Adjustment of Status for Non-US Citizens
It is a process wherein an alien will be converted to become a legitimate permanent resident in the US without the obligation to leave the country. The usual procedure of this is dissimilar to that from obtaining permanent residence in the US.
Adjustment of Status Regulation in Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)
According to the rules of the INA, the foreigner’s status that was scrutinized and acknowledged or paroled by the US can be amended by the Attorney General. He can recommend such rules to an alien who was admitted legally for permanent residence if that alien:
- Creates an adjustment application
- Is entitled to accept an immigrant visa and is admissible to the US for permanent residence
- Has an available immigrant visa at the moment his or her application is filed.
Application Process for adjustment of status
To start the application, it is significant for an alien to have an available immigrant visa whenever his or her application for adjustment is filed. However, it is not an issue for those holders of a K1 visa and K3 visa due to a limitless amount of permanent residence cards (green cards) that can be given to those immediate relative immigrants such as spouses. The applicant should file his or her application in the USCIS district director in the district where he or she resides.
Adjustment of Status Discretionary Nature
Remember that the adjustment of status is unrestricted. The USCIS however, can at times deny an adjustment of status application either for a certain cause or for some unknown or no definite legislative reason to do so.
Generally, when the alien applicant is qualified by order and doesn’t have the so-called “negative factors” that will subject to deny his or her application, the USCIS will, therefore, grant the adjustment of status. But if negative factors appeared or detected, it will be balanced by the “positive factors” to determine if an adjustment should be issued. Proof of a firm relationship such as a spousal relationship is usually a sturdy factor supporting the adjustment’s approval.
In some cases, if an alien enters the US with the use of a Tourist visa and planned to stay in the country permanently, it will be considered committing a fraud against the USCIS. As a result, he or she might become subject to criminal forfeits and expulsion. Though this act failed to identify the fraudulence or malicious misinterpretation, it is still a “negative factor” that may cause for the denial of his or her adjustment application.
The Compulsion of advance parole to the adjustment of status
If the applicant needs to leave the US for a while, he or she must apply for advance parole in the assurance that he or she will not be going to abandon his or her adjustment application. However, advance parole is an alternative for applicants having legal personal or business appointment reasons.
Note that an application will certainly be considered abandoned when the applicant leaves the US while waiting for the approval of his or her application.
Adjustment of Status for K1 and K3 visa
Alien holders of a K1 and K3 visa who admitted temporarily can only be adjusted to conditional permanent residence. The US citizen petitioner of a K1 and K3 visa also needs to file for adjustment of status petition. Those immigrants in the US with conditional permanent resident status are ineligible for adjustment of status. Nonetheless, when the years passed and the conditional status is dismissed, the immigrant can file a petition to elevate the conditional status and therefore become a legal permanent resident of the US.