Adjustment of Status
When you are already legally present in the United States, then the immigration process is known as “Adjustment of Status”. This process allows you to change your immigration status from what it was originally (e.g.: non-immigrant visas B-1/B-2, K-1, J-1, or refugee) to permanent resident status without returning to your home country to apply for an immigrant visa.
Most of our clients apply for an immigrant visa on the basis of their family relationship to an existing American citizen or permanent resident, however it is also possible to apply with the help of an employer or on a humanitarian basis, among others.
Similar to the consular processing route, we will prepare an application including an I-130 petition from your petitioning immediate relative/family member and submit it to the USCIS Chicago District Office. We will also file an I-485 application, which allows you to become a permanent resident at the same time as your immigrant visa is approved and without requiring you to return to your home country. An application for Employment Authorization Document (EAD) can be filled simultaneously with the I-130 and I-485.
After your application is filed, you will be notified to go for a "biometrics collection" appointment at which your photo, signature and fingerprints will be collected. This information is used to run background checks on you, and will also be used to create your green card.
USCIS will then generally require you to appear for an interview at the local District Office in Chicago to answer questions about your application and show original documentation of some of the information contained in your application. This is always a required step for marriage cases, but not always for some other types of immediate relative applications. If you are adjusting status based on marriage to a U.C.S, you must be prepared to prove that your marriage is bona fide at this interview. Once your application has been approved, you will receive notice and your green card by mail.
Kalita Law has experience preparing adjustment of status applications and knowledge of how to shepherd these applications through USCIS with minimal hassle and delay.