Who Can Benefit From The Adjustment Of Status?

By Published On: January 12, 2023Categories: Vlog, Adjustment Of Status

”El Show Sin Fronteras”

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More than 280,000 individuals received their Green Cards in June and September 2021, and you can seize the opportunity to be part of that number. President Biden unveiled new policies, including introducing a parole program for individuals from Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. The program is limited to granting thirty thousand entries per month.

If you have a family member from any of these four nations residing outside the country, you are encouraged to apply for this program. Doing so will enable them to get ahead of the waiting line and take advantage of this opportunity. You can access information and determine your eligibility for any potential adjustments.

Immigration is a constantly evolving topic, and various terms associated with it may be unclear. In this article, you will learn about the meaning of “Adjustment of Status” (AOS), your options, and the process itself. Explore some common misconceptions about the Adjustment of Status process and how to deal with denied petitions.

Find Out More About Who May Qualify For Adjustment Of Status In The U.S.

Understanding Adjustment Of Status

An Adjustment of Status (AOS) is a method to rectify one’s status without departing from the United States. It can be likened to the Consular Process, which necessitates leaving the country. In this process, you need to obtain an appointment at the consulate in one’s home country.

However, with the adjustment of status, individuals can rectify their status within the United States without departing the country. There are qualifications you need to meet to be able to take advantage of this.

Adjust Your Status When You’re Already In The Country

There are four general ways to adjust status without departing the country. They are as follows:

  • Through immediate relatives. This includes family members of citizens, such as a spouse, child, or parent who entered with a Visa. Basically, someone who is an immediate relative of a citizen and entered legally with a Visa can take advantage of this.
  • Through a case called VAWA. It is intended for individuals who have been victims of abuse in a marriage or by their father or son. It allows them to adjust their status independently of their abuser, regardless of their manner of entry.
  • Through Parole. This choice is available for family members of individuals serving in the armed forces.
  • Through the provision called 245(i). It was established before 2001. Individuals included in a family petition before 2001 can adjust their status within the United States without being required to leave the country.

Although there are different ways to achieve Adjustment of Status, it is essential to know what is involved in the process and its duration.

The Timeframe & The Interview

Regarding the duration of the process, it usually takes about a year in total, varying depending on the area. If the case is filed in San Antonio, applicants should receive a work permit approximately six to nine months after applying. However, the final step is an interview, which typically occurs almost a year after the initial application.

During the interview, immigration officers, rather than judges, ask applicants questions about their marriage. Having a lawyer present at the interview is advisable to provide support and help alleviate any nervousness.

The presence of a lawyer during the interview is essential due to their experience in handling potentially challenging questions. Lawyers can offer guidance on what should and should not be disclosed. You can find a competent lawyer who can guide you through the process.

For instance, at the Lincoln-Goldfinch Law office, clients are always accompanied by their lawyers for interviews, just as they are for court hearings. This practice ensures that you are well-prepared and informed about the interview process. Lawyers can also prepare you for the types of questions you may encounter.

Clients can confidently approach the interview by receiving proper advice and being knowledgeable about the interview process. The lawyer’s preparation and guidance help clients anticipate what to expect. They can help you be ready to respond, enabling you to remain calm throughout the interview.

Adjustment Of Status Despite Entering The Country Illegally

Entering the United States without proper documentation poses unique challenges. Despite this, the Adjustment of Status process offers potential pathways to rectify their immigration status without having to leave the country.

There are three exceptions to consider in this case. The first exception is VAWA, which applies to victims of abuse in a marriage from a parent or a child. Second is a payment case where the petitioner has served in the armed forces. It’s not necessary to be actively serving in the armed forces to qualify.

The third exception is for those eligible under the 245(i) program. This choice covers individuals included in the petition before 2001.

In these specific cases, individuals may be able to adjust their status without leaving the country, even if they initially entered without a Visa. However, there are instances where your petition may be denied.

