Challenges In Adjustment Of Status & Their Solutions

By Published On: May 2, 2024Categories: Blog, Adjustment Of Status

Adjustment of Status (AOS) is a critical pathway for many individuals seeking a Green Card in the United States. However, due to the meticulous approach needed for the process, individuals may need help understanding its intricacies. Grasping the nuances is essential, as it comes with hurdles and workarounds.

Delve into the everyday challenges people encounter during the AOS process and learn practical tips for navigating these obstacles effectively. Understanding these solutions can significantly aid you, whether you’re just starting out or in the middle of the process. That said, the support of an immigration lawyer is valuable in this situation.

Learn More Legal Information About Adjustment Of Status And The Challenges Of Obtaining It

Understanding Adjustment Of Status

AOS is a crucial legal procedure allowing foreign nationals in the United States to apply for permanent residency. It’s unique because it doesn’t require an individual to return to their home country for Visa processing. This is a significant pathway since it offers a direct route to becoming a Green Card holder.

Eligible applicants have various routes to adjust their status. These options are each tailored to specific circumstances.

  • Family-Based: Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, including spouses, unmarried children under 21, and parents.
  • Employment-Based: For workers in various professional categories, often requiring a job offer from a U.S. employer.
  • Refugee Or Asylee Status: Individuals granted asylum or refugee status can apply one year after their designation.
  • Special Programs: Various categories, including victims of abuse, special immigrant juveniles, and certain religious workers.
  • Diversity Lottery: Winners of the Diversity Visa Lottery are eligible if they are already in the United States.

To be eligible for this transformative process, you must typically have entered the United States legally. Furthermore, you should continue to maintain lawful status upon applying.

The Adjustment of Status process allows many to become permanent residents smoothly. However, navigating it can be challenging because of strict rules from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and constantly changing immigration laws. Recognizing these challenges is vital to planning and tackling any hurdles to getting a Green Card.

Identifying Challenges In The AOS Process

Seeking permanent residency in the United States involves crucial steps, each presenting its challenges. From ensuring accurate documentation to navigating legal complexities, applicants often face a path strewn with hurdles. This section highlights the common obstacles and offers practical advice for managing them.

Documentation Issues

Applicants can face various documentation problems, ranging from incorrectly filled forms to missing signatures. They might also fail to include supporting documents such as birth certificates or marriage licenses. Even minor oversights can result in application delays or rejections.

Incorrect or incomplete documents can disrupt the application process, potentially leading to delays. The USCIS may issue an RFE or Request for Evidence, requiring additional documentation and further extending the process. In the worst-case scenario, incorrect filings can result in denials, necessitating a restart or an appeal, which can be time-consuming and costly.

Lengthy Processing Times

Adjusting one’s status takes time, often months or even years. Several factors influence these timelines, including the type of application, the current workload at USCIS, and the accuracy of the submitted documentation.

External factors such as policy shifts or changes in immigration law can also unexpectedly extend processing times. As a result, the longer waiting period can affect an applicant’s employment, travel, and family plans.

Legal & Technical Barriers

The legal landscape of immigration is intricate and often challenging to navigate without technical knowledge. Misunderstanding the legal requirements or failing to comply with all regulations can jeopardize your chance of success.

For instance, you may want to travel outside the United States while your application is pending. You may not be allowed to return without proper authorization, which can prevent you from obtaining legal permanent residency.

Navigating this complex process involves balancing precision in documentation with timely responses to legal queries. Understanding the common challenges in the residency application process can prepare you adequately despite the hurdles. By paying close attention to the specifics, you can smooth out many of the bumps on the road to obtaining permanent residency.

Overcoming Hurdles With Practical Solutions

Becoming a permanent resident becomes easier with strategic measures and support. Here are critical solutions to alleviate the hurdles applicants commonly face during this intricate process.

Use A Comprehensive Checklist

Start by using a comprehensive checklist, which can be a lifeline in this process. Gathering and organizing all required documents early in the process is crucial. Scrambling to find critical paperwork at the last minute can lead to oversights and errors. 

You must consult a skilled immigration lawyer who can provide a personalized checklist based on your circumstances. This decision can ensure that you don’t overlook the critical details.

Stay Vigilant

Immigration policies may sometimes evolve. Keeping up with the updates is crucial. That’s why it’s imperative to enlist the skills of a seasoned immigration lawyer. They consistently keep you informed about USCIS updates.

Maintaining lawful status requires a proactive approach. One must ensure the timely renewal of temporary Visas or permits. Additionally, avoiding unauthorized work and following the terms and conditions of one’s current status is essential. Keeping one’s status legal is paramount in preventing complications with the residency application.

Moreover, when the USCIS requests additional information or clarification, it’s crucial to respond promptly. Any delay in response could result in a notable extension of processing times. By staying vigilant and setting reminders to respond, you can maintain the momentum of your application process.

If you are uncertain about any forms, procedures, or requirements, it’s always wise to seek clarification. Whether you contact the USCIS directly or consult with an immigration lawyer, getting the correct answers is crucial.

