Adjustment of Status (Green Card) Lawyer In Phoenix

Immigration Attorney Vianey Hurtado
By: Vianey Hurtado
Immigration Lawyer
Licensed in Arizona since: 2014

Adjustment of Status (Green Card) Lawyer In Phoenix

For nonimmigrant visa holders and individuals paroled into the U.S., the Adjustment of Status (AOS) offers a pathway to getting a Green Card for permanent residency without leaving the U.S. This process simplifies the transition to permanent residency and opens doors to many opportunities and benefits that come with being a Green Card holder. The Adjustment of Status process can be complicated, and getting help from an experienced immigration lawyer in Phoenix can guide you through this process.

If you are interested in applying for an adjustment of status or green card, please contact Phoenix immigration attorney Vianey K. Hurtado. With a proven track record of assisting many individuals in getting their Lawful Permanent Residence (LPR) status, Vianey Hurtado brings professional experience and a personal understanding of the immigration experience, being an immigrant's daughter herself. 

Our firm offers comprehensive case evaluations, ensuring our clients are fully informed about their current situation and the potential paths ahead. With a commitment to justice, Vianey K. Hurtado Law is a trusted supporter for those needing legal assistance with immigration in Phoenix. The Vianey K. Hurtado Law team is Spanish-speaking and serves the Phoenix and Yuma areas. Please contact us to schedule an in-depth case evaluation.

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Itzel L.

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VIANEY HURTADO is an incredible lawyer. Since the beginning of my services her and her team made sure I felt well take care of. Her and her team was patient, efficient and compassionate with me.
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Betty G.

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Attorney Vianey K. Hurtado is a very honest, professional and patient immigration attorney who gives you confidence in the course of your case. She helped me a lot and very quickly for my residency.
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Juan E.

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If my family and I could give 100 stars I would. Vianey and all her staff were helpful from day one. Always treated us with great professionalism. Always honest and hard working. Will definitely be recommending her!!!
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Lizbeth S.

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My father had a very rough immigration case, Vianey did an amazing job. Thank you so much, very grateful for everything you did. My father is now a permanent resident thanks to you.

Advantages of Getting A Green Card Through An Adjustment Of Status

The Adjustment of Status (AOS) to obtain a Green Card within the United States presents several advantages, each contributing to the applicant's journey toward permanent residency and citizenship:

  • Processing In The U.S.: AOS allows applicants to process their Green Card applications without leaving the U.S. This is a major advantage for those who might face difficulties or delays in their home countries. By staying in the U.S., applicants avoid the unpredictability and potential challenges of consular processing, such as long waiting periods and the possibility of being barred from re-entering the U.S. Applicants can manage their affairs more efficiently within the U.S. and have better access to resources and support during the application process.
  • Continued Legal U.S. Presence: Applicants can maintain their current lifestyle, work, and family connections without interruption, which is particularly important for those who have established deep roots in the U.S. This aspect of AOS is critical as it ensures that applicants do not fall into unlawful status while their application is pending, safeguarding them from potential legal complications.
  • Access to Benefits: Applicants often receive temporary work authorization while their Green Card application is pending, allowing them to work legally in the U.S. Depending on their status, applicants may also receive advance parole, permitting them to travel outside the U.S. and re-enter legally while their application is being processed. Post-approval, Green Card holders gain access to numerous social benefits, including healthcare, education, and other public assistance programs, greatly enhancing their quality of life in the U.S.
  • Pathway to Citizenship: Holding a Green Card is one of the primary eligibility requirements for naturalization. AOS thus serves as a vital step towards becoming a U.S. citizen. As permanent residents, individuals enjoy many of the rights of U.S. citizens, including the right to live and work in the U.S. indefinitely, protection under U.S. laws, and the ability to sponsor certain family members for residency.

The Adjustment of Status route offers a streamlined, secure, and beneficial way for individuals seeking to transition from temporary to permanent status in the U.S. It not only simplifies the legal process but also provides stability and numerous advantages during and after the transition to permanent residency.

What Are The Requirements For Adjustment Of Status?

Applicants must meet specific criteria to be eligible for an Adjustment of Status (AOS) in the United States. These eligibility requirements are designed to ensure that only qualified individuals can transition to permanent residency. 

Understanding each criterion is crucial for a successful application:

Lawful Entry:

  • Valid Entry Documentation: Applicants must have entered the U.S. legally, documented by a valid nonimmigrant visa or through an official parole procedure / advanced parole. This includes having entered through a recognized port of entry and having been inspected by a U.S. immigration officer.
  • 245(i) protection:  If an applicant did not enter the United States lawfully, they may still be able to adjust their status to that of a lawful permanent resident if they are a beneficiary of a family or employment petition filed before April 30, 2001 and meet the presence requirement. Paying a penalty fee will waive their unlawful entry and allow them to adjust their status in the U.S. 
  • Military Parole in Place (MPIP): If an applicant did not enter the United States lawfully, they may still be able to adjust their status to that of lawful permanent resident if they have an immediate family member, such as a United States citizen spouse or child, in the military–whether active or honorably discharged. Obtaining military parole in place first, will waive their unlawful entry and allow them to adjust their status in the U.S.
  • Status Maintenance: It's important that applicants have maintained their nonimmigrant status up to the time of applying for AOS if they are applying based on a preference based category.. Overstaying or violating the terms of a visa can negatively impact eligibility. However, there are certain exceptions for beneficiaries of immediate petitions, such as those filed by United States citizen spouses or children over 21 years of age. 

