Adjustment of Status

Adjustment of Status – Generally

Adjustment of status is a procedure that allows someone who is in the United States and otherwise eligible to immigrate to acquire lawful permanent resident status through an application to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services Bureau. Not everyone is eligible to apply for adjustment of status (AOS).

All applicants for adjustment of status must:

Prove that they were admitted lawfully to the United States as nonimmigrants, or were paroled. Unless this requirement is met, with a single exception, it is impossible to file a proper application for adjustment of status. The single exception is for those applicants who qualify to apply under section 245(i).

01    Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. Immediate relatives may adjust status even if they have overstayed their nonimmigrant status or worked without authorization.

02    Employment based applicants. Section 245(k) provides that an employment based applicant for adjustment of status may still receive an approval as long as he or she has less than 180 days of unlawful status, in the aggregate, since his or her last lawful admission. Note that in this case, the clock runs from the last admission, not parole.

03    Section 245(i) applicants. If someone qualifies for the benefits of section 245(i), then they may receive an approval even if they did not enter the United States lawfully.


Citizenship issues encompass such things as citizenship at birth, citizenship acquired through parents, and naturalization.

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