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Clarifying Adjustment of Status: Dispelling 5 Common Myths for Immediate Relatives

5 Common Myths About Adjustment of Status in Family Immigration – Debunked

Navigating the path to permanent residency in the United States can be complex, especially for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens—spouses, unmarried children under 21, and parents. Adjustment of Status (AOS) is the crucial process these individuals use to get a green card without leaving the U.S. It’s essential to understand the details of AOS to prevent delays and ensure a smooth application. This blog addresses common misunderstandings about AOS for immediate relatives, helping you navigate this important step confidently. 

Understanding Adjustment of Status in Immigration

Adjustment of status in immigration means someone with a temporary visa in the U.S. can apply to become a permanent resident, or get a Green Card, without leaving the country.  

Who can apply: People with temporary visas in the U.S. 

What it gives: Permanent resident status (Green Card) 

Benefit: They don’t have to leave the U.S. to get a Green Card. 

Myth Busters: Debunking Common Misconceptions in Adjustment of Status

Here are some common myths or misunderstandings about Adjustment of Status (AOS) for immediate relatives, helping you understand the process better and navigate it confidently. 

Myth #1: Adjustment of Status is Easy 

Reality: The process involves multiple steps, including filing applications, attending interviews, and submitting documents. Expect a wait and consider this in your immigration timeline. Currently, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) takes 6 to 15 months to process Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. However, it can take even longer depending on your case and USCIS workload.  

Myth #2: No Need for Lawyers  

Reality: A dedicated immigration attorney can be invaluable. They know the ins and outs of adjustment of status and stay updated on USCIS policies. An attorney can ensure your application is thorough and meets all requirements. They also handle any complications, like Requests for Evidence (RFEs) or interview issues. Legal support can save you time, money, and stress. 

Watch our video: The Complexity of Immigration Laws – why choose Alagiri Immigration for your process 

 Myth #3: Past Mistakes Haunt You Forever 

Reality: Not necessarily. Certain past immigration violations may not automatically disqualify you from adjustment of status. USCIS offers waivers for some violations, depending on the severity and underlying reasons. For example, you may still be able to adjust status if you are currently in the U.S. without lawful status if you can demonstrate that you initially entered the U.S. with a visa.  

Consulting an attorney is crucial to assess your situation and determine the best course of action. They can analyze your specific immigration history in the context of current policies and advise you on any waivers you might be eligible for. 

Myth #4: Traveling While Waiting 

Reality: It may be risky to travel outside the U.S. while your adjustment of status application is pending. Leaving without advance parole, a special permission document, might be seen as abandoning your application. This could hinder your legal return to the U.S. and AOS process. Before booking any flights, consult your attorney about travel plans. They can guide you on the need for advance parole and assist with the application process for this document. 

Myth #5: Green Card Means Instant Citizenship 

Reality: Getting a green card is a big step, but it doesn’t make you a U.S. citizen right away. Becoming a citizen involves living in the U.S. for a certain period (usually 3 or 5 years, depending on marriage to a U.S. citizen) and passing a citizenship test. Once you meet these, you can apply for citizenship. 

Why Understanding the Adjustment of Status Process Matters

Understanding the AOS process is crucial for several reasons: 

  1. Improves Application Outcome: Understanding the process well and meeting its specific requirements increases the chances of approval for your application.
  2. Mitigates Delays: Familiarity with the process prevents delays stemming from missing documents or misconceptions about the requirements.
  3. Facilitates Informed Decision-Making: Insight into the process empowers you to make informed choices regarding document collection, legal assistance, and potential travel limitations during application consideration.
  4. 4. Reduces Stress: Not knowing can make you anxious. Understanding the process gives you confidence and control, lowering stress as you apply. Even if you’re not applying yourself, understanding can help support someone else through it. 

Explore more resources to learn about family-based visa: 

Exploring Faster Naturalization Through Marriage to a US Citizen 

Conquering Green Card Challenges: Parents without Birth or Marriage Certificates 

Securing a Smooth Journey: Tips on Choosing the Right Marriage Visa Lawyer for IR1/CR1 and K-1 Visas 

Cupid Says “Yes!” to Your K1 Visa: Documentation Essentials 

Watch our video here: How can you Apply for an Immediate Relative Green Card 

How Alagiri Law Can Help

We assist individuals with Family-Based Green Card Applications. If you’re seeking lawful permanent residence in the U.S., this option might be suitable for you.  

Our firm guides clients through the various classifications, application procedures, and required documentation. We evaluate individual circumstances to ensure compliance with USCIS standards. Additionally, we assist in navigating the different categories of family-based green cards, including immediate relative and family preference options, as well as marriage-based pathways such as K-1 fiancé visas and K-3 spouse visas.  

Do you have questions? Chat with us NOW!

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