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If you currently reside in Aurora without a green card and would like to apply for legal residence in the United States, you will need to go through a process called “adjustment of status.” This procedure is similar to the process of applying for a green card from outside the United States, with the primary difference being that adjustment of status is meant for individuals who have already lawfully entered U.S. borders and/or have non-immigrant status.

However, there are several forms to fill out and criteria to meet if you want to achieve adjustment of status in Aurora, and even a small mistake along the way could significantly delay your application or lead to a denial. Assistance from a skilled immigration lawyer could answer all of your questions and make this process more efficient.

Who Is Eligible to Adjust Their Immigration Status?

The first two criteria for adjustment of status are lawful entry into the United States and physical presence inside U.S. borders. If an applicant did not enter the U.S. with valid documentation through a port of entry where he or she was acknowledged by a U.S. immigration officer, he or she may not qualify to adjust their immigrant status. Importantly, however, the expiration of a lawful non-immigrant visa does not disqualify its holder from applying for adjustment of status after he or she enters legally with that visa.

Regardless of how a prospective applicant first gained lawful entry into the United States, an immigrant visa must be available before he or she can apply for a green card. The two most common grounds for adjustment of status in Aurora are sponsorship by a family with legal permanent residence or citizenship in the United States, and sponsorship by an employer who intends to hire the status adjustment applicant.

Alternatively, immigrant visas may be available through other means such as asylum or refugee status, programs for victims of human trafficking and abuse, and the diversity visa lottery.

Applying for an Adjustment of Status

If someone seeking an adjustment of status in Aurora intends to do so through sponsorship by a family member or employer, his or her sponsor must first file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative or Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, respectively. As an immigration attorney could explain in more detail, other grounds for adjustment of status may require different paperwork. For example, applying for a Green Card based on asylum status first requires Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal.

After confirming that an immigrant visa is available, an applicant may file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status to begin the adjustment of status process. Depending on the circumstances, the application may include various additional steps, such as biometrics testing at an Application Support Center, the submission of initial evidence to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), and/or an interview with a USCIS official.

An Aurora Attorney Could Help with the Adjustment of Status Process

The adjustment of status process can be time-consuming and labor-intensive, especially if you have not interacted extensively with USCIS in the past. Fortunately, help is available from dedicated legal representatives who are knowledgeable about what USCIS prioritizes in these applications. A qualified lawyer could serve as a crucial lifeline throughout the process of applying for adjustment of status in Aurora. Call today for a private consultation.

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