Why Should You Apply For Adjustment Of Status?

By Published On: November 17, 2022Categories: Vlog, Adjustment Of Status

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Traversing The Road To Permanent Residency: Understanding Adjustment Of Status In The United States

Every year, thousands of people come to the United States with the goal of creating a better life for themselves and their families. There are different ways to enter the country, both legally and illegally. Additionally, there are different types of Visas, asylums, and residencies for each immigration case.

Adjustment of Status allows the beneficiary to complete their application within the United States without the need to leave the country. Sadly, this option is not viable for all migrants. Many factors influence whether or not you are qualified for Adjustment of Status.

In this article, learn what is involved in adjusting status, common misconceptions, and the best pathway possible.

Exploring Adjustment Of Status: The Path To Permanent Residency

What Is Involved In Adjustment Of Status?

According to a census conducted in 2019, more than 44.9 million immigrants live in the United States, representing 13.7% of the population. Also, approximately 51% of migrants have lived in the United States for over 20 years. Between June and September of 2021, over 282,000 people received their Green Card.

California is one of the states with the most immigrants, with 10.6 million immigrants, followed by Texas with 5 million and Florida with 4.5 million. And in 2019, more than 800,000 immigrants became citizens, according to USCIS immigration data.

The Adjustment of Status is an immigration process that is done with the objective of becoming a permanent resident. One of the biggest benefits of this arrangement is that it allows you to fix your documents without leaving the United States. That sets it apart from the consular process. That also means you can obtain a Green Card without returning to your country of origin to complete the Visa process.

Unfortunately, not all immigrants can apply for it. You cannot apply if you have entered the country illegally without going through immigration control at customs. To apply for an immigration status adjustment, you must meet the following requirements.

Enter The United States Legally

This first requirement is the most important one. It’s to demonstrate that you qualify to receive legal permanent residence, and the last step is the availability of an immediate immigrant Visa for you, either VAWA, Visa T, or Visa U.

Having those Visas means that you are in the U.S. legally. These visas will be adjusted, changing to legal permanent residence. You will change to citizenship if you already have a legal permanent residence. If you are living in the U.S. permanently as a tourist, student, or worker, you can also apply.

As long as you enter with any legal Visa for immigration, that’s what matters. When they check and admit you into the country, that’s when you can apply. So, Adjustment of Status does not apply to those who cross the river or the mountains. That’s when the consular process needs to be done because there was no legal admission.

A Case Study Of A Successful Adjustment

In one of their livestreams, Karla from Lincoln-Goldfinch Law shares a migrant’s story.

“Fernanda is 36 years old, and she entered the country legally with a tourist Visa, but it expired a few years ago. Three years ago, she married Daniel, who is a U.S. citizen. About a year ago, she began her immigration process through her husband to adjust her status. A few weeks ago, she received her Green Card, and Fernanda is very happy.”

“One of her fears, when she started her process, was precisely having to leave the country. Well, this adjustment happened because she first had a family petition based on her relationship with a U.S. citizen. She had that family petition with her husband. So, she widened her horizons in that marriage and changed from being a tourist to adjusting to the petition to become a permanent resident in the U.S. She adjusted from having a tourist stay to having residency.”

This adjustment happens within the United States; the consular or consular process was adjusted in this case. That was because the consular process was illegal, but the entry was legal as a tourist.

Remember that what allows you to make this adjustment is the legal entry with a Tourist Visa. So, when you enter illegally, you have to go through a different process.

Common Misconceptions About Adjustment Of Status

When people think about obtaining residence, they and most lawyers don’t know it can be done here in the country without the person leaving. This is mostly due to a lack of information. People assume they have to go through the consular process. This is due to hearing about relatives who had to return to their country for an interview and everything else. However, they may have the possibility to do it here.

Some immigrants think they won’t be able to go through the process inside the country. They think their cousin, neighbor, or friend had to leave, so they will also have to leave. Also, they think about how much time they will have to spend outside. 

They already assume it, take it for granted, or simply have a family member who didn’t qualify for some reason. They think they won’t qualify either. 

On many occasions, there’s also a misconception about the cost of the process. People don’t know how the process works, and not knowing creates a lot of fear that something will happen if it gets complicated. Immigration fees, even for these processes, are almost two thousand dollars. That’s apart from what the firm charges or what lawyers charge. 

Other Pathways To Green Card & Citizenship

Understanding The Importance Of Applying For Adjustment Of StatusFamily petitions are not the only way to make adjustments. Other ways to do Adjustment of Status are through the U Visa, T Visa, and VAWA Visa. They require an adjustment that leads to residency because not only family petitions are an option to reach citizenship. There are other options to reach citizenship.

So, don’t just rely on the idea that having children will get you residency or citizenship. Sometimes, some people have five children, and none can petition for them. Don’t rely only on the idea that having a family member petition for you is your only option 

There are many other ways to adjust your status. Just because a family member could not adjust their status to get residency does not mean you are in the same condition. You have to look for options, and everything is done individually.

The conclusion is always the same: don’t let fear guide you. Adjusting the status process does not always mean you must leave the United States. This process can be done in the United States if you have legal entry. If you have doubts about whether you can do it within the United States, it is better to consult an Adjustment of Status lawyer for the answer.

Seek The Help Of An Experienced Immigration Attorney

Lincoln-Goldfinch Law in Texas offers a free consultation to those with questions and concerns regarding Adjustment of Status. They give consultations completely free in person, right there in the firm’s office. 

Immigration attorneys at the firm will listen to you, know about you, and consider your overall history. The firm brings you peace of mind and gives you and your family a new start. They also have free evaluations in less than 10 minutes on a call. You can let them know of your situation, and they can evaluate it and give you an answer to the circumstances that you are going through.

If you enter legally or are already in a legal process within the United States, don’t stay where you are. Always seek the advice of a legal professional to know your doubts and resolve your questions. Don’t approach someone who has already done it; don’t approach a cousin, a friend, or even a notary public. They are not immigration lawyers.

There are other procedures, such as the consular process. The key is to approach professionals who evaluate the best strategy for you and inform and accompany you at every moment. Don’t seek advice from someone who is not an immigration lawyer. Those people don’t know and might tell you what they experienced based on their own experience.

Everyone speaks from their own experience. So don’t let it go wrong for you. Take advice from someone really qualified.


Adjustment of Status is an immigration process allowing applicants to seek permanent residency within the United States, possibly without leaving the country. This option is accessible to individuals who entered legally and possess specific Visas such as VAWA, Visa T, or Visa U. It offers advantages over the consular process, avoiding returning to the country of origin. However, not all immigrants qualify. Seeking guidance from experienced immigration attorneys is essential to explore eligibility and navigate the process successfully.

Should you have additional questions about your Adjustment of Status, 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.

Find out more about the firm here

Frequently Asked Questions About Adjustment Of Status

According to a census conducted in 2019, more than 44.9 million immigrants live in the United States, representing 13.7% of the population. Also, approximately 51% of migrants have lived in the United States for over 20 years. Between June and September of 2021, over 282,000 people received their Green Card.

Many people mistakenly believe they must go through the consular process or leave the country to obtain residency, primarily due to a lack of information. Some immigrants think they won’t qualify for the process, assuming they’ll have to leave like their friends or family members. There’s also a misconception about the process’s cost, with many fearing complications and high fees.

Other pathways, such as U, T, and VAWA visas, offer alternatives to family petitions for obtaining permanent residency and citizenship. It’s essential to consider these individual options and consult an adjustment of status lawyer if in doubt.

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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