Application to Adjust Status (I-485)
Clients often come into our office with questions about how they can help their spouses or other family members who live in the United States obtain their green cards. Depending on their specific circumstances, immigration law offers an avenue to make this happen. Aliens who are physically present in the United States with non-immigrant status may be eligible to apply for a green card through an application to adjust status. You must be an alien for whom a visa number is immediately available, and you must not have entered the United States without inspection.
Often, the adjustment of status application is filed at the same time as the Alien Relative Petition (I-130), and an Authorization for Employment Authorization (I-765). Examples of non-immigrant aliens who are eligible to file for Adjustment of Status include spouses of U.S. Citizens whose visas are expired or who are in Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
You may also apply for your green card through an I-485 if you have been granted asylum or refugee status, and have been physically present in the U.S. for at least one year. If you need to travel outside of the country while your case is pending, you may also apply for Advance Parole Authorization (I-131) along with your green card application.
Determining whether you are eligible to file an Adjustment of Status application can be complicated, and filing it correctly, even more so. An experienced Washington, DC immigration lawyer can recommend the best course of action for your specific immigration status, and help you navigate through this often difficult process.