Adjustment of status is a legal process that allows permanent residents to become citizens after meeting eligibility and other requirements. As a green card holder, you must wait at least five years before applying for naturalization. However, there are exceptions to the rule. The adjustment of status period begins once your application is processed by USCIS. Once you file your application with USCIS and they approve it, you will receive what is called “admission as an alien lawfully authorized to reside in the United States” (also known as a green card). This is where the adjustment of status period begins and ends. Adjustment of status is different from becoming naturalized. You can only apply for citizenship after holding your green card for at least five years and meeting other eligibility requirements. These requirements must be met while you remain in the U.S., so if you have already been abroad for over one year, you will not be able to adjust your status unless you have another way to re-enter the country first like through an employer or spouse. If this applies to you, speak with a trusted immigration attorney about your options first before proceeding with the naturalization process.
Table of Contents What Is Adjustment of Status
What are the requirements for adjustment of status?
There are a number of requirements that must be met in order to be eligible for adjustment of status. Some of these include: - You must be living in the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident at the time of your application. - You must have held your green card for at least five years. - You must be physically present in the U.S. at the time of filing your application. - You must be at least 18 years old. - You must be a person of good moral character.
Can I apply for adjustment of status while I am still in the U.S.?
Yes, you can apply for adjustment of status while you are living in the U.S. However, there are certain requirements you must meet while still in the country. For example, you must be maintaining your lawful status and also not have any conditions on your stay that would prevent you from applying for adjustment of status. You must also have a valid reason for remaining in the country if you are currently outside the allowed time frame for re-entry. If you are currently outside the U.S. and are ineligible to adjust your status, you can apply for an “expedited naturalization” instead.
When can I apply for adjustment of status?
You can apply for adjustment of status any time within the five years after becoming a lawful permanent resident. You should be aware that if you are applying after a year has passed since becoming a green card holder, you will not be able to re-enter the U.S. after leaving without first obtaining a re-entry permit. If you are outside the country for more than two years you will also be required to take the naturalization test.
How do I apply for adjustment of status while still in the U.S.?
You must fill out the I-485 application form and gather supporting documents according to the instructions on the form. You should also visit a local immigration office to schedule your biometrics appointment as soon as possible after filing your application. This helps ensure that your application is processed as quickly as possible. You should keep in mind that you must pay a filing fee and biometrics fee for your application.
How do I get my green card after adjusting my status?
You will receive your green card in the mail about 10 business days after your interview, if your application is approved. It will have the words “admitted as an alien lawfully authorized to reside in the United States” printed on it. From that point on, you are free to travel abroad and return to the U.S. as a U.S. citizen just like anyone else.
If you have been living in the U.S. as a green card holder for at least five years, you can apply to become a U.S. citizen while you are still in the country. You should keep in mind that after five years you must have spent two years in the country. If you have been abroad for more than two years at any point, you will be required to take the naturalization test as well.