For those who really want to settle down in the United States and make the country their home, a green card and lawful permanent residency is an important goal. Ideally it will put you on the pathway to naturalization and citizenship. Of course, the process of getting there can often be complex and confusing.
Any mistakes in the process can lead to delays and possibly even rejection. For many people, working with an immigration lawyer can both make the process more understandable and ensure that your application is up to the standards that the government usually requires.
There are many people who would like to go from one kind of immigration status, such as a temporary visa, to something more stable, such as a green card holder or lawful permanent resident.
This is accomplished through a process known as an adjustment of status. It can take time, though, for the process to reach a resolution, but one of the benefits of an adjustment of status is that you can remain in the country while a decision is being made. You can even apply for employment authorization.
If your application is denied, you may remain in the country until an appeal is decided upon. You can also apply for a green card petition concurrently with an adjustment of status application.
There are a number of different requirements that must be met for someone to be eligible for an adjustment in status. Many of these requirements are determined by the eligibility category that someone chooses to petition through. Generally, these eligibility categories are:
There are things that could also lead to ineligibility, even if you meet the requirements for one of the categories above. Some of the other factors considered include:
The adjustment of status process can vary a little bit depending on your circumstances, but it generally follows a basic sequence. There’s no way to be certain about exactly how long the process will take but, in most cases, a decision is made within eight to fourteen months. The steps to an adjustment in status are generally:
As is the case for so many things in the realm of immigration, the adjustment of status process is not particularly straightforward. It’s also important to realize that any errors in following the process could lead to at least a delay and, at worst, an outright rejection of your petition. Fortunately, though, working with an immigration lawyer can help with much of the process.
For lawyers like those at Steven T. Meier, PLLC, it’s our job to help applicants through the immigration process with a variety of things. In the case of adjustment of status, it can be confusing to understand what category you should be applying under. We can help you figure out which option is most likely to get approved in your circumstances.
Our firm can also assist with the many forms that are required throughout the process. We have experience with what government agencies are expecting and looking for in these forms, which can minimize delays.
We understand the comfort and peace that can come with successfully getting one’s green card. Not knowing if you may have to leave the life you’re building in the United States can be frustrating. It can be difficult to not know whether you are free to really put down roots, and call this place home, or if you need to be prepared to start over somewhere else.
For those who qualify, though, adjustment of status and lawful permanent residency is a real possibility. At Steven T. Meier, PLLC, we help Charlotte-area immigrants seek their green cards and the security that they desire.
If you think you might be ready and eligible for an adjustment of status, contact us today.
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