What is Adjustment of Status?

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What is Adjustment of Status?

Hi everyone. My name is Erin Cobb, and I am a partner here at the immigration law firm of Kriezelman Burton & Associates here in Chicago. Every day, I meet with people in my office who are new to the immigration universe, and they quickly run into a lot of phrases and terms that they haven’t encountered before. For that reason, we started this web series to help with this and let people know what some of these specialized immigration terms mean. 

First up, we want to talk about adjustment of status. What is it, and how does it affect you?

Adjustment of status is a common term that you’ll see in a lot of places. In some ways, it’s exactly like it sounds. First, status is obviously regarding your status in the United States. Whether you’re a student, a visitor, and H1B, a refugee, or an asylee. Then, we have adjustment. This refers to adjusting or changing your status from one to another. Specifically, the act of adjusting from a temporary status to a permanent one, meaning our lawful permanent resident status, also known as a green card.

We use the phrase adjustment of status for every kind of green card application within the United States. A few examples include:

  • A refugee or asylee in the U.S. applying for a green card
  • An employee applying for a green card through a petition by an employer
  • A visitor or a visitor who overstays applying through a family member who is a citizen
  • A crime victim or victim of trafficking applying through their U or T visa

If you are within the United States and, importantly, you complete the entire process within the U.S., you adjust your status. Some cannot apply for adjustment of status and, instead, must apply for consular process. Those who have to apply for consular process have started applying for their green card while within the United Stated but must complete it outside of the country.

Since I am a former English as a second language teacher, I can’t help but resist giving you some verb forms for the phrase “adjustment of status.” You could say, “I am applying for adjustment of status,” “I applied to adjust my status,” or “I adjusted my status.”

We abbreviate AOS in writing, but we usually do not say AOS aloud, just adjustment.

That’s it for today! Thank you for reading, and be sure to check back for more blog posts explaining terms and other information regarding immigration law. As always, if you or someone you know is in the process of applying for permanent residency in the United States, or are dealing with other immigration-based issues,  and need legal assistance and guidance, the immigration lawyers at Kreizelman Burton & Associates are here to help. To schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, call or fill out our online contact form today.