Adjustment of Status (AOS) is the process of changing status from nonimmigrant status (e.g., student, tourist, work visa, etc.) to permanent residence (a.k.a. green card holder) while the beneficiary is physically present in the United States. This means that the individual may not have to return to home country to complete the visa processing and may be able to obtain Green Card while being physically present in the U.S. AOS is one of two paths available to an individual to obtain Green Card. If an individual is not eligible for AOS, then he or she must use Consular Processing (CP). For an individual present in the U.S. both AOS and CP may be available options to obtain a Green Card.
Procedure & Requirement
To be eligible to file Application for Adjustment of Status the intended immigrant should generally meet the following criteria:
- Be physically present inside the U.S.
- Have entered the U.S. lawfully.
- Have an immigrant visa available to him or her.
- For an individual present in the U.S. both AOS and CP may be available options to obtain a Green Card.
- are not eligible to file AOS if you entered the U.S. as a crewman, in transit without a visa (“TWOV”), or under a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) though there are certain exceptions for entry on VWP.
- Holder of T or U visas do not have to fulfil the requirement to have entered the U.S. lawfully because the grant of T or U status constitutes a “lawful admission” by itself.
- Those entering U.S. on a K-1 fiancée visa, must marry the petitioner within 90 days to file AOS.