As defined by the USCIS, adjustment of status is the process that you can use to apply for lawful permanent resident status (also known as applying for a Green Card) when you are present in the United States. If you are qualified for a green card and meet the requirements for adjustment of status, you submit an I-485 adjustment of status application to the USCIS. Here are a few things you should know about the benefits you receive during the adjustment of status process.
When you apply for an adjustment of status, you can also apply for an official document called advance parole that will allow you to travel outside of the United States without a visa stamp. In fact, for many applicants, an advance parole document is required before leaving the U.S. for international travel.
Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
When an immigrant applies for an adjustment of status, the individual can also apply for an employment authorization document (EAD) or work permit. Once you receive the EAD, you may consistently work while the I-485 adjustment of status application is pending. The EAD does have an expiration date so you must be sure to apply for renewals until you get your green card.
Remaining in the United States
Once a person applies for an adjustment of status, the individual may legally reside in the United States while the adjustment of status application is pending. Upon approval of the adjustment of status application, the applicant becomes a permanent resident and receives the green card as proof of permanent residence. If the adjustment of status application is denied and the applicant has not maintained a separate visa status, the applicant is no longer authorized to remain in the United States.
This article is provided as an educational service and is not legal advice. Consult with an attorney for your specific circumstances. For a comprehensive evaluation of your immigration situation and options, you are invited to call me at 214-494-8033, complete my contact form. Once you schedule an appointment, an immigration attorney can answer your questions, describe the entire process, provide detailed instructions and explain laws that may affect your immigration process.