People currently living in the U.S. who wish to become permanent lawful residents can do so by pursuing an adjustment of status with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). Below is a general overview of what this process entails. For experienced help completing this process, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Los Angeles immigration attorney at the Hanlon Law Group.

An Overview of the Process for Requesting an Adjustment of Status

US Visa application & passport
US Visa application & passport

Determine your immigration “category” – Specifically, will you be seeking an adjustment of status for employment or family-related reasons? Or are you a refugee or seeking asylum? Your immigration category will determine the specific forms you will need to complete (along with the nature of the supporting documentation USCIS will need) to get your petition started.

  • Complete & file the immigration petition – Depending on your immigration category, you may need to complete Form I-130 (for family-based applications), Form I-140 (for employment-based applications), Form I-309 (for “special class” categories) or some other form. If you are not sure about your category or status, consult with an attorney to get professional guidance. This can help you avoid unnecessary complications with your adjustment of status petition.
  • Check the availability of visas in your “category” – Before you take the next step in the process, which involves filing the Form I-485, you need to see if there are any available visas for your immigration category. USCIS notes that “you may not file your Form I-485 until a visa is available in your category.”
  • File Form I-485 at the right time – The “right time,” as noted above, is when there are available visas for your immigration category. When this is the case, make sure to read the instructions for and then completely fill out Form I-485. Making mistakes on this form or leaving certain fields blank can delay your petition or may even result in a denial of your petition.
  • Complete the biometrics & attend the interview – In this phase of the petition process, you will need to submit to fingerprinting for the required security checks. If you are asked to attend an interview (not all applicants will be required to complete this step), then you must also do so, bringing copies of all application documents submitted to USCIS, as well as the family member sponsoring you (if you are in the family-based category).
  • Await a decision – Once all documents have been submitted to USCIS and biometrics and, if necessary, interviews have been completed, USCIS will review the petition and render a decision. These decisions will be sent to applicants via standard mail.

Contact a Los Angeles Immigration Attorney at the Hanlon Law Group, P.C.

Do you need help with any immigration issues? If so, you can turn to a Los Angeles immigration attorney at the Hanlon Law Group, P.C. For more than 15 years, our lawyers have been successfully representing clients in various types of immigration cases, including those that involve the most basic immigration applications to those associated with extremely complicated federal court litigation.

To learn more about our citizenship, immigration and deportation defense services contact us today by calling (626) 684-3712 or (866) 227-5527 or by emailing us using the form at the upper right-hand side of the screen. From our office in Pasadena, we serve clients throughout the Los Angeles area, across the state of California and from around the world.