When a foreign individual wishes to come to the United States, they must be approved for a certain status. This is typically done through different types of visas. These statuses allow an individual to come to the country for several reasons. This can include visitation, employment, school, marriage, and more. After an individual is in the United States for a long period of time, their status may change. Adjustment of Status (AOS) is the process in which a non-citizen can petition to become a Permanent Resident in the country. Permanent residency is a type of immigration status that allows the individual to live and work in the United States permanently. This is approved by issuing the individual a “Green Card.”
Qualifications for AOS
When a non-citizen wishes to apply for permanent residency, there are certain qualifications they are required to meet in order to do so. To apply, the individual must live within the United States. It is also mandatory that they fall under a certain category of eligibility. Individuals are able to apply for a Green Card through the following categories:
- Family-based: If a non-citizen is an immediate relative of a United States citizen, they do not have to wait for a visa. There is also no limit to the number of visas that can be issued for family members of a citizen, unlike other categories. Immediate relatives who are eligible for a family-based Green Card are parents, spouses, and unmarried children under the age of 21 who are related to the citizen.
- Job or employment based: Individuals who wish to become immigrants due to employment or a job offer can apply for permanent residency. There are a limited amount of visas that may be issued in this category.
- Refugee or asylum: Individuals who were admitted as a refugee or were granted asylum in the United States are able to apply for permanent residency. They may do so one year after they entered the country. This opportunity is also available to qualifying spouses or children of refugees and asylees.
- Special programs
Petitioning for AOS
It is important to know that petitioning for an adjustment of status is not a short process. The entire process can take several months and sometimes even more than a year. This is because it requires several steps and requirements to be met before an applicant may be granted permanent residency. The process includes background checks and a formal interview. Individuals who are petitioning as a spouse are required to provide an immigration officer with thorough proof of their marriage. In addition to this, while the Adjustment of Status Application is being processed and approved, individuals are able to file for employment authorization that allows them to work and travel throughout the United States.
Contact our Firm
If you or someone you know is facing an immigration issue and wishes to speak with an attorney, contact Sesini Law Group, S.C. today.
John Sesini is an experienced immigration attorney with offices in Green Bay and Milwaukee Wisconsin. If you have any questions regarding immigration law matters, please contact the Sesini Law Group, S.C. and schedule your initial consultation with our firm today.