What is Adjustment of Status (“AOS”)?
AOS is the process that is used to apply for lawful permanent resident (“LPR”) status while inside the U.S., also known as applying for a Green Card. Being a Legal Permanent Resident, or having a Green Card, allows a Foreign National to a live and work permanently in the U.S. A Green Card holder could eventually be eligible to become a U.S. citizen.
To be eligible to apply for a Green Card, a Foreign National must fit into a specific immigrant category. See here: https://www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-eligibility-categories. If considered eligible, usually someone else must file an immigrant petition with USCIS on your behalf. Once the immigrant petition is approved, an adjustment of status application may be filed when an immigrant visa is available. While there are a variety of paths to apply for a Green Card, the two most common ways are through employment and family.
- Employment-Based: An employed Foreign National who has an employer willing to sponsor them, may be eligible to apply for legal permanent resident status if they are (1) a multinational manager or executive, (2) in a profession requiring an advanced degree, or (3) a skilled worker. The position must first be approved by the Department of Labor prior to filing the immigrant petition on behalf of the employee. If a Green Card is obtained, LPR status does not expire as long as the requirements of being a LPR are continuously met. Other employment-based categories do exist and will be discussed under a different tab.
- Family-Based: If a Foreign National is the immediate or other relative of a U.S. citizen or U.S. Legal Permanent Resident, they may be eligible for an immigrant petition to be filed on their behalf. While LPR status does not usually expire as long as the requirements of being a LPR are continuously met, a Green Card based on marriage is considered to be Conditional Permanent Residence if the AOS interview occurs before the second year anniversary of the couple. Conditional Permanent Residence is valid for two (2) years and a petition to remove those conditions will need to be filed with USCIS 90 days prior to the expiration of the Green Card. Once removed, normal Legal Permanent Resident status is obtained.
- Special Immigrant (I-360 Petition): If a Foreign National is a member of a religious denomination coming to the U.S. to work for a nonprofit religious organization, they could be eligible for a Special Immigrant petition to be filed on their behalf if the nonprofit organization is willing to sponsor. This category is similar to an employment-based petition and normal LPR status would be granted, if approved. However, unlike the above two categories, a Special Immigrant petition must be approved by USCIS prior to filing an adjustment of status application.
LENTINI VISAS EXPERIENCE
No matter which path is taken, the Adjustment of Status process can be lengthy and overwhelming. As such, we are there throughout every step of the process. Over the course of my career, we have effectively assisted companies in a variety of fields obtain green cards for their executive, managers, professional and skilled workers. In the family-based category, we have successfully helped numerous families obtain green cards for their loved ones from all over the globe.