A Step-by-Step Guide to Adjustment of Status in Chicago

What is Adjustment of Status?

Adjustment of status is a legal process in which foreign nationals in the United States apply for a US permanent resident card or a Green Card. You don’t have to return to your home country to apply or complete visa processing. The process can be complex, especially if you don’t understand immigration laws, but skilled Chicago immigration lawyers can guide you.

They can oversee the process to ensure you follow the step-by-step procedure and fulfill the requirements. With skilled legal experts, you can avoid costly mistakes that could cause the immigration authorities to reject your application. Immigration lawyers provide an overview of the steps in the Adjustment of Status.

Check Your Eligibility for Adjustment of Status

Before submitting your petition, you must check if you’re eligible to apply for a Green Card. Green Cards and adjustment of status lawyers in Chicago explain that you can be eligible to apply under the following categories:

  • Family-based immigration: You can apply if you are the spouse, widow, child, or family member of a US citizen, lawful permanent resident
  • Employment-based immigration: You can qualify for a Green Card through sponsorship if you have a job offer in the US based on your credentials
  • Others: You can apply for a Green Card through the diversity lottery program or on various humanitarian grounds, such as seeking asylum or being a victim of domestic violence

Adjustment of Status (AOS) may also grant a Green Card to people with legal status by virtue of being holders of a temporary visa such as a student visa, tourist visa, or business travel visa. If you’re eligible to apply for adjustment of status under these categories, you also must:

  • Be physically present in the country when applying
  • Must be admissible to the United States, meaning you don’t have certain criminal convictions or health issues that would make you ineligible

File Your AOS Petition (Form I-485)

When applying for a Green Card, applicants often must fill out two forms: a green card application and an immigrant petition. Your sponsor must file the application on your behalf, or you may be eligible to file for yourself, depending on the case specifics.

When submitting your application, you must attach various supporting documents, so gather them beforehand. These include:

  • Your government-issued ID
  • Two recent passport-style photos
  • Birth certificate
  • Copies of a document showing you were inspected by an immigration officer during admission into the US.
  • Documentation of your immigration category
  • Marriage certificate or other proof of relationship to the sponsor
  • Affidavit of support
  • Evidence of maintaining a lawful status since entering the US
  • Medical report and vaccination record
  • Evidence of financial support
  • Certified police clearance record
  • Waiver of inadmissibility if you’re inadmissible

While not all these documents may be necessary for your application, double-check that you don’t miss out on anything. Skilled Chicago Green Cards and adjustment of status lawyers can guide you appropriately.

Biometrics Appointment

Once you submit your application, your local Application Support Center will schedule a biometrics appointment to provide your fingerprints and photograph. The notice will indicate the appointment’s date, time, and venue. Biometrics are crucial in helping the authorities verify your identity and conduct various security and background checks.

During the appointment, the officers will ask you to sign an acknowledgment certifying that you reviewed all the information and that the application was complete, true, and correct when you filed it. Missing the appointment or failing to sign the acknowledgment could cause the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to deny your application.

Attend an Interview

The USCIS officials will review your application and determine whether you should attend an interview. If they schedule you for one, you must present yourself in person to answer questions under oath regarding your application. Remember to carry all the original versions of the documents you submitted when filing Form I-485, including your official travel documents.

The agency may request additional evidence if what you submitted is no longer valid, you didn’t submit all the necessary evidence, or it needs more information to determine your eligibility.

Receive a Decision

Once the USCIS reviews your application, it will make a decision and notify you of the outcome. If the application is approved, you will get an approval notice, followed by the Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) later.

If the agency denies your application, it will also send you a notice and tell you why it was denied. The officials will also let you know whether you can appeal the decision, although appeals for adjustment of status application are rarely allowed. You can file a petition to reopen or reconsider the application with the help of Green Cards and adjustment of status lawyers in Chicago.

A Skilled Immigration Attorney Providing Legal Guidance on Adjustment of Status

Filing for adjustment of status is a great way to become a permanent lawful resident of the United States. However, the application process is broad and can be lengthy. It’s advisable to have experienced immigration lawyers in Chicago help you at each stage to ensure you do what is required. They can also provide legal counsel for any questions or concerns you might have during the process.

Gilliam Law is an immigration law firm with dedicated Green Cards and adjustment of status lawyers in Chicago. We focus on helping immigrants obtain lawful permanent status to enable them to live the American Dream. Let our team evaluate your case, guide you on the type of application you are eligible for, and help you file your petition. Call us at 866-511-3422 to schedule a consultation.


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