|Adjustment of Status
To Permanent Resident of the United States
"Adjustment of status" is, in the immigration context, a term of art.
In certain situations, it is possible for an alien admitted or paroled into the US to adjust
status to that of permanent resident of the United States. Adjustment of status is
therefore a very important step that allows the foreign national to become a US
permanent resident without traveling back to his or her home country.
Adjustment of status can have important implications and prevent certain aliens from
running afoul of the so called three- or ten-year bans to reentry. In other cases,
adjustment of status is just a matter of convenience to avoid to the foreign national the
costs and disruptions of traveling back to his or her home country to obtain approval of
the immigrant petition at the local US Consulate.
Not all intending immigrant can go through adjustment of status. A visa number must
be immediately available at the time the immigrant petition is filed, as it is normally the
case for immediate relative petitions (spouses and minor children of US citizens).
For employment-based immigrant visa petitions, this means that the employer must
have filed in a category that is not backlogged i.e. a category for which the current
numerical limits on issuance of immigrant visas have not been met.
As of this writing, backlogs have developed in most employment based categories,
including the formerly available EB-3 for skilled workers. For workers in this category it
is no longer possible to simultaneously file an I-140 petition for immigrant worker and
an I-485 application for adjustment of status. Absent other independent reasons for
the alien to be legitimately in the US, such as an approved and valid H1B visa, L1 visa,
E2 visa, or other nonimmigrant visa, the aliens will therefore be forced to wait for his
visa to become current outside of the United States.
Other obstacles to adjustment of status are previous immigration violations, such as
visa overstays and unlawful presence, and unauthorized employment, again with the
important exception of immediate relatives of US citizens who are normally allowed to
adjust status notwithstanding this immigration violations.
Normally, an interview will be scheduled at the local USCIS office having jurisdiction
over the alien place of residence. In family-based cases, the petitioner must normally
appear and confirm his or her continued desire to "sponsor" the alien for adjustment
of status. This may cause problems, especially in family-based cases where the
personal circumstances of the petitioner and beneficiary may have changed. It is not
altogether uncommon for the couple to have split, and for the U.S. petitioner to refuse
to show up at the interview.
While this is in most cases fatal to the outcome of the adjustment of status
application, which under normal circumstances will be denied, it is possible for the
beneficiary who has been subject to domestic abuse to obtain the right to self-petition
for his or her own adjustment of status. This special procedure is made possible by
the provisions of the Violence Against Women Act and attending regulations. However,
it is crucial to raise the issue timely so that the adjustment of status be not denied.
The assistance of an experienced immigration attorney is highly recommended in all
these cases to avoid mistakes that can jeopardize the applicant's chances to remain
in the United States.
Other common issues on adjustment of status are evidence of the parties' good faith
(both for marriage cases and, in minor part, for employment-based cases), ability to
pay issues for employment cases, and whether or not prior immigration violations
should cause a denial of the adjustment application.
For this and many other issues surrounding adjustment of status practice, the Law
Office of Giuseppe Scagliarini can provide effective assistance through timely, effective
information, clear and concise review of the client's options, filing of the adjustment
application or VAWA self-petition, and representation at the adjustment interview.
If you need a skilled immigration attorney to represent you in connection with you
application for adjustment of status, please do not hesitate to contact us to schedule a
paid telephone or in person consultation
Law Offices of Giuseppe Scagliarini
|Giuseppe Scagliarini, Esq.
37 Harrison Avenue
Newport, RI 02840