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Proudly Serving Dallas, FT.Worth, San Antonio, Houston.
Adjustment of Status (AOS) refers to applying for a lawful permanent resident status (popularly known as a permanent resident/PR card or a green card) when you are physically present in the United States.
This status alleviates the need to return to your native country to finish visa processing. In addition, AOS allows you to stay in the United States while your application is processed in case your visa expires before the approval of your green card.
The alternative when applying for a green card is to do so from your home country through the American consulate office in your country. The effect of a successful AOS is that your status changes from a nonimmigrant status to an immigrant status.
Applying for your green card through AOS can be complex and intimidating. There are countless forms, fees, processes, and regulations to consider, and you need to comply with the letter of the law if you expect to be successful. A minor oversight can cause significant delays in your application and, worse, cause your application to be rejected.
If you are adjusting your status or are considering doing so, it may be helpful to enlist the help of an Immigration Attorney in Texas who can assist you in avoiding critical mistakes and in every step of the way.
To apply for an Adjustment of Status (AOS), you need to
Besides this, there are some specific scenarios of eligibility, such as:
To understand each category and its specific requirements and exceptions, it is important to get legal advice based on individual circumstances. Consulting with a skilled professional can help you better understand these things.
Since several documents need to be submitted along with your USCIS form I-485, it is helpful to use an adjustment of status checklist to ensure you don’t omit any in your submission. You can apply under an immigrant category specific to your circumstances:
Different categories require slightly different elements in each checklist. Our checklist is centered around the most popular category – the family-based category and includes the following:
It is normal to be called for a personal interview appointment after applying for AOS. This does not mean you have been singled out or shortlisted, the interview is there for verification of the information you have provided. It is advisable to prepare for your interview, and an adjustment of status checklist is a handy tool to help you prepare.
Once again, this checklist applies to the family-based category, which is the most popular one. Your green card interview checklist should include the following:
Preparing for the interview could be challenging because of the anxious state you must be in. Most applicants mess things up because they need to prepare for the possible questions that might be asked during the interview.
Checklists vary for different visa types under AOS. However, USCIS has some detailed checklists on its website, which may prove helpful.
Three important things to note for your submission:
There is no singular correct way to present your AOS package, but we do have a few suggestions for how best to do it.
First, what not do to:
It is helpful to make the package as simple to navigate as possible. It should be easy for USCIS personnel to take out pages that they need without affecting the order of the documents.
We suggest using a ring binder with clearly demarcated sections and a two-hole punch to punch all pages so USCIS officials can easily access them.
USCIS does have a preference for the order of documents. Order the papers from front to back in the order given below:
For more detailed information, you can visit the USCIS website.
Here is an example of a complete checklist for the spouse of a U.S. citizen filing a concurrent immigrant petition for an adjustment of status. This is for informational purposes only.
After filing your Form I-485 application, it can take between 8 and 14 months to be processed for family-based applications. The basis of your AOS (for example, family, employment, asylum) will affect the processing time.
At times, additional information is required by USCIS, and sometimes a second interview as well, which may add to the processing time of your application.
Your case status can be checked online using your receipt number. In addition, average processing times are listed on the USCIS website.
To demonstrate financial stability in an Adjustment of Status application, the principal applicant must provide comprehensive documentation proving their ability to support themselves and any dependents. This includes proof of employment, such as recent pay stubs and evidence of sufficient income above the USCIS filing fees threshold. Bank statements, tax returns, and asset details can also be submitted. It’s essential for the applicant to include a long-form birth certificate with a certified transition, if applicable, and a copy of their permanent resident card.
Proof of lawful status, such as visa stamps and entry stamps in their passport, should be provided. Additionally, any sealed envelope from a civil surgeon and documents related to previous marriages must be continuously maintained and included, as specifically requested by USCIS.
A skilled immigration attorney can help determine if you’re eligible for a green card. They can advise you on the AOS process, help you file Form I-485, assist you with any paperwork, and follow through to check your status.
The experienced immigration attorneys at Andrew T. Thomas Attorneys at Law have assisted countless people in obtaining their green cards. In addition, the firm provides a full range of citizenship and immigration services. So whether you wish to Appeal Your Deportation Order or require representation in Immigration Court, we have you covered and would love to represent you. Contact us for an appointment today.