As premier Miami immigration attorneys in South Florida, the ultimate goal of many of our clients has been to become U.S. citizens. For most immigrants, the first step toward citizenship is securing Permanent Residence.
If an individual is an immigrant living in the United States and would like to become a lawful permanent resident, he or she must first apply for an Adjustment of Status (Form I-485). Through this process, eligible immigrants already in the U.S. can obtain a green card without having to return to their home countries.
Typically, immigrants become eligible for a green card (lawful permanent residence) if they are sponsored by their family or employer, or they obtain refugee or asylum status. The following are common visa petitions:
- Family Based — Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130)
- Employment Based — Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140) or Petition by Alien Entrepreneur (Form I-526)
- Special Immigrant Classification — Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), and Special Immigrant (Form I-360)
After the petition is approved and a visa is obtained, an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, also called Form I-485, can be filed by the individual. In some cases, the petition and Form I-485 can be filed to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) concurrently.
During the approval process, an interview is usually required, with few exceptions. Applicants will have to answer questions under oath at a USCIS office. Then, USCIS officials will make a final decision on granting permanent residence.
As Miami immigration attorneys, we have years of experience helping our South Florida clients accurately fill out applications and prepare for these interviews. If an Adjustment of Status is denied, our experienced attorneys are skilled at appealing USCIS decisions to get a more favorable outcome for our clients.