Someone who is in the United States on a nonimmigrant visa, and who desires to acquire permanent residence in the United States, will need to file an application to adjust status to permanent residence. An adjustment of status (AOS) is the process of changing from a nonimmigrant visa to lawful permanent resident status (often referred to as a green card).
To qualify to adjust status to permanent residence, an applicant must show that:
There are more detailed qualifications to adjust status, as well as some possible exceptions, but if you meet the above qualifications, you may qualify to apply for permanent residence.
The most common situation qualifying for an adjustment of status is where an immediate relative United States citizen files a petition on behalf of the beneficiary nonimmigrant. The phrase “immediate relative” has a different definition in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) than what comes to mind. Three categories of relationships qualify under the INA as immediate relatives. They are:
Petitions based on an immediate relative relationship are not subject to the numerical cap on immigrant visas and there is no waiting period for an immigrant visa to become available. Therefore, an immigrant visa is immediately available and the beneficiary can apply for lawful permanent resident status. This is a significant benefit as it reduces the amount of time for a beneficiary to obtain a lawful permanent resident status from a period of years to a period of months.
It is important to know whether the immigrant relative qualifies to adjust status when filing for an adjustment. Generally, the qualifications to adjust status based on a petition filed by an immediate relative are as follows:
If you believe you or your relative may qualify for an adjustment of status based on an immediate relative relationship, feel free to contact the immigration attorneys at Jarrett & Price, LLC to discuss your case. Call us today at 912.401.8880. We look forward to hearing from you!
We represent clients all across the state of Georgia and coastal South Carolina.