San Antonio, TX – The US Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) defines adjustment of status as the legal process an immigrant can use to apply for lawful permanent resident status when they are present in the United States. This process is also known as applying for a Green Card and its main advantage is that the immigrant can obtain legal permanent resident (LPR) status without having to return to their home country to complete visa processing.
Undocumented aliens placed in removal proceedings can also apply for adjustment of status as a form of defense against deportation. If you’re in the state of Texas you should talk to an experienced San Antonio immigration lawyer to get help with the paperwork or to represent you in Immigration Court.
What are the requirements for adjustment of status while in removal proceedings?
First of all, you need to be physically present in the US to apply for adjustment of status. However, there are many other requirements that you must meet.
If you’re in removal proceedings, you must already be eligible for a Green Card through
- a US employer
- a close family member who is an American citizen or LPR
- having received asylum or refugee status at least one year before.
For the first two categories – employment or family, you must already have an approved petition from USCIS (Form I-130 or I-140) on file, and your priority date, if any, must be current. Priority dates refer to those immigrants in “preference categories” who must wait until a visa number becomes available before proceeding with their green card application
Tip: For immediate relatives (spouse, unmarried minor children, and parents of a US citizen), the adjustment of status application can be filed at the same time as the petition. That is because there are no restrictions on the number of visas available for this category, unlike the family preference category.
To qualify for adjustment of status, you must have entered US territory lawfully, after being inspected by a border agent.
If you came to Texas on a K-1 fiancé visa, you must have married the person who petitioned for you to receive your visa within 90 days of your arrival. If for some reason, the marriage was delayed you may still qualify, but you will have to seek legal counsel from a seasoned marriage-based immigration lawyer in San Antonio.
What are some major grounds of inadmissibility to the adjustment of status process?
Even if you meet the above-mentioned requirements, you must make sure you don’t fall under one of the many inadmissibility criteria. These are meant to keep out dangerous people, who might pose a threat to the community or, in certain cases, become a burden to local authorities. However, you should talk to a San Antonio immigration lawyer as for certain categories you may be able to get a waiver and be granted a Green Card.
Inadmissibility criteria for which a waiver may be an option:
- People with communicable diseases of public health significance, such as tuberculosis
- People with physical/mental disorders that might cause harm to themselves or others
- People without proper vaccinations
- People with convictions for crimes involving moral turpitude
- People who have violated immigration laws
- People with multiple criminal convictions
- People likely to become “public charges,” dependent on government assistance
Inadmissibility criteria for which no waiver can be granted:
- Drug addicts
- Drug traffickers
- People convicted for spying
- People convicted for terrorist activities
- People belonging to far-right (Nazi) organizations
If you want to know whether you qualify for a Green Card or if you were placed in removal proceedings, get in touch with a seasoned lawyer at the Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen in San Antonio and let them help you stay in the US and obtain legal status.
Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen
206 East Locust Street
San Antonio, TX 78212
Phone: (210) 769-3273
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