Applying for permanent residency status in the U.S. can be intimidating. Even if you have worked and lived in the country for years under a working or other nonimmigrant visa, you would know that applying for a green card is a different and more complex story.
One of the important steps when applying for a green card is understanding which process is applicable to you. There are two ways to process a green card; one is through consular processing for applicants outside of the U.S. and the other is through adjustment of status. Applicants who are already physically in the U.S. holding a nonimmigrant visa can apply for an adjustment of status with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Below are a few other things you can take note of.
What does the adjustment of status require?
Applying for an adjustment of status requires two main forms, an immigrant petition and a green card petition. Typically, the approval of the immigrant petition is necessary before filing a green card petition. However, some categories allow the simultaneous filing of the two petitions.
Do I have to file the immigrant petition myself?
Usually, the person petitioning or sponsoring you, like a relative or an employer, files the petition for you. There are, however, certain circumstances that allow you to file the petition yourself.
Preparation is key
The USCIS considers numerous factors when reviewing applications for permanent residency. While you cannot control the actual result, you can increase your chances by carefully preparing for the application. This includes properly determining your category of eligibility and ensuring that all necessary documents are complete. If you have any doubts or concerns, consulting an immigration expert can help you determine your next step.