If you came to New York under a work visa, chances are you intended to return to your home country when the visa expired. However, life can change, and now you want permanent resident status. Depending on your situation, an adjustment of status application might be your best option
According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, adjustment of status is the process used when applying for lawful permanent resident status. This means you may receive a green card without returning to your home country.
If you have family in the United States who are already American citizens, the fiancé or spouse of a U.S. citizen, you may be eligible for an immigrant visa. However, there are several other categories under which you may qualify for a Green Card, such as the following:
- Refugee or Asylee Status
- Special Immigrant
- Crime or Human Trafficking Victim
- Victim of Abuse
Regardless of which category fits your situation, you must be in the U.S. lawfully when you submit your application.
Benefits of adjustment of status
Applying for AOS indicates you have reached the final step for a green card. Once approved, you gain permanent resident status. This means that you can remain in-country indefinitely and may potentially become a naturalized U.S. citizen. As an AOS applicant, you may stay in the U.S. legally, apply for a work permit and travel abroad and re-enter the country without first obtaining a visa while the status is pending.
Understanding the various visas and requirements for remaining in the United States is critical for obtaining a green card and moving forward with the rest of your life.