Family Based Immigration

Keeping families together one family at a time!

Adjustment of Status

Individuals may file for adjustment to permanent resident status if they meet the eligibility requirements at the time of submitting their Form I-485 application to USCIS.

Who’s eligible for Adjustment of Status

  • You must normally have been inspected and admitted into the United States; or inspected and paroled into the United States.
  • You must properly file an adjustment of status application.
  • You must be eligible to receive an immigrant visa and an immigrant visa must be available when you file the adjustment of status application and at the time of final adjudication.
  • You must be admissible to the United States for lawful permanent residence or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other form of relief.
  • You must merit the favorable exercise of discretion.

Individuals Ineligible for Adjustment of Status?

With limited exceptions, the following foreign nationals are barred from applying for AOS include:

  • Foreign national who last entered the United States without being inspected and admitted or paroled by an immigration officer.
  • Foreign national who was issued a C-1/D-1 or D-2 visa as a non-immigrant crewman and last entered the United States as a crewman in pursuit of related employment.
  • Foreign national who is now employed or has ever been employed in the United States without authorization.
  • Foreign national who is not in lawful immigration status on the date of filing the Form I-485 application.
  • Foreign national who has ever failed to continuously maintain a lawful status since entry into the United States, unless the failure to maintain status was through no fault of his or her own or for technical reasons.
  • Foreign national who was last admitted to the United States in transit without a visa.
  • Foreign national who was last admitted to Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) as a visitor under the Guam or CNMI Visa Waiver Program and who is not a Canadian citizen.
  • Foreign national who was last admitted to the United States as a non-immigrant visitor without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program.
  • Foreign national who is deportable due to involvement in a terrorist activity or group.
  • Foreign national who is seeking employment-based adjustment of status and who is not maintaining a lawful non-immigrant status on the date of filing this application.
  • Foreign national who has ever violated the terms of the non-immigrant status.
  • Foreign national who is a conditional permanent resident. [Conditional permanent residents must instead file a Form I-751 petition to remove conditions on their status to obtain permanent residence unconditionally.
  • Foreign national who was admitted to the U.S. on a K-1 non-immigrant fiancé(e) visa, but did not marry the U.S. citizen who filed the petition or foreign national who was admitted as the K-2 non-immigrant child of a fiancé(e) whose parent did not marry the U.S. citizen who filed the petition.

Which Relative Can I petition for?

If you are U.S. Citizen you can petition for certain immediate family members, you can petition certain family members to receive a family-based visa, one on the most petitions is for a permanent resident card.

Immediate family relatives are

  • Spouses of U.S Citizens
  • Unmarried Children under 21 years
  • Parent
  • Adopted children

Family Based Visa Processing Times

For Immediate relatives of U.S. Citizen, there is no waiting in line for a visa to become available, in other words a visa will be immediately available to you. The length of processing times varies depending on your unique situation. Our firm will conduct a detail analysis of your case to ensure that we formulate the best legal strategy to accommodate your needs at then provide an estimate of the length of the process.

Consular Processing

If you are the beneficiary of an approved immigrant visa petition (I-130) and an immigrant visa number is immediately available to you, there are two ways to apply for lawful permanent resident status (a Green Card). If you are outside of the United States, you may apply at a U.S. Department of State consulate abroad for an immigrant visa in order to come to the United States and be admitted as a permanent resident. This pathway is referred to as consular processing.

Steps for Consular Processing

Step 1. The first step in consular processing is getting a petition filed on your behalf either through a family member or an employer.

Step 2. After the petition is submitted to USCIS, USCIS will notify the petitioner of their decision. If the petition is denied USCIS will provide and explanation of the grounds for the denial. If the petition is approved USCIS will then send the approved petition to the National Visa Center. The approved will remain there until the visa become available.

Step 3. Once the visa number becomes available the National Visa Center will notify the petitioner and the beneficiary when to submit immigrant visa processing fees, affidavit of support fees and supporting documents.

Step 4. Once all of the requisite documents have been submitted, the Consular Office will schedule an interview to determine if the beneficiary is eligible for the visa.

Step 5. If the visa is granted the Consular Officer will provide a packet of information to give to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the port of entry. The CBP officer will inspect the beneficiary and determine whether to admit the beneficiary into the United States as a lawful permanent resident. After arriving in the U.S you will need to pay a USCIS Immigrant Fee before receiving you green card in the mail.

K-1 Fiancé Visas

  • K-1 Visa – for a U.S. citizen who would like to bring his or her fiancé to the U.S. for marriage
  • K-2 Visa – for a foreign fiancé of a U.S. citizen to bring unmarried children that are 21 years of age or younger
  • K-3 Visa – A U.S. citizen’s spouse

Getting Help

Because there are several bars and inadmissibility grounds that may prevent you adjusting your status, as well as exemptions and waivers that must be considered. You need to consult an experience immigration attorney before you filing to adjust your status.