There are two options for allowing a person to become a legal permanent resident of the U.S. These are known as consular processing and adjustment of status. This article focuses on the family based adjustment of status.
Unlike consular processing, adjustment of status can only be completed in the United States. There are multiple reasons to adjust status including refugee, employment, and fiancée, but one of the most popular reasons for adjustment of status regards family. The immigration process can be extremely rewarding once completed, but it can also be confusing and requires adherence to a number of stipulations that can be difficult to navigate without legal counsel. In order to increase the likelihood of being approved for a family based adjustment of status, the forms must be completed properly and there must be compelling evidence for USCIS or the consulate. With thoughtful advance planning, you can decrease the chances of a petition denial.
The challenge with current immigration is such that sometimes a family member is able to move to the United States with only the hope of possible future reunification with family. An adjustment of status application should be filed by the alien, the person already physically in the US. The alien files in order to change status to immigrant or a permanent resident status. There are other requirements to meet eligibility, including an approved immigration petition (for those who file a family-based immigration petition), verification that the alien entered the US in a legal way, and proof that there have been no changes in circumstances. In addition, approval rests on qualification under current quota rules and limits.
Depending on your specific circumstances, you might be eligible the file the petition simultaneously with the Form I-485 (the application to register permanent residence or adjust status). This concurrent filing process may also enable some immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to apply. Speak to one of our immigration attorneys about your individual situation to ensure proper application.
As mentioned earlier, the complex immigration process often separates families, at least for a short period of time. The reunification offered by the family-based adjustment of status, however, opens the door for reunifying those families. Over time, parents or siblings are also eligible in addition to fiancee visas and marriage to an American citizen. This process enables those people to receive a green card based on family status, thus increasing the number of families reunified with the United States. The family based adjustment of status also eases the process for the person already in the country, since it saves that person the trip to the home country to complete a visa.
If you (or a loved one) are looking for a qualified immigration attorney, you are welcome to contact our office and schedule an in person meeting, or if you live outside the Cincinnati area a telephone meeting.
Immigration is a very specialized area of law; be sure your attorney focuses his or her practice on immigration and helping people like you. We focus our practice on immigration law and helping people visit, live in, go to school, and work in the United States. We especially love bringing families together and helping foreign nationals start a new life, even become U.S. citizens. You can reach us at 513-793-6555 or Thomasjr@geygan.com. Your next step is to contact us.