Immigrants who are eligible for permanent residency can sometimes process those applications while inside the US. This can be important, not only because it avoids the time and expense of returning home, but also because it allows certain immigrants to obtain green cards who would otherwise be subject to 10-year bars if required to return home.

To be eligible for adjustment of status, the applicant must: (1) have a visa that is currently available (2) be “in status” in the US at the time of filing for adjustment of status and (3) not have committed a serious immigration violation, been convicted of a serious criminal offense or otherwise participated in prohibited conduct.. A serious immigrtion violation includes immigration fraud or (in most cases) working without authorization in the US. Prohibited conduct might include, prostitution, terrorist activities, persecution of others, or communist participation.

Are some important exceptions to the above rules. An immigrant who is married to an American citizen or is the parent of a US citizen over 21 or the child under 21 of a US citizen is not required to be “in status” in the US but must have entered the US legally. Additionally, an individual applying for permanent residence based on employment sponsorship can be “out of status” for up to 180 days and still be eligible for adjustment.

Our firm has represented thousands of individuals applying for adjustment of status through either employment based or family based sponsorship. Our key to a successful application is not merely the filing of appropriate applications but also preparing our clients for the immigration interview part of the process and attending those interviews with our clients. At both family based and employment based interviews, examiners can ask difficult, embarrassing, or even inappropriate questions and some examiners can become very aggressive. It is our job to prepare our clients for anything that could conceivably arise at these interviews and to make sure examiners act professionally.