Adjustment of Status (AOS) is a process whereby an alien who is physically in the United States adjusts his/her non-immigrant status to immigrant status (i.e. permanent resident status). First, an immigration petition (Form I-140) must be filed to establish the aliens eligibility to immigrate. An immigration petition (Form I-140, Immigrant Worker Petition) in the employment based immigration situation is a major step on the road to getting a green card. In most situations, this document is filed by the employer on behalf of an alien worker, although in certain employment based situations, for instance, a National Interest Waiver (NIW) or an EB-1A, an alien may be able to file the petition on their own without an employers sponsorship.
Effective July 31, 2002, the USCIS allows the concurrent filing of an I-485 adjustment of status application with an I-140 immigration petition (EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3), if the immigrant Visa number is available to them.
The basic benefit of applying for employment-based adjustment of status is that the alien has reached the final step in getting a Green Card. Once they can get their I-485 approved, they will become a permanent resident of the United States. In addition, there are four other major benefits:
- The alien may simultaneously apply for Advanced Parole (AP), a document that allows the alien to travel abroad during the pending period of the AOS application without abandoning the application.
- The alien may apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which allows the alien to work for any employer in the U.S. during the pending period of their AOS application.
- An alien whose I-485 is employer sponsored (i.e. EB-1B, EB-1C, EB-2 and EB-3), may change employers 180 days after the filing of adjustment of status or the approval of the I-140 petition, whichever is later. This is thanks to the portability rule, which allows this as long as the new job is in the same or similar occupational classification as the job for which the original petition was filed
- The alien has legal pending status to stay in the U.S. lawfully while waiting for the adjustment of their case. This is a major advantage utilized by many who do not have legal status at the time of filing.
An alien who is outside of the United States may not apply for an adjustment of status. Instead, these individuals must go through Consular Processing at a U.S. Consulate abroad.
The Hassonjee Law Firm is extremely experienced and well versant in the preparation and filing of employment based Perm, I-140 and Adjustment of Status applications as well as NIW and EB1 applications. We have done hundreds and hundreds of employment based green card applications over the years and encourage you to call our office for additional information.