Adjustment of Status
What Is Adjustment of Status?
Adjustment of Status allows non-immigrants to apply for permanent residency while inside the US by filing Form I-485. Unlike the “Immigrant Visa” process, Adjustment of Status does not require “Consular Processing” at a US embassy or consulate abroad and allows the applicant to move from non-immigrant status to permanent resident status without returning to their home country. At the end of the process, the applicant will receive a green card, which gives them travel and work authorization in the US. In most cases, an interview to determine the applicant’s eligibility and to verify the relationship between the petitioner and beneficiary will be scheduled at the USCIS field office nearest the applicant’s home before the green card is granted.
How an Immigration Lawyer Can Help
It would certainly be better for a lot of people if the immigration process was simpler and more straightforward. Unfortunately, though, it can involve a lot of paperwork and bureaucracies. Part of this is by design. Immigration is regularly subject to fraud and, as a result, there is extra scrutiny. However, this makes it harder for people who are legitimately attempting to reside in the country.
The most effective way to deal with that complexity is by working with an immigration lawyer or law firm. When you work with someone who has both knowledge and experience with the immigration system and the laws governing it, they can handle the complexity and simplify the process for you. There are a number of different ways that an immigration lawyer from Passage Immigration Law can help with your adjustment of status efforts. Some of these include:
- Eligibility – The first step to getting a green card is having the proper eligibility. While eligibility, in most cases, comes through some kind of family immigration or employment opportunity, there are a few other ways that someone can be eligible for a green card. Since an adjustment of status is done for someone who is already in the country, it is also important that you have entered the country on an approved visa and have not violated any immigration laws while here. We can take a look at the totality of your situation and help you understand if you are eligible or not. If you are not, we may be able to make some recommendations on how you could become eligible in the future.
- Paperwork – Every immigration process requires a tremendous amount of paperwork. There are forms to be filled out and documentation that must be presented. Every situation, too, is a little bit different, which means that the paperwork for that situation is going to be different as well. Any error or omission on the forms or missing documents can lead to lengthy delays or outright rejection. While some delays are unavoidable when dealing with immigration procedures, you can avoid a significant amount of issues by having a correctly assembled application from the start. We can help with this process. One of the most important things that we do is ensure that applications are properly put together before they are submitted.
- Immigration Officials – Working with immigration officials is one of the keys to getting your application processed quickly. You need to be sure that you are working with the right officials for your situation. We can act as your representative with them, ensuring that your application is going to the right people and moving as quickly as possible through the process.
- Advocacy and Appeals – There are inevitably some challenges and difficulties that come up during immigration proceedings. Anything that appears to be complex or unusual is often quickly rejected or shuffled onto someone else’s pile of work to do. This doesn’t necessarily mean, though, that the application shouldn’t be approved. It just means that explaining the situation will be part of the process. As lawyers, we can advocate on behalf of our clients in these kinds of circumstances. If necessary, we can even represent you in an appeals process, ensuring that we exhaust every possible option for you to get a green card.
- Spotting Trouble Early – The ideal way to handle a problem is to keep it from ever becoming a problem. With immigration law, things that you might never expect to become a problem can often cause trouble. This is where the experience of a team like the one at Passage Immigration Law can be invaluable. In many cases, you won’t recognize a potential issue until it becomes one. Many of these things aren’t something that you can discover just by studying the law. Instead, they pop up when you actually deal with the law. Our experience can help us identify many different problems before they can have a negative impact on your case. This means that we can prepare for them ahead of time and confront them. Some issues are significant enough that they will prevent an application from being accepted. For many others, though, the right preparation can lead to overcoming an unavoidable obstacle.
- Alternatives – Immigration laws, including seeking an adjustment of status, have rigid qualifications. These qualifications are also strictly enforced because immigration can often be subject to fraud. For some people, they simply do not meet the qualifications for a green card as it stands now. That doesn’t mean, though, that there is always no hope. We can look at the totality of your situation and advise you as to some alternatives or steps that you may take to become eligible for a green card.
- Citizenship – For many people, a green card and lawful permanent residency are not the goals on their own. For many, it is a significant step, but it’s still just a step on the pathway to citizenship. If this is your goal, then the team at Passage Immigration Law would be honored to help you through to that goal. We are always appreciative of the opportunity to help someone through the challenges and problems of the naturalization process, and we are excited to see them reach their goal. If this is where you want your green card to take you, we would be happy to help you along that journey.
What to Look for in an Adjustment of Status Lawyer
We take pride in our work as immigration lawyers. The outcomes of the process we are involved in are profoundly life-changing for our clients. We understand the seriousness that it entails, and we fight as hard for our clients as they would for themselves. We understand, too, that it is such an impactful decision as to who can guide and represent you through the immigration process. You want to make sure that you are working with the right lawyer and firm for you. You want someone who you can be confident in when asking them to be involved with such a massive part of your life. To that end, there are a few traits that you should look for, and these are present in the team at Passage Immigration Law. They are:
- Trustworthy – You need to be able to trust the lawyer you are working with. The process of getting a green card can sometimes be complex and winding. You need someone who is not going to hide the facts of your case from you. Instead, you need someone who tells it straight regarding your case. They should not shy away from your questions, and you want someone who gives you as thorough an answer as you’re seeking. Without this, you will have a hard time feeling confident in your representative.
- Knowledgeable – Immigration Law is entirely unique in the realm of law. It’s critical that you work with someone with a deep understanding of this legal field. Typically, it’s better to work with someone who has made immigration law the focus of their practice because they will be more familiar with the nuances of paying particular attention to that aspect of law.
- Experienced – While learning from study has its place, there’s a tremendous amount that is gained from the actual practice of law. This is especially true in immigration law and working on adjustment of status cases. Problems come up that would be unexpected for someone who has only read about the law. The familiarity with these kinds of issues that comes from practicing law can be incredibly beneficial to our clients.
- Attention to Detail – Law, in general, is detailed and nuanced. This is especially the case for immigration law. You want to be certain that you are working with a lawyer who is detail-oriented and won’t miss the small things that affect your case.
Get Green Card Help With Passage Immigration Law
We understand how difficult living with non-immigrant status can be. It can be challenging to never feel like you are really home. People are often hesitant to put down any real roots and build a life for themselves when they feel uncertain about their future. Knowing that you might be expected to return to your home country at the end of every cycle of your visa can be a challenging dynamic to live with. Fortunately, there is a way to solve these issues.
Getting a green card and lawful permanent residency can be a tremendous relief for many people. Of course, you will need to have the proper qualifications but, even if you do, the process can be complex. If you want to avoid any unnecessary delays, rejection, and other issues with your application, then you will benefit from working with an immigration lawyer.
At Passage Immigration Law, we have experience helping people move away from non-immigrant status. Our attorneys have assisted many clients in obtaining green card status and working on their path to citizenship. If you think that you are ready to seek an adjustment of status or have any questions about the process, then contact us today.