Immigration is Needlessly Complicated. Let Allcanza Simplify It and Guide You; all while Saving You thousands $$.
The qualification process for a U.S. Family Green Card can be a bit tricky. We have made it simple and easy to understand in our Qualification Quiz! See if you are qualified for our services.
This is the FULL SERVICE PACKAGE!
This package allows you to read and answer the questions, then provides the full packet as required by the government available for Print and Mail. Also provides the required cover letter. Also Includes an Attorney Review. PLUS: You have a dedicated guide that is directly working on your case. All documents will be received directly in the system for Review and Stacking. Your application will be assembled completely by the system, reviewed by your guide and an Attorney. (Government fees are not included in price)
Adjustment of Status is the application procedure by which someone in the United States goes from having one immigration status, such as a temporary visa holder—or in some cases no immigration status at all—to having the status of permanent or conditional resident (green card holder), all without leaving the United States.
Contrast this with the procedure for people who either live outside the USA. These people must generally use a procedure called consular processing (CP).
The adjustment of status procedure includes not only submission of various forms and documents, but an interview at an office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Only a narrow group of people can use this procedure to get a green card; and it doesn’t include everyone who is technically eligible for U.S. residence. Here are the numerous requirements for being eligible to use the adjustment of status procedure:
You must be eligible for a U.S. green card (permanent or conditional residence), most likely through a close family member who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident , an employer, or being an asylee or refugee.
If your eligibility is based on employment or family, you must already have an approved visa petition on file, and your priority date must be current (if you have a priority date—this applies to immigrants in “preference categories” who must often spend time on a waiting list before receiving their immigrant visa or green card, owing to annual limits on visas and high demand for them). (Some exceptions to the rule about having an approved petition on file exist, for immigrants in categories where the petition can be filed concurrently, or at the same time as the adjustment of status application.)
If your eligibility is based on asylum or refugee status, you must have waited one year since either your asylum approval or your entry into the United States with refugee status.
You must be physically in the United States.
You must not have entered the U.S. as a foreign national crewman, in transit without a visa (“TWOV”), or under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) (although entry on the VWP is okay if you are the immediate relative of a U.S. citizen).
You must (with some exceptions such as for immediate relatives) be in valid visa status, and not have stayed past the expiration date of your permitted stay (“overstayed“) or worked illegally.
If you fit most of the criteria but aren’t eligible to adjust because of an illegal entry or other visa or status violation, you must fit within an old law called 245(i). This means you can adjust status, upon payment of a $1,000 penalty fee, if you were:
The beneficiary of an immigrant visa or labor certification petition (including I-140, I-130, I-360, or I-526) that was filed on or before April 30, 2001, and
If the petition was filed between January 14, 1998 and April 30, 2001, you can also prove that you were physically present in the U.S. on December 21, 2000.
It depends. Every immigrant who marries a U.S. citizen becomes an “immediate relative,” in immigration law terms, and theoretically eligible for a green card. But that doesn’t mean they’re eligible to get that green card by adjusting status, even if they’re in the United States.
As it happens, people who both entered the United States legally (on a valid visa, which they weren’t misusing for the purpose of getting a green card) and are married to a U.S. citizen are in most cases eligible to adjust status. It doesn’t matter if they overstayed the time permitted on their visa or entry document.
People who entered illegally and married a U.S. citizen, however, are (subject to some narrow exceptions) not eligible to adjust status. They can still use consular processing, but will likely need a waiver of their unlawful presence in order to return to the United States.
The main form you must complete is Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
No matter what basis you’re applying on, you must include a copy of your birth certificate (translated word-for-word, if it’s not in English).
If you haven’t already received petition approval, and you’re eligible to file your petition and adjustment applications concurrently, you’ll submit either Form I-130 (and supporting documents) if your green card is family based, or some other petition as appropriate (such as the I-360 for special immigrants). If you’ve already received approvals of these (or of another petition, such as an I-129F fiancé visa petition), simply submit copies of the approval notice.
Assuming you entered the U.S. legally and are adjusting status on that basis, include a copy of your Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record.
You must also pay a filing fee and a biometrics (fingerprinting) fee, and submit two photographs (passport style).
