Adjusting your status to a lawful permanent resident is a crucial step in the immigration process. It allows you to live and work permanently in the United States.
The journey might seem complicated, but understanding each step can make the process easier to navigate.
Establish your eligibility
First, ensure you meet the eligibility criteria. Common eligibility categories include being a relative of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, an employer-sponsored worker or a refugee or asylee.
File the appropriate forms
The next step is to file the required forms with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This includes Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Remember to include all necessary documentation and the appropriate fees with your application.
Attend the biometrics appointment
After filing your application, you will receive a notice for a biometrics appointment where USCIS collects your fingerprints, photo and signature. This information helps USCIS confirm your identity and perform background checks.
Complete the medical examination
You must also undergo a medical examination and vaccination assessment. This is usually conducted by a USCIS-approved doctor, known as a civil surgeon. They will complete Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, which you submit to USCIS.
Prepare for the interview
USCIS may schedule you for an interview to discuss your application. It is vital to be truthful and provide complete responses during this interview. Bring all required documents and any updated information relevant to your case.
Receive a decision
Once USCIS has all the required information, they will make a decision on your case. You will receive a notice in the mail regarding the decision. If approved, you will either receive a permanent resident card in the mail or instructions on how to obtain it.
Stay proactive, organized and patient during this process. While these steps provide a general overview of the adjustment of status process, remember that each person’s situation is unique.