ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS

How does an alien apply for adjustment of status?

For an immigrant to apply for adjustment of status, you or someone else must file an immigrant petition for you (employment or family-based petitions, asylum, domestic violence, etc.). In most cases, the adjustment of status may be filed together with the immigrant petition if the intending immigrant is physically present the United States through a lawful entry and an immigrant visa is immediately available for his/her category.

If I overstayed my visa and married a Permanent Resident, can I adjust status in the U.S.?

No. If you overstayed your visa, you can only apply for adjustment of status in the U.S. if you are married to a U.S. citizen. If your spouse is a Green Card holder, s/he will submit the I-130 for you in the United States, and, once it is approved, you will go through consular processing and must attend the interview at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in your country of origin.

What is the filing fee?

The filing fee is $1,225 for anyone who is 14-78 years-old. For applicants under 14 applying with at least one parent, the fee is $750.

If a person entered the United States as a student, does s/he lose the F-1 status upon applying for adjustment of status (through a family or employment-based petition)?

No, if you comply with the requirements of your student visa and maintain a valid I-20, your F-1 status will remain valid after you apply for adjustment of status. If the adjustment of status is approved, the F-1 will no longer be valid (or necessary). In turn, if the USCIS denies your adjustment of status, your F-1 status will still be valid.

Can I work in the U.S. and travel abroad while my adjustment of status is pending?

When applying for adjustment of status, you may also apply for employment and travel authorization for you and your family, which currently may take approximately 10 months to be approved. When these authorizations are granted, you and your family are allowed to legally work in the United States and travel abroad until your case is adjudicated.

When should the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) renewal be filed?

In June, 2021, the USCIS decided to grant initial and renewal EADs to applicants for adjustment of status valid for 2 years (instead of the previous 1-year validity). The renewal should be filed within the expiration date, so the applicant may receive a 180-day extension until the renewal application is approved (if its EAD category allows). We recommend that the renewal be filed approximately 3-6 months before the expiration of the EAD.

What happens if an adjustment applicant fails to extend his or her EAD and continues to work without EAD after the filing of the adjustment application?

If an adjustment applicant fails to renew the EAD and continues to work unlawfully in the United States, the adjustment application could be denied.

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