Adjustment of Status to Lawful Permanent Resident Status Green Card.
Adjustment of Status generally refers to the procedure for seeking Permanent Resident Status in the United States without having to leave the U.S. This is popularly called the Green Card Application.
Section 245 of the Immigration and Nationality Act governs eligibility requirement for Adjustment of status (Green Card) in the U.S. It allows an alien to apply for adjustment of status to that of a Lawful Permanent Resident while in the United States if certain conditions are met. Such Alien must
- Be physically present in the United States.
- Have been inspected and admitted or paroled into the U.S.
- Be eligible for an immigrant visa.
- Have not violated the terms of his or her admission into the U.S.
- Have not engaged in Unlawful employment.
- Have not violated the terms and conditions of his or her Immigration Status.
- Be admissible for permanent residence, and not subject to the grounds of inadmissibility.
- Have maintained lawful non immigrant status with some exceptions.
Admission means the lawful entry of the alien into the United States after inspection and authorization by an Immigration officer.
If an Applicant was neither inspected and admitted, nor inspected and paroled, he or she is ineligible to file for Adjustment of Status in the United States unless he or she is eligible for adjustment of status under the provisions of section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, or the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) or under any other applicable section of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
There are exceptions to some of the above requirements; Some applicant including immediate relatives of United States Citizens , applicants under section 245(i) and 245(k)of the Immigration and Nationality Act and applicants under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) need not have maintained continuous Lawful Status in the United States in order to Adjust Status to that of a Lawful Permanent Resident:
In order to seek adjustment of status ,there must be a visa number immediately available to the applicant. Thus, the beneficiary of an Immigrant visa Petition must have a current priority date in order to be eligible to file for Adjustment of Status. The priority date is the date on which the family based Immigrant visa Petition is filed with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, or the date the Labor certification is filed with the Department of Labor (DOL) in employment based cases.
The priority date is important because it is the date on which the alien gets in the waiting line for his or her visa number.
Grounds of Inadmissibility are violations that will prevent an applicant for Adjustment of Status from being admissible to the United States. An Applicant who is inadmissible but is eligible for a waiver of that inadmissibility may apply for such waiver before he or she may become eligible for Adjustment of status
The main grounds of inadmissibility fall into health related grounds; crimes; security; public charge; and past Immigration violations.
Ineligible Applicants for Adjustment of Status.
The following individuals are ineligible to file Adjustment of Status (Green Card)
- Aliens without Parole or admission.
- Alien in Transit.
- Aliens who engaged in Unlawful Employment. (There are limited exceptions to this rule).
- Alien who re-entered the United States illegally after having been removed (including “deported” and “excluded ), or after having departed voluntarily while under an order of removal (a “self]deport”)Aliens Ordered Removed in absentia after failing to appear for a removal proceeding.
- Aliens who have violated the terms and conditions of his or her admission into the United (There are limited exceptions to this rule).
- Exchange visitor on a (J-1) status subject to the two year foreign residency requirement who has not obtained a waiver .
- Aliens without current priority date Aliens already in conditional Resident Status.
- Fiancé (e) of a United State Citizen with a K-1 who seek to Adjust Status through someone other than the original fiancé (e) who filed the K-1 visa petition United States Citizen.
- Spouse with a K3 Visa who seeks to Adjust Status based on a marriage to someone other than the United States citizen who filed the original K-3 visa Petition.
- Aliens admitted under the S Visa Status applying for Adjustment of status unless through the request of a law enforcement agency.
- Alien seeking Adjustment of status based on a Marriage that occurred on or after November 10, 1986 while the alien was in exclusion or deportation proceedings is ineligible unless the alien proves by clear and convincing evidence that the marriage was bona fide and not entered into for the purpose of procuring Immigration benefits.
- Other classes of ineligible aliens as provided in the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Adjustment of Status in the U.S requires an approved Immigrant Visa Petition filed on behalf of a beneficiary by a United State Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident family member, an Employer, or through a diversity visa lottery.