There are many steps in the immigration process, and one of the most important is adjusting your status. This means becoming a legal permanent resident of the United States. It can be a long and complicated process, but by understanding the basics, you can make it through.
Filing an immigration petition
This is the first step in adjusting your status, and it’s a request to the U.S. government asking them to allow you to become a legal permanent resident. When you file this petition, you’ll need to provide evidence that you meet all the requirements for immigration. This includes things like having a job offer in the U.S. or being related to a U.S. citizen.
If you’re approved, you’ll be given what’s called an “immigrant visa number.” This is basically your place in line for getting a green card. The government issues a limited number of these each year, so it can take some time to get your turn.
Applying for a green card
Once you have an immigrant visa number, you can apply for a green card. This is the document that will officially make you a legal permanent resident of the United States. To apply, you’ll need to fill out some paperwork and submit it to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You’ll also need to pay a fee.
If you’re approved, you’ll receive a green card and will be able to live and work in the United States permanently. There are some restrictions on what you can do with a green card, but overall it gives you a lot of rights and benefits.
Maintaining your status
This means following all the rules of being a permanent resident. That includes things like not committing any crimes, paying your taxes and obeying U.S. immigration laws. If you break these rules, you could lose your green card and get deported from the United States.
What happens if you want to move to another country? Generally, you’ll need to notify the USCIS and get permission before you leave. Otherwise, your green card could be canceled.
Adjusting your status is a big step in the immigration process, but it’s one that can lead to a lot of great things. Just remember to take it one step at a time and to follow all the rules.