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What does the "adjustment of status" process look like?


Adjustment of status, which is the process of applying to become a lawful permanent resident (LPR), is actually a two-part process. 

How you entered the U.S., as well as your family relationship, will determine whether you can apply for LPR status in the United States via adjustment of status, or if you must return to your home country to apply for LPR status (see consular processing, below). If you entered the U.S. lawfully, with a visa or parole, and have an immediate relative in the U.S. who can sponsor you, you may apply for adjustment of status while you remain in the U.S.

The first part of the process is filing an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The I-130 must be filed on your behalf by a U.S. citizen or LPR family member. Once the I-130 is approved, USCIS will send notice of the approval.

There is a waiting period for many people between approval of the I-130, and the time when they are actually eligible to apply for adjustment of status.

The second part of the process: Once the I-130 has been approved, you can apply for adjustment of status by filing Form I-485.

This article gives an overview of what an adjustment of status process looks like as a deportation defense