Applying for an Adjustment of Status in Kentucky
U.S. immigration laws provide different ways for a foreign national to apply for a Green Card or Lawful Permanent Resident status. The eligibility requirements to gain a green card status in Kentucky depend on the immigrant category for which you’re applying, so it’s important that you know which specific immigrant category you’re qualified for.
What is an adjustment of status?
“Adjustment of status” is the process of changing your immigration status from being a visa holder to a lawful permanent resident. Once you have your green card, you’re considered a U.S. legal permanent resident. This also gives you the opportunity to apply for permanent residency at a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office after a few years.
What is the difference between consular processing and adjustment of status?
Adjustment of status is different from a “consular processing” where the applicant goes to a U.S. consulate or embassy in their home country to apply for lawful permanent residence. Consular processing involves attending immigration interviews and submitting immigration paperwork and other documents.
In general, there are 4 requirements that you must qualify to adjust your status:
- You’ve entered the U.S. lawfully
- You’re a U.S. green card holder
- You’ve complied with all the terms of your visa
- You’re qualified to get a green card application
However, there are rare cases where an illegal alien may still be eligible to adjust their status. For example, they have an employment-based immigrant visa that has expired causing them to overstay. They can apply for adjustment of status within 180 days upon their visa expiration.
Who Can Use Adjustment of Status in the Green Card Eligibility Categories?
You are eligible if you qualify under any of the following:
- You are sponsored by your U.S. employer, a relative with a Green Card, or a U.S. citizen.
- You have refugee or asylum status.
If you’re eligible through family immigration or employment immigration, your petition form must already be approved by the USCIS and your priority date is current.
Priority dates are for immigration applicants under preference categories that are subject to annual limits.
However, not everyone faces numerical limits or waiting times. If you’re in the immediate relative category, you don’t have to wait for a priority date because they release unlimited numbers of visas yearly.
- You’ve entered the United States through a fiance visa and married your U.S. citizen partner within 90 days.
- You are physically present in the United States.
If you don’t qualify for an adjustment of status even though you fit most of the criteria above, there’s still hope. There are certain laws that can allow you to adjust your status.
To help with your adjustment of status, it is best to consult an experienced immigration lawyer in Paducah, KY.