What Is An Adjustment Of Status?
An adjustment of status, or AOS, is a request to the immigration service to obtain your green card here in the United States rather than at a US embassy abroad.
Before you file, you must be eligible for a green card. If you are not eligible, and you file anyway, your adjustment of status will be denied, and you will be placed into deportation. That is why it is incredibly important to know if you are eligible.
Who Is Eligible?
Whether you get sponsored through family members, such as parents, siblings, spouses or your children, or you are sponsored through your employer, you will be placed on the waiting list. When your date is reached, that is when you would become eligible for your green card.
Aside from family-based or employment-based sponsorship, other individuals that can adjust their status include asylees, who have been granted asylum, and investors, who invest $1 million or more in a US business.
Although you are sponsored by a family member, or by your employer, that still doesn’t necessarily mean you can adjust your status! You can ONLY adjust your status if one of the three scenarios apply to you.
- If you are in legal status in the US
- This means you were inspected and admitted into the US with a visa, or through advance parole. In that case, you would become eligible to adjust your status when your date on the visa waiting list is reached on the quota system, or if you are an immediate relative. If you have been granted asylum, you are in legal status, and you can adjust your status after one year.
- If you are grandfathered in under 245(I).
- 245 (I) states that if you have something filed in the system prior to April 30, 2001, and you were physically present in the US on December 21, 2000, or you had anything filed in the system filed before January 14, 1998, you are eligible to adjust your status here on any of those quota categories, including family-based or employment-based sponsorship. In order to take part in this, you would have to pay a $1,000 penalty fee.
- If you are an immediate relative of a US citizen.
- If you married a US citizen, you are a child of a US citizen, or you are a parent of a US citizen, who is over the age of 21, AND as long as you made a legal entry into the US – even if you overstayed – you can adjust your status. If you came without inspection than you have to worry about 245(i).
It is critical to understand if you are eligible to adjust your status before you start to do so. To find out if you are eligible, contact the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Spar & Bernstein at 1-800-529-5465.
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