What is Adjustment of Status, or “AOS”?
An Adjustment of Status is an application that is filed by an individual physically residing in the United States, in this case, they would like to change their non-immigrant status to immigrant status. This immigrant status is also known as permanent resident status. One must be eligible to adjust their status prior to applying for this adjustment. The following criteria must be met:
- The individual must be physically present living in the US
- Petition must have been approved prior
- Must have lawfully entered and been admitted to into the US
- Circumstances change: For example, in family-based petitions if a legal permanent resident mother files for her young 19-year-old daughter and the petition has been approved but she gets married while the adjustment is pending, she will no longer qualify. For example, in an employment-based petition if an individual is granted NIW and applies for adjustment of status, but then later decides that they no longer want to continue working in their specialized field that was decided, then they will no longer qualify. For example, in marriage-based petitions, if an alien who is married to US citizen gets divorced prior to the adjustment being approved then they will no longer qualify.
Being statutorily barred from adjustments means that there will be no chance for adjustment of status under any circumstances. There are statutory bars to adjustment including:
- Public charges: Individual must prove that they are sponsoring another individual (such as a spouse) and have financial means in order to financially support themselves. If they are unable to prove this, they will be unable to qualify for adjustment of status.
- Individuals who enter US under visa waiver
- K visa fiancés: This is conditional based on the marriage to the sponsoring US citizen within the time frame of 90 days of entering into the US. In cases where the individual marries another US citizen other than the one who had previously filed the K-1 petition, they will be barred from adjusting their status.
- J visa exchange visitors: Two years of physical residence is required before being able to apply for adjustment of status. If the two years' time frame has not yet been met, then the J visa holder will be barred from adjusting their status.
- Unlawful status/unauthorized employment: If an individual was not of lawful status at the time of filing for an adjustment of status or has participated in unauthorized employment, then they will be barred from adjustment of status.
- Transits missing visa: Individuals who are missing a visa who are traveling through the United States to an outside country are barred from adjustment of status.
It is vital to note that USCIS officers decide each case in regard to adjustment of status. The officer still may deny an application for adjustment of status even if it meets the criteria and is not statutorily barred by any of the listed points.
In order to be sure that you properly meet the requirements for an adjustment of status, it is advisable to seek legal guidance from our immigration office today.
It is advisable to seek legal guidance from our office today as we strive to help guide you with your specific case.
Attorney Ramona Kennedy cares about your case and will fight for you.
You can contact attorney Ramona Kennedy Law Offices (Kennedy Law LC) for an initial consultation and case evaluation. The first consultation is free of charge.
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