Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), an individual who is residing in the U.S. can change his or her immigration status from “nonimmigrant” or “parolee” to “immigrant” in certain circumstances. In other words, an individual who originally was in the U.S. on only a temporary basis may be eligible to convert his or her status into one which allows him or her to remain in the U.S. on a permanent basis with a Green Card. The individual does not have to return to his or her home country in order to complete the usual visa application and wait for it to be processed. This process is generally referred to as Adjustment of Status. In order to be eligible for adjustment of status, U.S. immigration authorities must have inspected, admitted, or paroled you into the U.S. Additionally, you must qualify for a green card, or permanent residence status, in a particular immigrant category. The most common types of categories used in the adjustment of status process are family or employment-based immigration. In this situation, your family member or employer must file a petition on your behalf. However, you also may be eligible for adjustment of status if you have obtained refugee or asylee status, or through other provisions in immigration law, which will require you to file a petition based on other immigrant categories. Next, you must check the visa availability for your immigrant category. Until a visa is available in your chosen immigrant category, you cannot move forward with the adjustment of status process. In some cases, however, a visa may already be available, which would permit you to proceed to the next step. All immigrants seeking an adjustment of status must file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residency or Adjust Status. Some situations may allow you to file this application concurrently, or at the same time, as your immigrant petition is filed. In other cases, though, you must proceed through the steps described above before filing this application. After filing your application, you will have your fingerprints, picture, and signature taken for your green card, and you may have to attend an interview with a USCIS official. Finally, you will receive the decision of USCIS as to your application for adjustment of status by mail. Whether you potentially are eligible for adjustment of status or another mechanism to remain permanently in the U.S., we devote all of our efforts to advocating on behalf of you and your family before the immigration court and the Board of Immigration Appeals. Don’t hesitate to contact the Bay Area immigration lawyers of Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., and set up your free evaluation today. We are here to help!