Utilize USCIS Tools

The USCIS provides various online tools and resources for applicants. These tools include case status updates, processing time estimators, and alerts to track your case progress. Utilizing these allows applicants to plan their lives around realistic timelines.

Staying proactive with these tools helps manage expectations and keeps you engaged in your application’s progress. Immediately addressing any issues allows for the potential acceleration of the process.

The path to residency may seem dotted with challenges. However, you can navigate this process if you equip yourself with the right tools, information, and support. This journey can be manageable by utilizing legal help from a skilled immigration lawyer.

Get Professional Legal Assistance

Immigration laws are notoriously complex and continually evolving. An experienced immigration attorney can be invaluable, helping to demystify the process and avoid common pitfalls. They can assist in preparing and reviewing applications to ensure accuracy and completeness, represent applicants, and provide legal advice tailored to your circumstances.

Green Card lawyers keep the ball rolling smoothly by ensuring all submissions are complete and meet the legal criteria. They also liaise between you and the USCIS, handling inquiries and ensuring the process stays on track. This saves time and eases your mental load.

The decision to engage a seasoned immigration law firm is often a pivotal factor in successfully navigating the maze of immigration bureaucracy. As you’ve seen, the AOS process involves multiple legal and procedural nuances that can overwhelm individuals.

After overcoming the hurdles of the adjustment process, you can unlock many advantages that significantly enhance your life in the U.S. This shift solidifies your residency and opens up new avenues for you. 

Unlocking U.S. Opportunities With Adjustment Of Status

Adjusting your status in the U.S. offers myriad benefits that enhance immigrants’ quality of life and opportunities. It transitions individuals from uncertainty to a stable foundation in American society. Here are some of the benefits you reap as a permanent resident:

  • Employment Opportunities: Once your status is adjusted, you gain the legal right to work in the United States. This opens the door to many job opportunities and potential for career advancement.
  • Stability & Long-Term Security: A permanent resident can provide a more stable and secure environment than a temporary Visa. This permanence allows you to make long-term plans, such as purchasing homes and investing in your future.
  • Family Reunification: One of the most heartfelt benefits is the opportunity for family reunification. As a permanent resident, you can sponsor immediate family members, helping to bring or keep loved ones together in the United States. 
  • Social Benefits & Civic Participation: You can unlock access to several social benefits, including healthcare, social security, and education. Additionally, you can engage more fully in community life and, eventually, the democratic process through voting once you become a U.S. citizen.
  • Pathway To U.S. Citizenship: Finally, adjusting your status is critical to achieving U.S. citizenship. After meeting certain conditions, you can apply for naturalization, completing your integration into American society with all the rights and responsibilities it entails.

Successfully adjusting your status opens many doors to enriched personal and professional lives. For many, this is not just a change in legal status but a profound transformation of their lives. Fortunately, you’re not alone—a trusted law firm can help you through this process toward the American dream.

Working With Lincoln-Goldfinch Law

What Challenges You May Face In Your Adjustment Of Status And How You Can Get Out Of Them

When applying for permanent residency in the United States, having a guiding hand and a clear understanding of legal procedures is paramount. At Lincoln-Goldfinch Law, they bring years of experience and skills to the table, making a tangible difference in your journey toward obtaining a Green Card.

With a deep understanding of immigration law and a compassionate approach to client representation, they are committed to smoothing out the wrinkles that often complicate the path to permanent residency. Moreover, they recognize that navigating the immigration system can be fraught with potential hurdles and challenges.

Lincoln-Goldfinch Law handles these complexities, ensuring the meticulous preparation and submission of all necessary documents to the appropriate authorities. With this legal team on your side, you can rest assured that you’re progressing toward permanent residency in the United States.


Adjustment of Status is vital for acquiring a Green Card in the United States, offering a direct path to permanent residency without leaving the country. Eligibility depends on various factors, including family ties, employment, refugee status, or winning the Diversity Visa Lottery.

However, the process is intricate, and common challenges such as document errors, lengthy processing times, and legal complexities may occur. Practical solutions include using comprehensive checklists, staying updated on immigration policies, and utilizing USCIS tools.

Moreover, seeking legal assistance from experienced immigration lawyers like those at Lincoln-Goldfinch Law is wise. Their skills ensure smoother navigation through the complexities, increasing the chances of successful residency attainment.

About the Author: Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch

I am the managing partner of Lincoln-Goldfinch Law. Upon graduating from the University of Texas for college and law school, I received an Equal Justice Works Fellowship in 2008, completed at American Gateways. My project served the detained families seeking asylum. After my fellowship, I entered private immigration practice. My firm offers family-based immigration, such as green cards and naturalization, deportation defense, and humanitarian cases such as asylum, U Visa, and VAWA. Everyone at Lincoln-Goldfinch Law is bilingual, has a connection to our cause, and has demonstrated a history of activism for immigrants. To us, our work is not just a job.

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