The specific procedure for becoming a lawful permanent resident in the United States can vary greatly from one immigrant to the next. In most cases, immigrants who wish to become lawful permanent residents must apply for an adjustment of immigration status.

As U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services explains, most immigrants who are able to adjust their status become eligible though a petition filed by a family member or their employer. However, even if you were admitted into the country on an employment- or family-based visa, the process of adjusting your status can be complicated, and a small mistake could lead to a denial of your petition.

If you would like to learn how to adjust your immigration status, turn to The O’Brien Law Group. Rusty O’Brien is an immigration attorney in Louisville who will evaluate your case to determine if you may be eligible for an adjustment of status. He will then gather the necessary evidence to prove your eligibility. Call 502-400-7890 to schedule a consultation.

Read on to learn three general steps you should expect during the process of adjusting your immigration status:

  1. Evaluate the Eligibility Criteria

The specific eligibility criteria will depend on how you immigrated to the United States. Do you have an employment- or family-based visa? Were you granted asylum or refugee status? Your attorney will need to know how you immigrated in order to determine whether you meet the eligibility criteria.

  1. File the Petition Form

In most cases, an immigrant cannot self-petition for an adjustment of status; rather, the employer or a family member petitions on behalf of the immigrant. If you are pursuing a family-based adjustment of status, your U.S. citizen relative must file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on your behalf.

If you entered the United States with an employment-based visa, your employer will most likely have to file Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker. However, if you invested a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business, you can file Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur.

If you entered the United States through a humanitarian program, you probably do not need a petition to adjust your immigration status, but you may have to fulfill certain requirements to adjust your status. Your attorney can explain these requirements and guide you through the process of adjusting your status.

Depending on your specific circumstances, you may be able to file Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), and Special Immigrant.

  1. Apply to Adjust Your Status or Register Permanent Residency

Sometimes, immigrants can file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, at the same time as their petition. You cannot file Form I-485 unless a visa is available.

It is highly advisable that you discuss your adjustment of status with an immigration attorney before you file a petition or Form I-485. If there is a mistake on these documents or if you do not provide the necessary supporting documentation, your petition could be denied or delayed.

Rusty O’Brien is an immigration attorney in Louisville who can evaluate your situation and explain your options for adjusting your immigration status. Call 502-400-7890 today to schedule a consultation.


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