A person who qualifies to be a permanent resident may be able to apply to obtain a green card without leaving the U.S. This procedure is called adjustment of status. When a person applies for adjustment of status, he also applies for a work permit (EAD) and, if he is eligible, for a travel permit (“advance parole”). Generally, an applicant for adjustment of status must have entered the U.S. legally and have never violated his immigration status.
However, there are some exceptions to this general rule.
Section 245(i) of the law provides that certain persons with old priority dates may pay a penalty fee and adjust their status despite entering the U.S. illegally or violating or overstaying their nonimmigrant status.
Section 245(k) provides that if a person is applying for adjustment of status pursuant to an employment-based immigrant visa petition, he is eligible to do so as long as he has not been out of status for over 180 days since his most recent admission to the U.S.
Also, persons who are immediate relatives (parents, spouses and children of U.S. citizens) may adjust their status if they entered the U.S. lawfully even if they overstayed or worked without authorization without having to pay a penalty fee.
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We hope that the following videos, articles and practice advisories assist you in becoming a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. through adjustment of status.
This page is divided into the following sub-sections:
General Information – Adjustment of Status
- How Do I Become a Lawful Permanent Resident While In The United States? (USCIS)
- Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
- Advance Parole Travel Document (CBP)
- USCIS Civil Surgeons Locator
- USCIS FAQ on AP/EAD Cards
- Pending Employment-Based I-485 Inventory (USCIS)
- Policy Memo: Extension of Validity of Medical Certifications on Form I-693 (9-4-13)
- USCIS: Section 245(k)’s Application to 245(c) for Certain Employment-Based Applications (7-14-08)
- USCIS Announces Direct Filing Instructions for Forms I-129F, I-131, I-140, I-360, I-485, I-765, and I-907 (6-21-07)
- USCIS Memo: FBI Name Checks Policy and Process Clarification for Domestic Operations (12-21-06)
- USCIS Direct Mail Program – Federal Register Notice (11-19-04)
- USCIS Memo: Determination of Ability to Pay under 8 CFR 204.5(g)(2) – (5-04-04)
- INS Memo on Concurrent Filing When Visa Petition is Denied (2-28-03)
- Concurrent Filing FAQ (2002)
- INS Memo Re: Hs and Ls Who Work After Entering on Advance Parole (5-16-00)
Videos – Adjustment of Status
- Adjustment of Status – This video explains “Adjustment of Status”, the process of obtaining permanent residence without having to leave the United States.
- Adjustment of Status Through Section 245i – Section 245(i) of the immigration law allows certain persons who have overstayed their visas or entered the United States without papers to adjust their status to permanent residents.
- Overcoming an Adjustment of Status Denial (May 2014)
- Using Section 245(i) to Help a Client Avoid Deportation (January 2011)
- 245(i): Turning Denials into Approvals (September 2008)
Practice Advisory Regarding Adjustment of Status
- “Arriving Aliens” and Adjustment of Status (11-01-15)
- Inspection and Entry at a Port of Entry: When is there an Admission? (10-22-15)
- Adjustment of Status of “Arriving Aliens” Under the Interim Regulations: Challenging the BIA’s Denial of a Motion to Reopen, Remand, or Continue a Case (4-16-07)