Mithras Law Group Immigration Blog

Global Immigration and Business Solutions

Obtaining Lawful Permanent Residence by Adjustment of Status

with 4 comments

As an extension to our article on applying for a green card for your parents or other immediate relatives, this article discusses the ways to obtain lawful permanent residence through a family based petition.

The two alternate ways in a family based petition to obtain lawful permanent resident status are: (i) consular processing which usually takes place in the intending immigrant’s country of residence and (ii) adjustment of status which is processed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the United States.

Adjustment of status essentially is a provision in the immigration law that allows certain persons to obtain a green-card or a lawful permanent status while being in the United States and without having to go abroad to the consular office in their home country to apply for an immigrant visa.

Adjustment of status applications must be filed when the applicant is in the US and with the USCIS.  Generally, a foreign national applying for a green card as an immediate relative or through a family based preference categories qualifies for an adjustment of status process.  A major advantage for immediate relatives is that an adjustment of status can be filed concurrently with the petition for a green card so that the immediate relative(s) are able to adjust as soon as their green card petitions are approved.

One can apply for an adjustment of status so long as:
• S/he entered the United States legally on a valid visa and were inspected and admitted or paroled.
• Never worked in the United States without valid work authorization. This means never having worked illegally.
• Was in a lawful non-immigrant status at all times when in the United States (there are certain exceptions to this requirement) . This means that the applicant has not overstayed the period of time stamped on his or her I-94.
• Were not a non-immigrant admitted without a visa under the visa waiver program (with certain exceptions).
• Were not admitted on a K visa – unless adjusting based on marriage (must occur within 90 days of entering the United States) to the US citizen spouse who filed the non-immigrant visa petition.
• S/he is not in removal proceedings.

Our office generally recommends adjustment of status where possible as opposed to consular processing since:
• The applicant does not have to return to his/her home country.
• Typically time required for obtaining a green-card is shorter through the adjustment of status route.
• Applicant is eligible to obtain employment authorization.
• Applicant has access to administrative and judicial appeal if his/her application is denied.


Written by MithrasLaw

September 29, 2009 at 2:19 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Cool blog you got here. I’d like to read something more concerning that matter.


    October 21, 2009 at 4:17 pm

  2. sir,

    my self rakesh arora having 10 yr multiple visa for my self and for my wife and i have visited twice 2008 and 2009 i got i-94 for 6 months but we both stayed over there for one month only.

    my son is working in as a software enginnerer in sanfrasico and he was h1b and he applied a gc one months back..

    now my problm is this we both husband wife resdiding in india we hve only son so we cant live without him so please advise me clearly legally…..

    if we both went to usa on visitor visa and got i-94 for 6 months and if we dont want to come back india so is there any way on legal grounds to stay over there for a period for 10 yrears till my son get citizenship and he filed for us also…

    in the meantime if there is any legal grounds bec my son is earning and getting one lakh p.a.

    so we are ready to pay all the legal exp if there is any grounds which can help us to stay longer….

    so bec going over there to see him after 6 months and to reside with him for 6 comes and coming back again gong so for spending these ammounts ….

    if there is any legal grounds or we can file any application for further stay which may help to reside us legally without any status for few years.

    we dont want to do anything which may give a bad name or record to my son in gc or citizenship in a long way…

    so it is very much clear we have only son we are alone in india and having property and dont doing anything over here.

    it is clear we are dependent upon our son he is sending us a 1000 dollor pm from last few 2-3 years.

    so if possible help us …

    is there any way to reside over ther with our son..

    bec we love him badly and talk with daily 2-3 hours minimu.

    so we cant live without him for 12-13 years of process to getting gc for him getting citizenship for him or getting citizenship for us..

    if it isnot possible than there is a last option to call over son back to india bec we know we cant live wihout him and on that grounds if he comes to india we feel we are going to compromie with his careers which also we dont know..

    so sir please help me to come out of that stress…

    we dont want to live over there illgale which may harm for us or for him .

    rakesh aroa


    October 25, 2009 at 6:38 am

    • Hello Rakesh Arora,

      Thank you for visiting our blog.

      The maximum stay on a 10 -year mulitipe tourist visa is 6 months at a time. So each time you visit the US, you can stay with your son for 6 months at a time before you have to return to India. Under certain circumstances, you can extend your stay by applying for an extension, locally, for few more months once you are here. If you wish to stay longer periods of time with your son you may wish to consider obtaining an employment work visa for yourself which will allow you to work and live in the US.

      Hope this helps.

      All information provided is for general informational and education purposes only as a service to our readers and based upon our understanding of the law and facts as we see them. We do not assume any liability and it does not constitute legal advice. Please use at your own risk.


      December 21, 2009 at 6:52 pm

  3. I am married to a US citizen but I ma not in US right now. I have a multiple entry tourist visa that will last for a year. can I go to US with my tourist visa and file for the adjustment fo the status for US?


    May 4, 2010 at 12:44 pm

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