#Adjustment Of Status
Adjustment of status is a legal procedure that allows non-nationals in the US to adjust their visa status to lawful permanent resident status ( Green card holder). This is beneficial for anyone who is on a visitor visa to directly apply for a green card without having to exit the US and go back to their home country to start their process to be a green card holder. if you are outside of the US, you will have to obtain your visa through consular processing
Immigration processes are complex and time-consuming. A little professional guidance can help you save money and time. Seek out counsel from the Herman Legal Group, a U.S. immigration law firm with over 25 years of experience in representing individuals, families, and companies in all aspects of immigration law, in all 50 states and around the world.
Can I Apply For Adjustment of Status On a Tourist Visa?
The short answer to your query is that ‘ Yes, you can’. However, you have to fulfill the conditions laid down below.
#US Immigration Law
Certain conditions need to be met to become a lawful permanent resident in the US while on a tourist visa as per Section 245(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Section 245(a) of the NLA applies to visitors on a tourist visa or any other non-immigrant visa, and it is dependent on the fulfillment of the following conditions;
- You must have been cleared and admitted into the US after being inspected by an immigration customs and border patrol of the US, who admitted you into the country for 6 months.
- Adjustment of status application must be filed appropriately.
- You must prove that you are physically present in the US.
- You are eligible to apply and receive an immigrant visa.
- You are eligible for a lawful permanent resident status or eligible for a visa waiver program, or any other sort of relief. This could be through a US employment authorization, a family member who is a US national or hold permanent residence through refugee status, or asylum which was granted at least a year before the status adjustment application process.
- Upon a successful final decision on your visa status application, an immigrant visa must be immediately available.
- If you have entered the US on a fiance visa ( K-1), you must marry the person you petitioned to marry within 90 days of your visa validity. You should consult an experienced immigration attorney if you married after the 90-day deadline, it might be possible to fall into an exception.
- To file under section 245(a) as an asylum seeker or a refugee, the applicant must have stayed in the US for at least a year since either their asylum was granted or were admitted as a recognized refugee.
- You are INELIGIBLE if you entered the US as a TWOV ( foreign national crewman in transit.
If you do not fall into any of the categories mentioned above, here are some possible exceptions you can fall into and have a successful claim for a lawful permanent residence in the US
- A relatively lenient approach has been taken regarding immediate relatives ( including children, spouses, or parents of the US nationals. This is subject to the fact that these family members did not fraudulently use the visa to obtain a US green card after arriving in the country. These family members may apply for a green card through adjustment of the status application even after an unlawful presence in the United States.
- VAWA self-petitioners who have filed a Form- I-360 or are filing it on grounds of an abusive relationship with a permanent resident or a US citizen who would have normally petitioned for a green card for them may be exempt from the bar set for ‘adjustment of status application’
Victims of human trafficking or any crimes with a T or U visa status before the US Supreme Court judgment in 2o21 were considered to have a status constituted as ‘ lawful admission to US’ by itself.
Note- Holding a T or U visa is no longer an exception that is valid under this section, and the limitation is imposed in all states of the US.
Let us put our skills to work for you. We can analyze your case, identify the available options, and help you decide the safest, most cost-effective, and quickest route to success. The Herman Legal Group, founded in 1995, can help. It is AV- Rated and has been awarded the designation of “Best Law Firm” by U.S. News & World Report. The firm serves clients nationwide and from around the world.
#Section 245(i) – Special Eligibility Cases
A special category of applicants exists that are eligible to convert their legal visa into a green card if they have lived in the US for several years based on an old law ( Section 245 i) and the LIFE act.
If you meet most of the requirements listed above but are residing in the US through an illegal entry pathway or you have a status violation, you might be able to apply for an adjustment of status upon a fine of 1000 dollars. The following are required to be proved.
- Labor certification application or immigrant visa petition that was filed before 30th April 2001 (including I-140, I-130, I-360, or I-526) and,
- If the petition was filed on any date between 14th January 1998 and 30th April 2001, it is mandatory to prove your presence in the US on the 21st December 2000
You need the steady hand of an experienced immigration lawyer to navigate the
rough waters of U.S. immigration law. Sit down with the Herman Legal Group, experienced immigration lawyers, and let them analyze the facts and come up with the best legal strategy.
Steps For ‘Adjustment of Status’ to convert your Parent’s Visa from B-2 to a Green card.
Looking to start the process to change the status of your parent’s B-2 visa into a green card? Follow these steps
1. Check whether you are eligible to apply for a green card
It is important to see which immigrant visa type you fall under and whether you meet the eligibility criteria for that particular type of visa. The requirement for adjustment of status is different for each type.
