When a priority date becomes current, the foreigner can then file an application for residency. Foreigners who live abroad apply for an immigrant visa and become a legal permanent resident when they enter the U.S. Foreigners already in the U.S. (perhaps on a student or temporary worker visa), adjust status to resident.
Likewise, spouses, parents and children under 21 years of age of U.S. citizens can apply for green cards from within the country through the adjustment of status process.
Adjustment of Status
Family members can obtain a green card while in the United States through a process known as adjustment of status. Adjustment means changing, as in changing status from a visitor (or student, or temporary worker) to a legal permanent resident. In these cases, the applicants do not need to travel abroad and obtain an immigrant visa.
Generally speaking, foreign nationals can become lawful permanent residents in one of three ways: (1) a family-based petition, (2) an employment- or investment-based petition, or (3) an asylee-based petition.
For the first method, the applicant must have a qualifying relative (spouse, adult child, parent, or sibling) who files a petition on their behalf. For the second method, an individual can obtain a green card based on their employee status or investments. For the last method, a foreigner receives protection in the United States and can apply for a green card just one year later.
Blandon Law can help by preparing the complicated forms, advising clients on actions they must take to increase the chances of success, and attending residency interviews with clients at Citizenship and Immigration Services. We also have an excellent reputation obtaining Adjustment of Status for clients who are in deportation proceedings before Immigration Judges.
Our goal is to prepare the clients so that they know what to expect every step of the way.
Normally, a family member of a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident must have entered the country legally to get a green card. There is an exception to this rule known as the provisional waiver.
Individuals who entered the United States illegally – without authorization – and who have family living in the United States can also obtain a green card. In 2013, the Administration of President Obama announced a provisional waiver which essentially “pardons” a person’s unlawful entry into the United States. With this pardon, or waiver, they have a path to permanent residency.
Originally, the pardon applied only to spouses and children of U.S. citizens. On November 20, 2014, the pardon was offered to the spouses and children of lawful permanent residents and the adult children of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. The adult children of “green card” holders, of course, cannot be married. In order to get a green card despite entering without permission, these foreigners must prove to Immigration that their spouse or parent would suffer extreme hardship if they were removed from the United States.
In order to get a green card despite entering without permission, these foreigners must prove to Immigration that their spouse or parent would suffer extreme hardship if they were removed from the country.
Blandon Law lawyers work hard to prove to Immigration that our clients’ family members would indeed suffer without them in the United States. We do this through creative argument and great advice. Once the provisional waiver is approved, applicants travel to their home country to attend a consular interview. After the Interview, the applicants return to the United States and a green card is mailed to them.
For those who are eligible, the Provisional Waiver is a path for foreigners in the United States to become legal permanent residents – whether they entered without authorization (illegally); have orders of deportation; or have been in the U.S. for more than six months without permission.
Download the eBook now: Provisional Waiver Handbook By Elizabeth R. Blandon, Esq.- click here