Adjustment of Status
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Adjustment of Status Lawyer
US Immigration Attorneys Prepared to Guide You
When a foreign national in the United States goes from being a temporary visa holder (non-immigrant) to being a permanent resident (immigrant), this is referred to as an adjustment of status. In order to complete this immigration status adjustment, the foreign national and his or her sponsor must fill out the appropriate forms and meet the required criteria for obtaining a green card. There are many foreign nationals who are able to get their immigration statuses adjusted without first having to return to their home countries.
Are you at risk of being deported because you were found to be in the U.S. illegally, because of a crime on your record or because of another reason? If so, you may still be able to obtain an adjustment of status by obtaining a form of removal/deportation relief option.
If you are seeking an adjustment of status, you can turn to our law firm for assistance. Our Virginia immigration lawyers at Fayad Law, P.C. are highly knowledgeable in U.S. immigration law, so you can depend on these legal professionals to guide you through each step of the adjustment of status process.
What qualifies me for an adjustment of status?
Individuals who apply for adjustment of status usually do so under one of the following categories:
- Family immigration—applicable to spouses, fiancées and certain family members of U.S. citizens and permanent residents
- Employment immigration—applicable to foreign nationals hired by U.S. employers, or to foreign investors who are providing capital for U.S. commercial enterprises
- Special classes of immigrants—applicable to immigrants in special categories, such as widows of U.S. citizens, battered or abused spouses or children, physicians, religious workers, etc.
- Humanitarian programs—applicable to immigrants who qualify for asylum status, refugee status or other humanitarian-based immigration benefits
In most of these cases, the foreign national must have a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or entity file a petition on his or her behalf. In addition to that petition, Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) must also be filed. These two forms can sometimes be filed at the same time. There are many cases in which adjustment of status can be used as a form of removal/deportation defense.
Virginia Immigration Attorneys Offering Guidance
Many individuals end up running into obstacles when it comes to adjusting their statuses, such as questions over their eligibility, problems involving criminal records or even just the complexity involved in filling out the paperwork properly. Our skilled immigration attorneys can use their legal knowledge and experience to help you address any issues you might be facing. Furthermore, if you qualify, we may be able to help file a waiver that will allow you to remain in the U.S. while your adjustment of status is being processed. Whether you are applying for adjustment of status for the first time or you are challenging an unfair denial of adjustment of status, we can assist you.
Contact Fayad Law, P.C. so we can offer you some initial guidance through a free consultation. We want to help you make your adjustment of status go as smoothly as possible!
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FAQs - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
There are dozens of different types of visas available under the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), but they can all be placed in one of two categories: immigrant and nonimmigrant visas. The former is for individuals who are hoping to establish permanent residency with a green card and perhaps even to pursue the path to naturalization and citizenship. The latter is for those who are only planning a temporary visit to the United States, such as for the purpose of conducting business or attending school.
The INA sets limits on the number of people who will be permitted to immigrate to the United States each year using certain types of visas, while other visas are unlimited. Family immigration visas for the immediate relatives of U.S. citizens are available on an unlimited basis, while there are annual quotas set for the relatives of lawful permanent residents and extended family of citizens, with a maximum quota of 480,000. The number of employment immigration visas is limited to 140,000 per year.
Pathways to citizenship include service in the United States military and adoption, but a large percentage of all people who become citizens do so through the process of naturalization. The basic qualifications for naturalization include:
- Living in the U.S. as a permanent resident for 5 years (or 3 years for a spouse of a U.S. citizen)
- Being at least 18 years of age
- Living within the state where you will apply for citizenship for at least 3 months prior to the application date
- Being physically present in this country for at least half of the past 5 years
- Maintaining continuous residence in this country from the date you submit your application for naturalization
- Being able to read, write and speak English
- Have a basic understanding of U.S. government and civics
It is also necessary to supply evidence that you are a person of good moral character and are attached to the principles of the U.S. Constitution. We can assist you with proving these factors, as well as preparing your petition and helping you get ready for the tests.
In June of 2012, the Obama Administration directed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to begin applying a policy that is referred to as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Under deferred action, DHS is exercising discretion in its execution of the laws concerning deportation and removal of immigrants who are illegally present in the United States. Deferred action is not a change to the existing law, but is instead a change in the way that the law is being applied. You may qualify for relief under DACA if you were younger than 31 years of age on June 15, 2012, came to the U.S. before your 16th birthday, have continuously resided in this country since June 15, 2007 and are either currently in school or have already graduated from high school or earned your general education development (GED) certificate, among other criteria. With deferred action, you may be able to avoid being deported, though it does not grant any change of immigration status.
In its review of immigrant visa petitions, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) weighs factors related to the ties that the prospective immigrant has in the United States and the reasons why he or she wants or needs to come to live in this country. For example, a family immigration petition will not be approved unless the foreign national has immediate relatives such as a spouse, mother or father, child or sibling already living here as a citizen or green card holder. An employment immigration petition is more likely to receive approval if the applicant has a job offer in this country and is coming to fill a position that cannot reasonably be filled from the local labor market. A foreign national who is fleeing persecution in his or her home country may be granted an immigrant visa as a refugee or asylee.
There are many strategies for challenging a removal action. If the proposed deportation is based on a criminal conviction, it may be possible to appeal the conviction in order to have it overturned. Another option is to petition for cancellation of removal, a type of immigration relief which is available to people who are of good moral character and whose deportation would subject a family member who is a citizen or permanent resident to extreme hardship. The key to success in stopping deportation is to take immediate action by hiring a Virginia immigration attorney from our firm as soon as possible. Contact us now at Fayad Law, P.C. for a confidential consultation and to let us get started on your case!
Fayad Law, P.C. maintains offices in Richmond and Fairfax, Virginia. We work with individuals, families, and businesses across the world, providing them with assistance in resolving the legal issues involved with helping their loved ones and employees to immigrate to the United States. We work directly with foreign nationals living abroad, guiding them through the process of obtaining immigrant and nonimmigrant visas for entry to the U.S.