Adjustment of Status
Adjustment of status is a deportation defense and a status that allows an undocumented immigrant to stay in the United States lawfully (as a permanent resident or otherwise
A person must apply for an adjustment of status (it is not automatically granted).
Adjustment of status is not to be confused with change of status. A change of status is when a non-immigrant changes the status of their application from one status to the next.
- In order to be eligible for adjustment of status, you need to be legally admitted into the United States – You would have your current status changed to US lawful resident or you would be given a visa number.
- You would apply for an adjustment of status using form I-485. This changes your current status to lawful permanent resident status.
- Visa numbers are given through family members or employers. How quickly you receive a Visa number depends on your relationship with the family member or how long you have been working for your employer.
- You can be the parent, spouse, widow or child of a U.S citizen
- If you currently have a priority date for permanent residence which is current, you can apply for an adjustment of status.
It should be noted that, in practice, a family related and immediate relative petition who immediately provides a Visa number can provide relief from you being removed from the US. This requires you to have a valid status at the time of filing for an adjustment of status, meaning that you would probably not have a valid status if you have already received a deportation order from U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services – also known as USCIS.
Overstay Visa, Unlawful Entry
Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act allows individuals to apply for adjustment of status even if an individual has overstayed their immigration status or an individual has entered the US unlawfully. Once you have submitted I-485, you would pay the filing fee for the application, plus a $1,000 fine (subject to change).
The purpose of Section 245(i) of the INA is to allow an otherwise admissible person who has an immediately available immigrant visa to apply for an adjustment of status upon paying a $1,000 surcharge (again, subject to change at any time), even if the person entered the United States without inspection, and in violation of section 245(a) of the Act or is barred by section 245(c) of the Act.