2. File an immigrant visa petition.
Most applicants need to at least fill and submit two forms ( immigration petition and green card application, they can be allowed to file themselves in some cases but usually it is filed by the sponsor or the petitioner. Fill out the I-130 form if you want to change the visa status of an alien relative or a family member
3. Confirm Visa Availability
Check out the Visa availability for your category through the Visa Availability and Priority Dates page as you cannot file Form I-485 until a visa is available in your category. Other helpful resources for visa availability are the Adjustment of Status Filing Charts and the Visa Bulletin.
4. Fill The Form I-485
After confirming the eligibility for adjustment of status, you may file a Form I-485 if you are residing in the US.
please note if you are applying to change the status of your visa to a lawful permanent residence under Section 245(i) of INA, you must complete Form I-485 Supplement A, Adjustment of Status Under Section 245(i) alongside form I-485.
5. Appear for your Application Support Centre Appointment
After successful submission of Form I- 485, an appointment notice will be dispatched via mail to your address. You will be called to a Local Application Support Centre ( ASC) to provide fingerprints, pictures, and signatures for record-keeping. These checks are done to confirm identity and run background checks.
6. Check your adjustment status.
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What is the 90-day rule?
When a parent enters the US with a B-2 visa (visitor visa), they have a non-immigrant status as it was legally declared that the intention was to visit for a temporary stay and return within a certain time period.
When you apply for permanent residence, it may give an impression that the visitor or tourist visa for just a pathway to enter the US and you had no intention to leave. US Citizenship and Immigration Services ( USCIS) officers have the right to refuse your green card application if they find your intentions to be dubious.
All visitors including the parents of a US national should not file for a status adjustment to a green card within 90 days of arriving in the US, it weakens your case and increases the risk of application rejection as USCIS officers assume that temporary visa holders purposely misrepresented and had the intention to convert the visa into a green card, which could result in rejection by the immigration officer. It is suggested that you wait for the initial 90 days period to lapse and then start your green card application process.
Seek out counsel from the Herman Legal Group, a US immigration firm with over 25 years of experience in representing individuals, families, and companies in all aspects of immigration law, in all 50 states and around the world.
#An Exception to The 90 Day Rule
As mentioned above, an application to become a green card holder should be moved after 90 days of arrival to the US to minimize the risk factor. A lenient approach seems to be taken by the USCIS officers in cases involving immediate relatives (including parents of a US national), the 90 days seems not to be applied in this case, as evident by the Matter of Battista and the Matter of Cavazos.
#A Practical Example
James is a 50-year-old Spanish Citizen who came to the US to visit his daughter ( US national) and her family in the US on a B-2 Visa ( tourist visa). James only planned to stay temporarily for the summers and go back to Spain after that.
However, the summers were pleasant and James want to stay as a permanent resident with his daughter. His daughter applies for an adjustment of status before 90 days were passed since James’ entry into the country.
Based on the 90-day rule, the application might be rejected for the dubious intention of James while entering on a tourist visa. However, the 90-day rule is not applicable to alien relatives and James will likely be granted a green card.
Frequently Asked Question about Adjustment of status – Visitor Visa to Green Card
#Can I work while waiting on a decision on my Adjustment of Status application?
You are allowed to continue working in the US while waiting for an adjustment of status if you have a valid work visa. You may file an Employment Authorization Form (I-765) along with an application for ‘Adjustment of Status’ and if that is approved, you are legally allowed to find a job and work in the US.
#How Much Does it Cost to File an Adjustment of Status Application?
The filing fee for the I-485 application form is currently priced at 1140 dollars, plus a fee of 85 dollars for a biometric process for applicants aged between 14-79 years.
However, it is always recommended to check the updated filing fees from the USCIS website, which is changed periodically. All the applications without the exact filing fee will not be entertained.
#How Long Does it Take to Adjust Status to “Permanent Resident”?
Due to the adverse effects of the pandemic (COVID -19), the average time of response is between a year to a year and a half in all Jurisdictions.
#Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Change of Status From a Visitor Visa to a Green Card?
Adjusting status is a strenuous process that takes a lot of time. It is therefore suggested to hire an immigration attorney to help ease the process, a rejection would deprive you of the chance to bring your parents as lawful permanent residents in the US and would waste a lot of time.
The Herman Legal Group, founded in 1995, can help. The law firm is AV-Rated and has been awarded the designation of “Best Law Firm” by U.S. News & World Report. The firm serves clients nationwide and from around the world.