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Adjustment of status ("AOS") is a process that allows an individual to change from a nonimmigrant immigration status such as from a student or visitor status to permanent residence (green card holder) without having to go his or her home country and apply for an immigrant visa at a United States (U.S.) Consulate.
Adjustment of Status is important because for some immigrants, it is the difference between being able to successfully apply for a green card or being denied. U.S. immigration law allows a temporary visitor or nonimmigrant to change status to a permanent resident if the individual lawfully entered the United States and meets certain requirements.
Generally, people who have been unlawfully present in the U.S. for some stated time periods are ineligible to change their status to permanent residence while in the States or overstayed a valid visa. A person who is unable to adjust his or her status in the United States because of accrued unlawful presence and travels abroad to do so, would however face a time bar depending on the length of the unlawful presence. If you spent more than 180 continuous days (approximately six months) in the U.S. unlawfully and then left voluntarily (before being caught and placed into removal proceedings), you could be barred from coming back for three years. If you spent more than one continuous year in the U.S. unlawfully, and then left for whatever reason (including being deported), you could be barred from coming back for ten years. The only remedy will be to apply for a waiver, which is sometimes difficult to obtain.
An exception applies which allows some eligible groups of applicants to adjust their status in the U.S. Form I-485 is the primary application form used by would-be immigrants who are: eligible to apply for a U.S. green card/lawful permanent residence), and eligible to do so while living in the U.S., without leaving for an overseas consular interview. Only a very limited group of people fit both criteria, most often people who came to the United States on a temporary visa, but married a U.S. citizen; those who received asylum in the U.S; those who came on a temporary work visa such as an H-1B and had their employer sponsor them for a green card; and those who came to the U.S. as the fiancé of a U.S. citizen and got married before their fiancé visa expires.
Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. The B1 and B2 visas are nonimmigrant visas for visitors who travel to the States and plan to go back to their home country afterward. They are good for short-term visits. Specifically, the B1 visa is for business visits while the B2 visa is for pleasure, tourism, and medical visits. However, since many people end up doing both, the two visas are often issued together as a joint B1/B2 visa. This means you can visit the country several times on both business trips and vacations if you want, and you won't have to worry about the details.
To obtain a B1/B2 visa, you should contact the U.S. embassy in your home country and ask for an application, either in person, through the mail, or online. The paperwork is not too daunting, but they will want to know some details such as whether you have family members, a home, and a job. This is because they want to know whether you will have a reason to go back home eventually. You will then have to attend an interview. If you pass, you get a B1/B2 visa for either six months, five years or ten years, although the last kind doesn't mean you can stay in the U.S. for a decade. It is vital that all prospective applicants apply for a visa in the correct category using the correct application forms. Failure to submit the form correctly and accurately or to submit the correct supporting documents, can result in delays and sometimes denial. Lying on your application can lead to a denial and in many cases, you will not be allowed to apply for a US visa for a period of ten years and sometimes permanently.
The naturalization process is the path through which a foreign citizen or national can voluntarily become a U.S. citizen. In order to begin the naturalization process, an applicant must first meet several requirements. For instance, a Green Card is the first step toward US citizenship as one must generally secure a Green Card before applying for naturalization. Then, he or she must file an application for naturalization, attend an interview, and pass an English and a civics test. As a permanent resident, you are generally eligible for naturalization after five years. This is the most common way that people apply to become a U.S. citizen. If you are a permanent resident that’s married to a U.S. citizen, you may be eligible to naturalize after just three years.
Each year, millions of people come to the U.S. to live safely with their family members and to better themselves through hard work. Many immigration options exist for people who wish to preserve family unity, study, and live life fully in the U.S. Strict deadlines, changes in the law, and the interaction of multiple sets of rules may complicate individual and family immigration, but these obstacles can be avoided through expertise and attention to detail.
Family-based immigration requires the participation of at least two family members, a petitioner and a beneficiary. The petitioner must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident that wants to sponsor a foreign family member for a green card. The beneficiary is the foreign family member that wants to obtain a green card. In some categories, the beneficiary may have a spouse and children that qualify as derivative beneficiaries.
If you are a U.S. citizen, you may bring your fiancé(e) to the United States to marry and live here, with a nonimmigrant visa for a fiancé(e) (K-1). To be successful in your petition, you and your fiancé(e) must marry within 90 days of your fiancé(e) entering the United States.
Additionally, you and your fiancé(e) must both be free to marry and any previous marriages must have been legally terminated by divorce, death, or annulment. Also, you must have met each other, in person, at least once within 2 years of filing your petition. In certain situations, waivers to this requirement may be available. If your fiancé(e) has a child (under 21 and unmarried), a K-2 nonimmigrant visa may be available to him or her.
United States lawful permanent residency, informally known as green card, is the immigration status of a person authorized to live and work in the United States of America permanently. The steps you must take to apply for a Green Card will vary depending on your individual situation. However, immigrants obtain green card status through two major processes - consular processing and adjustment of status.
Most immigrants obtain their green cards through employment and family relationship. A Green Card is the first step toward US citizenship one must generally secure a Green Card before applying for naturalization.
Any international student wanting to study in the USA will need to obtain a student visa for the USA. There are three different student visas that you could be issued: F1 Visa, J1 Visa or M1 Visa. The F1 and J1 visas allow for the possibility of employment in the US during your stay, while the M1 Visa does not. You need to be familiar with the types of visas, how they impact your financing while in the USA and how to go through the application and arrival processes.
Many people are looking to fulfil the American dream and take control of their own destiny by starting their own business. Having your own business provides you with flexibility and the independence to be creative. We can guide you through the choice of entity process, and, once a decision is made, help you set up and organize your sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC). Our services cover all aspects of forming, maintaining and dissolving business entities.