Deal With Denial Of Petition

When faced with a denied case, there are options for recourse. One option is to appeal your denied case. However, there are some cases where it is more beneficial to reapply. Consider this course of action if you have filed your case independently or with another lawyer.

The decision between appealing or reapplying depends on various factors. When deciding, you should consider variables such as the possibility of protecting work permits and the overall speed and ease of the process. Nevertheless, there is typically a way to rectify the situation and obtain permanent residency.

Get A Free Case Evaluation And Find Out If You Can Obtain Adjustment Of Status Even If You Are In The Country Illegally

In these situations, it is vital to ask questions without hesitation to competent legal agents. It is crucial not to leave concerns unspoken due to shame or fear. Consulting with a lawyer and inquiring about eligibility is essential to understand your options. With their guidance, you can make informed decisions that’ll benefit you in the long run.

Common Concerns Regarding AOS

It’s natural to have questions about Adjustment of Status, especially when dealing with various concerns. Explore some situations, such as the marriage on a Tourist Visa and petitioning a parent. Find out the timeframe for the residency application and the possibility of changing lawyers amidst the process.

Can You Apply For AOS When You Get Married While On A Tourist Visa?

If you plan to get married after entering the United States, it’s possible to enter the country with a Tourist Visa. However, you must exercise caution.

The law stipulates that individuals cannot enter with a Temporary Visa if they intend to stay permanently. Entering with such intentions would be considered a violation of their Visa status.

Therefore, it’s recommended to make marriage plans after entering the country. For instance, you entered the country intending to live together only for a certain period and then decide you want to get married. In that case, if you ultimately decide to stay permanently after entering, your status should not be affected.

Can A Child Petition For Their Parents?

Many people inquire about their children petitioning for them. You may wonder whether your 18-year-old child can already begin the paperwork for this process at their age. According to immigration law, the child must be at least 21 years old before initiating the process of petitioning for a parent. Thus, you will need to wait a little longer until the child reaches the required age.

How Long Will Your Residency Application Take?

If you already have a Work Permit, you may wonder how long it will take to obtain residency. If you are applying for an adjustment of status and have already received the Work Permit, it indicates you are nearing the interview stage.

The process might take another three to six months. However, a thorough review of the complete case is necessary to determine the exact timeline. This assessment considers factors such as the date of application and the specific type of case. However, if it is indeed an adjustment of status, it could take around a few more months to obtain residency.

If you’re in cases like these, it’s beneficial to call and consult with a lawyer. They can help you answer your questions about immigration and help with any confusion you may have.

Can You Change Lawyers When Handling Immigration Cases?

It’s possible to seek a second opinion and consider changing lawyers. Some law firms, like Lincoln-Goldfinch Law, offer a free evaluation of your immigration case. During this evaluation, they can review the circumstances and determine whether it would be advantageous to switch lawyers.

They can provide an honest assessment and inform you if it’s beneficial to continue with their current lawyer. The priority is to ensure the best course of action for the case at hand.


Navigating the complex world of immigration law can be a daunting and overwhelming experience for many individuals. One of the terms commonly heard is adjustment of status. This process provides a valuable opportunity for individuals to rectify their immigration status without leaving the United States.

It is essential to know the different pathways available for this option. You can consider adjustment if you’re an immediate relative of a citizen, VAWA beneficiary, or under the 245(i) program.  It’s beneficial to seek counsel and ask questions when facing this process. Situations such as being denied or reapplying can be easier if a skilled lawyer guides you.

If you have additional questions about your adjustment of status, if you qualify, or your specific case, you may contact us at (855) 502-0555. After a brief 10-minute evaluation of your case over the phone, we will let you know what options you have. You can also follow us on our social networks so you don’t miss our weekly broadcasts on Facebook, YouTube and Twitch.

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 greencards 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. After the pandemic we began offering bankruptcy services in addition to immigration I realized how much lack of information there is in financial literacy resources in Spanish.

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