Adjustment of Status/Green Card

Those who would like to obtain lawful permanent resident status—also known as a green card—generally have two ways to do so. The applicant can file a petition based on employment or a petition based on marriage or immediate family. In the application based on employment the employer will file on the applicant’s behalf. Adjustment of status through family member requires a family member who is a U.S. citizen or has a green card and is known as the “sponsor.”

Employment-Based Adjustment of Status

There are few self-petitioned employment-based adjustment of status applications, however an EB-1 Extraordinary Ability petition is available in rare instances. An applicant who demonstrates extraordinary ability in the sciences, athletics, business or education and has been recognized in the field through extensive documentation may qualify for an EB-1 Extraordinary Ability petition. The applicant must bring significant benefits to the U.S and must enter the country legally. A petition as an EB-1 worker with Extraordinary Ability must be accompanied by a letter from prospective employer, a contract or a statement detailing how the foreign national’s work will continue in the U.S. Other than the Extraordinary Ability Petition, an employer must fill out a form to request the adjustment of status for the foreign-born worker.

Simply filing an employment-based immigrant petition does not automatically guarantee a green card to the applicant.  Once such a petition is approved on behalf of the applicant and a current priority date is given, then the forms regarding Adjustment of Status can be filed.  The applicant who desires such status must reside in the United States, must have legal entry into the U.S. and must have no prior criminal history or have undergone any significant issues regarding immigration in the past. In order to apply for Adjustment of Status based on employment, a comprehensive package based on the employment relationship and the applicant’s eligibility must be filed.

Family or Marriage-Based Adjustment of Status

The second way to obtain an Adjustment of Status is through marriage to a U.S. citizen which gives the applicant immediate relative status or parents. This enables the applicant to be eligible for a green card by virtue of the marital or familial relationship.  As an immediate relative the applicant is not subject to preference categories or to the backlog of priority dates which could stretch the process out for years or even decades. Immigrant visas are always available to those who fall into the immediate relative category. Like the employment-based adjustment of status, the applicant must be physically present in the United States, must have last entered the United States legally and must have no prior criminal or negative immigration history which would prohibit the application for adjustment of status. The path to marriage-based or family-based adjustment of status is much like that of the employment-based adjustment of status.

The notable difference in a marriage-based adjustment of status is the evidence which establishes the legitimacy of the marriage. An interview will be conducted to determine whether the marital relationship is legitimate as well as to ensure there is no prior criminal history or problems with immigration which would prevent eligibility for a green card.

How Sullo & Sullo, LLP Can Help

The Sullo & Sullo attorneys work closely with those seeking an adjustment of status in order to build the strongest case possible. We are familiar with the many forms necessary to achieve an employment-based or family-based adjustment of status and spend the time necessary to ensure all government forms are accurate. We know how intimidating the stack of forms and requirements can be, and will walk you through the process from start to finish, always updating you promptly regarding new developments in your case. Our clients will generally receive their green card within a couple of months, barring any unforeseen issues.

Many of our clients have attempted to file the adjustment of status paperwork on their own, only to suffer a variety of mishaps which led to the denial of the application. Such things as simply checking one wrong box, not providing the information requested or even sending the wrong amount of payment can lead to a denial or a significant delay in processing time. We are committed to your case from the beginning and have extensive experience regarding adjustment of status applications. The attorneys of Sullo & Sullo know how important a successful result is to you and your family and that knowledge adds an extra dimension to your Adjustment of Status application.

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