El Paso Immigration and Naturalization Services | Helping You Navigate the Immigration System
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The United States immigration system may seem complicated. Fortunately, our attorney Cynthia R. Lopez and our entire team are ready to help you get through what seems like a never-ending process. Doing the process the right way will ensure there are no setbacks or unnecessary delays.
Adjustment of status is an important step. It takes you from a non-legal status, such as a tourist or student visa, to a legal resident. However, according to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), an adjustment is only allowed if the person meets certain requirements. Adjustment of status is one way to obtain an immigrant visa to the United States.
Eligibility Requirement: How to Determine If You Are Eligible
As stated above, to qualify for adjustment of status, you must meet certain requirements. To begin the application process, you must first find out if you are eligible and thus must meet one or two of the following:
- You currently reside in the U.S. or have been a resident since or before January 1, 1972
- You have a family member who is ready to sponsor you
- You have an employer who is willing to sponsor you
- You are engaged to a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident
- You are a refugee
- You have a diversity visa
- You are a Cuban citizen/national
Once one or two of these requirements are met, you are then inspected and admitted by designated immigration officials. It’s important to remember that entering the country illegally may disqualify you from applying for adjustment of status. This includes marrying a U.S. citizen or other means of becoming an immediate family member.
To file an adjustment of status application, the intending person must, in other words, meet at least three major requirements and must maintain eligibility throughout the whole process. These include:
- Be physically present in the United States. The applicant must be physically present in the country when they file.
- Make a lawful entry into the country. This means that when you first entered the country, you did so legally and were “admitted” or paroled into the U.S.
- Have an approved and current I-130 petition. Family-based immigration applicants must have an approved Form I-130, Petition for Alien Resident, and a visa number.