If you were born outside the United States and do not have a green card or permanent resident status, you may be eligible to remain in the country by completing the “adjustment of status process.” To be eligible for this process, you must first satisfy certain criteria. Individuals seeking an adjustment of status are typically visa holders who are not immigrants or temporary parolees who wish to obtain lawful resident status.

Because this process falls within federal laws and statutes, it can be complicated to complete properly without help from an immigration attorney. A San Diego adjustment of status lawyer could review your circumstances and determine whether or not you are eligible to complete this process. If you are eligible, our team could assist you throughout each stage of this journey.

Eligibility to Adjust Immigration Status

For someone to adjust their immigration status, they must first meet the eligibility requirements. These include maintaining a physical presence in the United States and entering the country through the legal process. Additionally, a person’s reason for immigrating to the United States determines, in part, whether or not they are eligible to change their immigration status. Valid reasons for entering the United States include employment, family relationships, or humanitarian purposes. An attorney in San Diego could help an immigrant determine if they are eligible to adjust their status.

Steps in the Immigration Status Adjustment Process

The first step in this process is filing a petition. In the majority of status adjustment cases, a family member or employer needs to file the petition on behalf of the applicant. The most common types of immigrant petitions include:

  • Employment petitions
  • Family petitions
  • Special classification petitions
  • Humanitarian program petitions

It is important to note that before an applicant begins adjustment immigration status process, they must determine if there is a visa available for them. This is because only a limited number of visas are available in a given year for each type of petition. Fortunately, a San Diego adjustment of status attorney could assist with making this determination.

After determining that the appropriate visa is available, an individual could begin their application. Applicants may need to submit to fingerprinting as part of a background check as well as attend an interview where they must answer questions under oath.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must notify an applicant in writing regarding approval or denial of their application. Applicants who receive a denial letter may be able to file an appeal under certain circumstances. However, not every change of status decision is appealable. The notice which the applicant receives indicates whether or not the applicant is eligible to file an appeal.

Call a San Diego Adjustment of Status Attorney Today

You should not attempt to adjust your immigration status on your own. Immigration laws, as well as the required forms and other paperwork, can be difficult to understand, and a serious mistake could cost you significant time and money. A San Diego adjustment of status lawyer from our firm could assist you with your petition and address all of your legal questions and concerns.