If you are an undocumented foreign national in removal proceedings, it may be possible to adjust your status, or obtain a green card, if you meet certain requirements. Clearwater immigration lawyers at Bassey Immigration Law Center want you to know your options so you can make informed decisions about your future.
What Is Immigration “Adjust of Status?”
Adjustment of status is the process of applying for lawful permanent resident status while in the United States. Eligibility for a green card is determined based on specific requirements, including admissibility as an immigrant, multiple previous lawful entries to the U.S., and an approved visa petition.
A green card offers permanent residency in the U.S. and all the benefits that come with it:
- The ability to travel freely overseas
- Access to Social Security and other programs
- The opportunity to sponsor family members for permanent resident status
Eligibility Requirements for Status Adjustment During Removal
It’s a common misconception that if you are in the middle of removal proceedings, you cannot adjust your status. But it is possible for individuals who meet the following eligibility requirements:
- You have a relative who qualifies. This is a U.S. citizen child aged 21 or older, or a parent or spouse who is a U.S. citizen.
- You were inspected/paroled before admittance to the U.S. If you entered the country without going through the immigration process, you are most likely ineligible.
Exceptions and Options for Adjustment
Immigration law is continually evolving. There are many exceptions and avenues along the path to obtaining a green card.
For example, if you marry a U.S. citizen during removal proceedings, that change qualifies you to apply for a status adjustment. Marriage is one of the most common scenarios we see as removal defense lawyers working with clients throughout Florida.
Or let’s say you have been convicted of a crime, but you already have a green card. While a criminal conviction is generally cause for removal, it may be possible to re-adjust your status to obtain a new green card and avoid deportation.
It’s best to speak directly with a Bassey Immigration Law Center deportation lawyer to discuss your individual situation.
What Is the Process to Adjust Status During Deportation Proceedings?
The first step is to have a qualifying family member complete and submit Form I-130– Petition for Alien Relative to the USCIS. From there, USCIS confirms the family member’s green card or citizenship status and any available proof of their relationship to you, like a wedding or birth certificate, for example.
If the petition is granted, you will submit Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status to the judge. That immigration judge makes a determination based on the evidence provided.
Because the standard for approval is much higher compared to a regular application for status adjustment, it is incredibly important that your application is accurate, truthful, and complete. An immigration lawyer knows what judges are looking for and will help ensure you have the necessary documentation to make a strong case for a green card and relief from removal.
Schedule Consultation Today
As you can see, the laws and guidelines for adjustment of status are complex. We are here to help. If you are in the middle of removal proceedings, we will explore all of your options to take the action that makes sense for you and your family.
We have the experience and the skills to help make your dream of life in the U.S. with your family a reality. Call or connect online to schedule a consultation with Bassey Immigration Law Center today. Our multilingual team is ready to assist you in our Tampa or Clearwater, Florida locations.