Qualification for a Green Card Category:

  • Family-Based Immigration: One of the most common categories is based on close family relationships with U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs), such as spouses, children, or parents.
  • Employment-Based Immigration: This category includes those who are sponsored by a U.S. employer, often requiring proof of specialized skills, employment history, and educational qualifications.
  • Asylum or Refugee Status: Individuals who have been granted asylum or refugee status due to persecution or fear of persecution in their home country may apply for a Green Card
  • Investment-Based Immigration: This is for individuals who make significant financial investments in U.S. businesses that create jobs for American workers.
  • Special Categories: There are also other specific categories, including recipients of U visas, T visas, and individuals under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

Admissibility Requirements

  • Background Checks: Comprehensive background checks are conducted to ensure the applicant has no criminal history or past immigration violations that would make them inadmissible.
  • Health Examinations: Medical examinations are mandatory to confirm the absence of any public health concerns, such as communicable diseases, and to ensure all required vaccinations are up to date.
  • Financial Stability: Applicants must demonstrate that they are not likely to become a public charge, meaning they have the financial means to support themselves without relying on U.S. government welfare. This is accomplished by providing an affidavit of support by the petitioner or a separate joint sponsor, who’s income meets or exceeds the current poverty guidelines.
  • Other Considerations: Additional factors, such as adverse immigration encounters or findings, could affect admissibility. Also, certain waivers might be available for some grounds of inadmissibility.

Understanding and meeting these eligibility criteria are critical first steps in the AOS process. Each criterion plays a crucial role in determining whether an individual can successfully adjust their status and secure a Green Card. Due to the complexity and nuances of immigration law, potential applicants are often advised to seek legal counsel to navigate this process effectively.

Steps To Apply For An Adjustment of Status Green Card

The Adjustment of Status (AOS) application process for a Green Card in the United States is a multi-step procedure that requires thorough preparation and attention to detail. Each step is crucial in ensuring a smooth transition from a nonimmigrant status to lawful permanent residency.

Gathering Documents:

  • Types of Documents: This initial step involves collecting various documents that demonstrate eligibility for a Green Card. Key documents include proof of legal entry into the U.S. (such as a visa or entry stamp in a passport), employment records (if applicable), evidence of family relationships (like marriage or birth certificates for family-based Green Card applications), and financial documents.
  • Category-Specific Documentation: Depending on the Green Card category, additional documents may be required. For instance, employment-based applications often need evidence of a job offer and qualifications, while family-based applications require proof of the relationship to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Accuracy and Completeness: It's crucial that all documents are current, accurate, and complete. Missing or incorrect information can lead to application delays or denials.

Filing Form I-485:

  • Completing the Form: Form I-485, the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, is a comprehensive form that asks for detailed information about the applicant's background, immigration history, and basis for eligibility.
  • Supplemental Forms and Fees: In addition to Form I-485, applicants may need to submit supplemental forms (like Form I-864 Affidavit of Support for family-based applicants) and the appropriate filing fees.
  • Evidence Submission: Applicants must attach all gathered documents as evidence to support their application.

Interview and Biometrics:

  • Biometrics Appointment: After submitting the application, the applicant will be scheduled for a biometrics appointment to provide fingerprints, a photograph, and a signature. This is used for background checks and identity verification.
  • Interview Preparation: The interview is a critical component of the AOS process. Applicants are typically questioned about their application, the validity of their marriage if the petitioner is their spouse, background, and overall eligibility for a Green Card. In some instances, USCIS is reviewing the application and issuing a decision without the need of an interview.
  • Documentation for Interview: It's advisable to bring original documents to the interview, including passports, current immigration documents, civil documents, and any additional evidence that supports the application.

Approval and Green Card Issuance:

  • Application Review: After the interview, the application is reviewed in detail. The decision is based on the application, interview, and background checks. 
  • Receiving the Green Card: If approved, the applicant will receive their Green Card, which signifies their status as a lawful permanent resident of the U.S.
  • Duration of the Process: The entire process, from application to receiving the Green Card, can vary in length depending on individual circumstances and the specific Green Card category.

Throughout the process, it's important for applicants to stay informed about their application status and respond quickly to any requests from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The AOS process can be complex and time-consuming, but careful attention to each step can lead to a successful outcome and the start of a new chapter as a permanent resident in the United States.

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Contact An Adjustment Of Status (Green Card) Attorney In Phoenix

The path to U.S. permanent residency through the Adjustment of Status (AOS) process requires planning, an understanding of immigration laws, and the patience to follow each step of the application process carefully. Each phase is critical in transforming the dream of permanent residency into reality. At Vianey K. Hurtado Law, we understand the challenges of this journey.

If you need to apply for an adjustment of status or green card, please contact Phoenix immigration attorney Vianey K. Hurtado. Our personal touch, originating from our connections to the immigrant experience, allows us to represent you effectively. At Vianey K. Hurtado Law, we are dedicated to being your trusted partner, offering you the legal support needed to turn your aspirations of living and thriving in the United States into a reality. For a comprehensive case evaluation and professional guidance in your Adjustment of Status application, we invite you to contact us and take the first step toward your future in the U.S. Our firm serves the Phoenix and Yuma areas.

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Legal Disclaimer

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Vianey K. Hurtado Law’s legal team is licensed to practice law in Arizona. We invite you to contact us, but please be aware that contacting us does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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