Adjustment Of Status
For The Spouse Of A U.S. Citizen
During the first three quarters of 2020, nearly 166,000 spouses of U.S. citizens obtained lawful permanent residency either as a new arrival or as the result of adjustments of status. For them, it was a first step toward building a life with a spouse in the U.S. and, perhaps, toward gaining U.S. citizenship.
Getting married and obtaining legal status are two very different things. While U.S. law provides for non-resident spouses of U.S. citizens to gain legal status, they must comply with the law. For that reason, consulting with an experienced immigration law attorney is always a wise choice.
As an immigrant myself, I came to the U.S. for my education and then later became a naturalized citizen. I started my own law firm, M Mathew Law Firm PLLC, to help clients in Dallas, Texas, and the surrounding communities with legal challenges related to complicated U.S. immigration law. I understand both the law and the great desire of an immigrant to become a U.S. citizen — and I’m committed to doing all that I can to help my clients achieve their goal of citizenship.
What Is the Adjustment of Status for Spouses of U.S. Citizens and Green Card Holders About?
An “adjustment of status” under U.S. immigration law allows immigrants who entered the country legally to petition and apply for an adjustment of their legal status to obtain a green card without needing to leave the country.
To be eligible to adjust your status, you must be eligible for a green card through marriage to an immediate family member who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. You should have entered the country through certain visas. If you entered the country on a K-1 fiancé visa, you must have married the individual who petitioned the visa for you. In addition, you must currently be in the United States. In order to find out the ideal time to file your application with all the necessary evidence, please consult with an immigration attorney.
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If you entered the country legally with an unrelated visa, and intend to marry and get a green card, you may be found guilty of fraud. If you entered the U.S. illegally, you will likely not be eligible to apply for the adjustment of status process. Regardless of your exact circumstances, you should seek reliable advice from an experienced immigration attorney.
The Adjustment of Status Process
There are a few key steps required to achieve adjustment of status. These steps include:
Your spouse should submit a one-step adjustment package that would provide a work permit and travel permit for you while you await your green card.
You must submit documentation that you are eligible for a green card by proving that you are married and that your spouse wants to petition for adjustment of status on your behalf and is financially able to sponsor you. Providing extensive evidence helps in preventing Requests for Evidence in the future.
You will also need to undergo a medical exam by an approved doctor who will administer any vaccines required. There are a few medical and mental health conditions that could bar you from green card eligibility.
You will be fingerprinted, and your fingerprints checked against criminal databases.
You and your spouse, and your attorney if you have one, will attend an in-person interview at an office of U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The Adjustment of Status Interview
At the adjustment of status interview, you will be asked questions and produce certain documents as evidence regarding the validity of your marriage. You will be asked about your background, your employment, where you live, and your financial resources.
You will be asked to produce financial documents that show a shared life with your spouse. You will need to produce your children’s birth certificates and photos of your life with your spouse. You will also need to provide sworn statements from friends and family who can attest to the validity of your marriage.
The interviewer will also ask you and your spouse very specific questions. Some of the questions you might be asked include:
Where did you meet?
Where did you go on your first date?
How did your spouse propose/accept your proposal?
How many people were at your wedding?
How did you celebrate your spouse’s last birthday?
Who pays the bills in your household?
Who prepares the meals in your home?
If the interview goes well and you have provided the right evidence, you might be approved for a visa or residency permit. If you and your spouse answer these questions quite differently, you may be interviewed separately as part of a fraud investigation. If you are facing an adjustment of status review, it would be wise to have your immigration attorney help prepare you for the USCIS interview.
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As you can see, there are many steps and a lot of evidence that you must obtain in order to pursue an adjustment of status approval. Because immigration laws and the legal system can be complex and fraught with complications, hiring an experienced immigration attorney to assist you throughout the process can make all the difference in the outcome of your case.
If you or someone you know is considering an adjustment of status, don’t face this process on your own. Call or reach out to my firm, M Mathew Law Firm, PLLC, today and put my experience on your side. I will do everything I can to review the details of your case, protect your rights, and help you pursue the best possible outcome.
Hire an Experienced Adjustment of Status Attorney in Dallas, Texas
At M Mathew Law Firm PLLC, I know how confusing and overwhelming the immigration process can be. I also know what it is like to want to remain in the U.S. legally and achieve legal status as a U.S. citizen. I use my legal expertise along with my experience as an immigrant to help others in Dallas, Richardson, Lewisville, Irving, Farmers Branch, Grand Prairie, Garland, and Mesquite, Texas to pursue lawful citizenship. So if you and your spouse want to learn more about an adjustment of status, call my office today. I can help you take that first step towards building a new life in the United States.