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More about adjustment of immigration status

In our previous post, we discussed the four main paths nonimmigrants in the U.S. can take to adjust their status so they can stay in this country, perhaps permanently. As we mentioned then, there is a process to applying for an adjustment beyond figuring out who files the petition for you, and using the proper form.

First, as we said last time, you must figure out whether the visa you are seeking is still available. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has a limited number of each type of visa to grant each year per country of origin and other factors, like whether the person is being sponsored by a family member.

Besides the petition, which might need to be filed by the sponsoring relative or employer, you must fill out an application for permanent residence. The filing may need to come in the same time as the petition, or beforehand.

Next, USCIS will notify you by mail to report to the nearest Application Support Center to supply a photograph, fingerprints and other biometrics data. USCIS will use this data to perform a background check and create your green card. The agency may also require you to submit to an interview. The subject is questioned under oath.

Once all the paperwork is filed and the applicant has gone in for fingerprinting and interviewing, the next step is to wait. USCIS notifies applicants in writing whether or not their adjustment of status has been approved. If the answer is “no,” you can appeal in many cases.

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