Unless you’re a refugee, asylee, or on a K-1 fiancé visa, you’ll also need to submit the results of a medical examination done on Form I-693 by a doctor on USCIS’s official list. People who entered on K-1 fiancé visas or as refugees don’t need to repeat the medical exam that they had done earlier, but must now comply with vaccination requirements.
It’s a good idea to also submit Form I-765, application for employment authorization, allowing you to work in the United States. And if you think you might travel before your application is decided upon, be sure to submit Form I-131, Application for Travel Document.
Family-based immigrants must submit an Affidavit of Support, signed by the petitioner, on Form I-864, to help show that they’re not inadmissible as a likely “public charge.”
After you submit your packet, USCIS will review it for completeness. If something is missing, USCIS will return the whole thing to you for refiling (send you an “RFE” or Request for Evidence).
You will be asked to visit a local USCIS office within a certain time period to submit your biometric information. Later, you may be sent an appointment for an interview.
Several months after submitting your packet, USCIS will call you, and possibly your petitioner (the U.S. citizen or resident who submitted your petition), for an interview. If you cannot attend the interview on the appointed date, contact USCIS and request rescheduling. If you don’t request such a rescheduling and simply fail to show up at the interview, your application will be denied and you may be removed from the United States.
Bring a photo identification, such as a passport or driver’s license, to the interview. You will also have to pass through a security check to get into the federal building. And you will need to follow the latest protocols, such as bringing and wearing a mask that’s compliant with U.S. government requirements.
During the interview, the USCIS officer will review your application and ask you questions to determine your eligibility and your petitioner’s financial capacity to support you (in a family case).
If applying based on marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you’ll need to bring proof that you are really married and living together. Expect extra questions about your marriage, too.
The current filing fees are:
$535 for I-130 Family Petition
$1,225 for the Adjustment of Status Packet
Aside from these fees, you will also need to schedule a Medical Exam with a Civil Surgeon in your area . Approximately $1,000 – $1,300
As all lawyers would say, it depends. There are many factors that determine the wait time for your application. Some of these factors could include things such as how quickly you turn your application and documentation in or how complete the file is when you apply. Where you live and how quickly you respond to government requests will also determine wait time. This process can take anywhere from 6 months to 18 months or longer.
Consular Processing is the process by which a person can apply for a green card from outside the USA. This is a similar process to Adjustment of Status with the paperwork that needs to be filed, but the agency to which you need to submit the second part of the paperwork is different.
This process also requires the submission of various forms and documentation and an interview with the Department of State. The petition will need to be submitted first and approved, then you will receive an email from the National Visa Center that provides your fee bills. Once these are paid, then you can continue through the process.
A much larger group of people can use this procedure to get a green card. Basically anyone who is eligible to get a Green Card, but not eligible for Adjustment of Status will be required to apply through the Consular Process. Here are some of the requirements for being eligible to use the Consular Process procedure:
You must be eligible for a U.S. green card (permanent or conditional residence), most likely through a close family member who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident or an employer.
If your eligibility is based on employment or family, you must already have an approved visa petition on file, and your priority date must be current (if you have a priority date—this applies to immigrants in “preference categories” who must often spend time on a waiting list before receiving their immigrant visa or green card, owing to annual limits on visas and high demand for them).
If you fit most of the criteria but aren’t eligible to Consular Process because of an illegal entry or other visa or status violation, you may need a waiver to forgive your violations. Various waivers exist and if you apply for your Green Card from within the USA, you may be able to apply for your waiver prior to your Consular Interview. If you are apply for your Green Card from outside the USA and need a waiver, you will have to wait until after your Consular Interview to submit your forgiveness waiver.
The main form you must complete is Form DS260, Immigrant Visa Electronic Application.
No matter what basis you’re applying on, you must include a copy of your birth certificate (translated word-for-word, if it’s not in English). Also, your marriage certificate translated, if applicable. Your Petitioner’s birth certificate (also translated into English).
Aside from these biographic documents, you must also submit various other forms and documents. Some of these forms are the Affidavit of Support form I-864 and co-sponsor affidavit of support forms, if necessary. As part of this form packet, you will also be required to provide proof of status in the US, proof of income, and 3 years of taxes for your sponsor/co-sponsor.
This process is different from an adjustment of status in that it is filed electronically, most of the time, in the government system called CEAC. You will not even be able to begin this process until you have received your Fee Bills from the National Visa Center.