)).
Due to the complexities of Adjustment of Status and potential issues affecting eligibility, it is highly recommended to contact an experienced Immigration Lawyer to prepare your case, contact Cipolla Law Group for a consultation.