If you wish to apply for permanent residency on behalf of yourself or a family member while you are present in the United States, a process called adjustment of status will apply. If you are currently outside the U.S., you would need to obtain your visa while abroad through a method called consular processing.

What can you expect when adjusting your status to become a permanent resident? Will a visa be available to you right away, or will you need to wait? You probably have a lot of questions. Fortunately, our attorneys at Gorton Law LLC have the answers you need. We know the ins and outs of adjustment of status matters and can advise you and guide you through to as swift and beneficial a resolution as possible.

The Adjustment of Status Process

Every case is different, but there are several basic steps that must take place for an adjustment of status to occur. The following adjustment of status process applies to family-based green cards:

  • You must first determine if you are eligible for a green card, and in which category.
  • Your family member will then need to file the appropriate immigrant petition on your behalf, essentially sponsoring you to become a permanent resident.
  • You will need to check to see if a visa is available for you, based on availability and priority dates.
  • You must then file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, with USCIS. In some cases, you can file this form when your family member files your immigrant petition.
  • You will then attend your biometrics services appointment at your local Application Support Center, where you will provide your fingerprints, photograph, and signature.
  • USCIS officials will review your application and decide whether you need to attend an interview. If you are required to attend an interview, your family member sponsor may be required to attend as well, and bring all supporting evidence/documentation in person.
  • In some cases, you may need to send in additional evidence. USCIS may request this if you provided insufficient evidence, if the evidence you submitted is no longer valid, or if the USCIS officer needs more information before determining your eligibility.
  • Finally, USCIS will make a decision regarding your application and send you its answer, in writing. If approved, you will typically receive an approval notice first and then your green card. If denied, you will receive information regarding why your application was denied and whether you can file an appeal.

During each of these steps, our team at stands ready to help you. Our lawyers serve Boston and the surrounding areas in Massachusetts, including Everett, North Boston, and Medford.

Is There a Visa Available for Me?

There is an unlimited number of visas available for immediate family members of U.S. citizens. This includes spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents. Other family-sponsored visas are available in limited quantities. Availability will depend on preference and your priority date, which is the date that your relative filed an immigrant petition on your behalf. You may need to wait to file until a visa is available.

Call for Experienced Adjustment of Status Help

Adjustment of status proceedings, like all immigration matters, can be difficult to handle. That is why our attorneys are here – to ease you through while protecting your interests. With our experience and our resolve to help you achieve your goal of becoming a permanent resident, we are confident that we can assist you.