Adjustment of status is used to describe the process of seeking lawful status in the United States as a permanent resident. Both individuals within and outside of U.S. borders may be eligible to apply for an adjustment of their immigrant status.
No matter the grounds on which you want to base a change in your immigration status, going forward with your petition without a knowledgeable green card attorney is not recommended. By working with an experienced Washington DC adjustment of status lawyer, you could give yourself much better chances of progressing through the application process smoothly and getting the final outcome you want.
Qualifying for Adjustment of Status
Before someone can successfully apply for adjustment of status, an immigrant must demonstrate that they fit into one of the categories designated by USCIS for prospective green card recipients. The most common ways in which individuals become eligible for green cards are through a family member already living here as a citizen or a legal permanent resident, or through a company that intends to employ the applicant full-time.
Both of these categories require the person seeking an adjustment of status to be formally sponsored by a family member or prospective employer. However, certain categories of immigrants can seek adjustment of status without a sponsor’s assistance, including:
- Individuals with refugee or asylee status
- Individuals who have fallen victim to criminal activity and/or human trafficking
- Individuals who have been harmed by domestic abuse
- Individuals who fall into one of a few special immigrant categories
- Individuals accepted through the diversity visa program
- Continuous residence in the United States since at least January 1, 1972
A Washington DC attorney could discuss on a case-by-case basis how a particular person could go about seeking an adjustment of status.
Basic Steps in the Application Process in Washington DC
People seeking adjustment of status must first acquire the appropriate immigrant visa. Different visas and procedures are necessary for different applicants. For example, individuals sponsored by family members or employers must have their sponsor respectively file Form I-130 or Form I-140 on their behalf, whereas individuals seeking adjustment of status through asylum may file Form I-589 on their own behalf.
Once an applicant lawfully enters the U.S. with a qualifying visa, they may file Form I-485 to formally begin the process of adjusting their status and becoming a legal permanent resident. Most applicants for an adjustment of status must also complete biometrics screening at an Application Support Center and/or participate in an interview process, both of which a lawyer in Washington DC could provide guidance on.
A Washington DC Adjustment of Status Attorney Could Help
Efficiently getting through the process of changing your immigrant status can be far from a simple task. You may need to seek sponsorship from another individual, submit substantial information and documentation to USCIS, and wait several months for a verdict even after completing in-person screenings and interviews. A single mishap or omission at any point during those proceedings could lead to your petition being denied.
Fortunately, assistance is available from a seasoned Washington DC adjustment of status lawyer. Schedule your consultation with an attorney from Hacking Immigration Law, LLC today.