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Do You Qualify for Adjustment of Status?

 Posted on March 21, 2024 in Immigration

Illinois immigration lawyerAdjustment of status refers to the process by which an individual changes their immigration status from non-immigrant to immigrant while residing in the United States. This legal procedure offers a pathway for individuals already present in the U.S. to obtain lawful permanent resident status, also known as a green card, without the need to return to their home country for visa processing. Knowing when to seek adjustment of status is crucial for immigrants navigating the complex U.S. immigration system.

To apply for adjustment of status, an individual generally needs to meet specific eligibility criteria, including having entered the U.S. lawfully (or being eligible for certain exceptions), maintaining legal status during their stay in the U.S., having an approved immigrant petition, and not being ineligible due to certain criminal or immigration violations. The following are some scenarios under which a person can apply. Due to how complex the process can be, it is recommended that anyone looking to apply for an adjustment of status speak with an Illinois immigration lawyer first.


One of the most common scenarios in which individuals may seek status adjustment is through family-based sponsorship. If a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident relative petitions for their foreign-born family member and that family member is already present in the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa or through a qualifying status, they may be eligible to adjust their status to that of a lawful permanent resident. Spouses, parents, children, and siblings of U.S. citizens or permanent residents often pursue this option.


Employment-based immigration also offers opportunities for adjustment of status. If an employer sponsors an immigrant worker for a green card, and the worker is present in the U.S. on a qualifying non-immigrant visa, they may apply for adjustment of status. This pathway is commonly utilized by skilled workers, professionals, investors, and individuals with extraordinary abilities seeking permanent residency in the U.S.

 Refugee and Asylee

The U.S. immigration rules also allow refugees and asylees who have been granted asylum in the United States to seek adjustment of status after meeting specific requirements. Typically, refugees can apply for adjustment of status one year after being admitted to the U.S. as refugees. In comparison, asylees can apply after one year of being granted asylum status. This allows them to transition from refugee or asylee status to lawful permanent resident status, providing them with more stability and opportunities for integration.

Other Circumstances

A person who is a survivor of abuse, human trafficking, or a crime victim may also be eligible to apply for adjustment of status, as well as several special criteria from certain countries, such as a Liberian national, a Cuban native, or a citizen, or a Lautenberg parolee.

The U.S. also provides the Diversity Visa Lottery program called the Green Card Lottery. Each year, the U.S. government allocates a certain number of immigrant visas through a random lottery for individuals from countries with low immigration rates to the U.S. Winners of the Diversity Visa Lottery who are present in the U.S. may be eligible to adjust their status and obtain lawful permanent residency.

Contact an Illinois Immigration Lawyer for a Free Consultation

If you would like to learn more about your potential eligibility for adjustment of status, call Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices at 630-932-9100 to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled Illinois immigration attorneys. With over 40 years of experience, Attorney Mevorah will provide personalized legal advice, assist with the application's preparation, and navigate any complexities or challenges that may come up during the process.

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