ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS

245 of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, Pub. L. No. 82-414, 66 Stat. 163, 8 U.S.C. 1101-1524.

(c) 1999 VIKRAM BADRINATH, P.C. All rights reserved.


Introduction

Originally, the Immigration and Nationality Laws of the United States provided that aliens may only acquire
their Immigrant Visas at a U.S. Consulate (Department of State) abroad. In most instances, this would occur
at the country of last residence or nationality. However, since, 1952, Congress has provided a mechanism for aliens
who qualify (e.g., have an approved visa petition that is immediate available) to adjust their status to that of a
permanent resident without departing the United States and traveling to a U.S. Consulate. Adjustment ought to be
envisioned as a procedure whereby an alien's formal immigration status is changed or adjusted without a formal admission
or entry as a immigrant. Hence, the phrase "adjustment of status" is a term of art and the statutory and regulatory references to adjustment refer only to the actual process of acquisition of lawful permanent residence within the United States at an U.S. INS Service Office.

The benefits of "adjusting" one's immigration status within the United States can, therefore, be immediately seen. Such an applicant enjoys a number of practical and potential advantages as compared to the normal consular process of immigrating to the United States, such as:
(1) the alien need not expend financial resources to return to his or her home country or incur the difficulties of dislocation.
(2) the alien may receive an employment authorization document (e.g., Work Permit, I-765) at the time of filing, pending adjudication of his adjustment of status application.
(3) the alien may travel abroad pending adjudication of the application if the foreign antional submits and receives approval of a discretionary grant for Advance Parole (e.g, Travel Document, I-131).
(4) the alien may have a denied application for adjustment of status reviewed by an Immigration Judge in deportation or removal proceedings and, if necessary, seek judicial review before Federal Courts; whereas a visa applicant at a U.S. Consulate may only have U.S. Consular Officials' denials reviewed by the U.S. Department of State Visa Office, but only as they pertain to matters of law.

For more information about Adjustment of Status, please contact us by email, telephone, or fax or schedule an appointment to have your individual case discussed and analyzed an attorney.