Adjustment of status for permanent residence eligibility

Apply for Permanent Residence Via Adjustment of Status 

Most immigrants hope to stay in the US for a long time. To achieve this, there is a process called Adjustment of Status (also called Green Card application), which means they can apply for legal permanent resident status after meeting certain requirements in the United States.  

Eligibility requirements for adjustment of status may vary depending on the immigrant application category. The first step in the adjustment of status  process is to determine if you are in a “special category of immigrant.” 

Eligibility for an Adjustment of Status to Apply for a Green Card 

To determine if you are eligible to apply for a Green Card, you must be in the available categories to qualify as an immigrant. Most immigrants are eligible for a Green Card through a petition processed on their behalf by a family member or employer. Some immigrants obtain Permanent Residence because they previously held refugee or asylum status. You can see/read more on this subject and verify it on the Green Card Eligibility Categories page in USCIS. 

1. File the Immigrant Petition   

In most cases, when you know the category that applies to your situation, you will need someone to file an immigrant petition on your behalf: 

1.1 Family Related   

Family-related categories (kinship) require a US citizen or a permanent resident process the Form I-130 on your behalf (Application for a Foreign Family Member). 

1.2 Work Related 

Employment-based categories, for the most part, require the employer in the US who is interested in hiring you, to process the Form I-140, (Petition for Foreign Worker).  

Entrepreneurs with the intention of investing significant capital in a business in the US can process the Form I-526 by themselves (Immigration Request from a Foreign Entrepreneur).   

1.3 Special Type of Immigrants 

In some cases, certain immigrants can file a Form I-360 (Petition for an Amerasian, Widower or Special Immigrant) or get it processed on their behalf. 

1.4 Humanitarian Programs   

Most humanitarian programs do not require a mandatory request, although they may have to meet additional requirements before they can adjust their status. 

Who can Process Petitions Together? 

Immediate family members of a US citizen can process their petition jointly, this is called “joint filing.” However, in most categories, they require that you establish your eligibility for the immigrant category first by obtaining an approved petition, before you can process Form I-485. For these categories you cannot do a filing process. 


If you need guidance or help to request the permanent residence or Green Card, please contact Motion Law Immigration at: (202) 918-1799 or request a FREE Consultation with one of our expert immigration attorneys who will be happy to advise you about all options you may be eligible for.