Who Can Apply for a Green Card Through Adjustment of Status?

Immigration paperwork

The Adjustment of Status (AOS) process allows eligible immigration applicants to petition to become a legal United States permanent resident (Green Card holder) without applying for a visa if they pay a penalty fee. Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act allows individuals who would normally not be qualified for a visa to apply for a Green Card through adjustment of status despite entering the United States without inspection (EWI; Entry Without Inspection), overstayed their visa, or worked in the US without authorization. 245(i) makes adjustment of status an option for people who are generally ineligible for a visa due to the 245(c) adjustment bars, such not having an immediate family member who is a legal resident or instances of violence.

While the 245(i) laws expired in 2001, some immigrants may be “grandfathered” and qualify based on a 245(i) petition that was filed before April 30, 2001, and if they are the applicant or the beneficiary of a petition made before the law expired, such as a spouse or child of an individual who did receive a Green Card under 245(i).

Adjustment of Status 245(i) Eligibility Criteria 

  • A beneficiary of an immigrant visa petition as an alien relative, alien worker, alien entrepreneur, widow(er) or special immigrant received or postmarked to INS on or before April 30, 2001.
  • The beneficiary of an application for labor certification filed with the Department of Labor on or before April 30, 2001
  • Must be able to prove they have been physically present in the United States since December 21, 2000, if the qualifying visa petition or labor certification application was filed after January 14, 1998.

An AOS applicant must be physically present in the United State to apply; leaving the United States during the AOS process may be considered as an abandonment of the adjustment application.

There have been multiple updates to this section of the law and you may be eligible for 245(i) relief under a previous version of the law.

United States immigration laws are complicated and updated frequently. Mistakes in immigration applications can be costly and stressful and can result in denial of your petition or delays. An Immigration Simplified attorney can review your 245(i) Green Card through adjustment of status eligibility and guide you through the application process. We review your situation, provide you with the proper forms and help you submit your application. Contact us today to get started. Please contact our office or call us at (312) 883-9944.