Immigration has been in the news a lot lately, especially stories about the crisis at the United States/Mexico border. Although a lot of migrants want to come to the United States, it is crucial they learn the proper terms and procedures for obtaining U.S. citizenship. Adjustment of status is the legal process for applying for permanent resident status when a person is in the United States. This is also known as applying for a Green Card. A person may obtain a Green Card without having to return to his or her home country to complete visa processing. However, if someone is outside of the United States, he or she must obtain a visa through consular processing abroad.
There are several things a person must do before receiving a Green Card. The following are the main steps in the Adjustment of Status process:
U.S. immigration laws have different categories under which an immigrant can apply for Adjustment of Status. The eligibility requirements vary depending on the immigration category. The first step in this process is to determine which (if any) immigrant category a person belongs.
Most applicants will need to complete at least two forms—an immigrant petition and a Green Card application. Typically, another person files the petition for you (sometimes referred to as a sponsor), although a person may be eligible to file on his or her own depending on the circumstances. Usually, an applicant cannot file Form I-485 until a visa is available in the applicant’s specific category.
After Form I-485 is filed, the applicant will receive a notice for a biometrics services appointment at a local Application Support Center (ASC). During this time, a person must provide fingerprints, photograph, and/or a signature to verify his or her identity. A background and security check will also be performed. Immigration officials review cases to determine if an in-person interview is needed. If so, the applicant must bring original paperwork such as a passport, travel documents, etc. In certain cases, additional evidence might be necessary to process the application. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will send a written notice once a decision is made. If an application is denied, the notice will list the reasons for denial and if an appeal is possible.
While people from all over the world have been immigrating to the United States for many years, immigration is a popular topic these days. The process can be complicated, but it is important to follow the federal and state laws in order to become a legal citizen. The Mevorah Law Offices LLC has helped many people secure Green Cards and visas. If you or a loved one is immigrating to the United States, contact one of our experienced Illinois immigration attorneys at 630-932-9100 today to schedule a free consultation.
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