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Adjustment of Status Attorney in Hackensack, New Jersey

Adjustment of status is the process by which an eligible foreign national already in the United States can apply for lawful permanent residence (a green card) without having to return to their home country. This process can be confusing, so it’s important to understand the requirements and what’s involved in the adjustment of status application process. 

If you believe you may qualify for adjustment of status, contact the skilled immigration attorney at William J. Quirk, Esq., LLC for legal guidance. William Quirk is an adjustment of status attorney in Hackensack, New Jersey, who assists individuals throughout the process of becoming lawful permanent residents. He also represents immigrants who want to adjust their status throughout Paterson, Clifton, and West New York areas.

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Adjustment of Status   

Adjustment of status is an immigration process that allows eligible foreign nationals who are already in the United States to apply for a green card without having to leave the country. The main advantage of adjusting status is that it allows applicants to remain in the United States while their application is being processed, meaning they can receive their green card while still living in this country. 

To be eligible for adjustment of status, individuals must meet certain criteria:  

  • They must be physically present in the United States at the time they submit their application;  

  • They must be admissible under U.S. immigration laws (i.e., not subject to any criminal or security-related bars);  

  • They must have been admitted into the United States with valid entry documents or otherwise have obtained permission from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allowing them to remain here legally before applying for adjustment of status;  

  • They must have an approved immigrant petition or a qualifying family relationship with someone who has filed such a petition on their behalf; and  

  • They must be able to demonstrate that there are no other reasons why adjusting their status would not be appropriate for them (such as marriage fraud or falsified documents). 

Anyone who considers adjusting their status should understand the 90-day rule. Under the rule, any temporary visa holder who applies for a green card or marries a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident within 90 days of arriving in the country is automatically presumed to have committed misrepresentation. In other words, marriage or a green card application filed within 90 days of entry would cause USCIS to assume that the applicant misrepresents their original intentions.  

The Process to Adjust Status  

The first step in the process is filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, with the USCIS. This form must be completed correctly and accompanied by supporting documentation such as proof of identity, proof of legal entry into the United States, and other documents that are specific to your case. Once your application has been properly filed and accepted, you will receive a notification from USCIS with instructions on what comes next. 

Adjustment of Status Interview  

Once your application has been accepted, you will be scheduled for an adjustment of status interview at a local USCIS office. During the interview, a USCIS officer will review all submitted documents and ask questions about your situation and eligibility for adjustment of status. It is important that you answer all questions truthfully, as any false statements may lead to a denial of your application or even criminal prosecution in some cases.   

Applying for Adjustment of Status Through VAWA 

Victims of domestic violence can apply for adjustment of status through the VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) if they are currently living in the United States but don’t have lawful immigration status. To qualify for VAWA protection, applicants must demonstrate that they have been victims of extreme cruelty by their spouse or parent who holds U.S. citizenship or permanent residence status or that they meet other criteria established by law. 

Adjustment of Status Attorney Serving Hackensack, New Jersey

Adjusting status is a complex process but one that can provide many benefits if done correctly and all eligibility criteria are met. Understanding all applicable rules and regulations will help ensure that your application goes smoothly and you are able to obtain lawful permanent residence without making any potentially disastrous mistakes during the process. Contact the adjustment of status attorney at William J. Quirk, Esq., LLC to schedule a free consultation and discuss your situation.