Adjustment of Status Through Marriage to a US Citizen

After marriage to a US Citizen, the foreign national spouse can oftentimes apply for adjustment of status in the US. This is a wildly popular option since it enables the couple to remain together while the green card application is pending.

Despite the popularity of this option, it does have some drawbacks. For example, foreign nationals who apply for adjustment of status after entering the US on a non-immigrant visa are occasionally accused of fraud. Also, if the foreign national spouse wants to work immediately upon entering the US, adjustment of status may not be the best option unless they already have a form of work authorization.

The video above and the frequently asked questions below cover the requirements, the benefits and the process for applying for adjustment of status.

This general information is designed to help you decide if adjustment of status would be a good option for you.

I hope that it helps!

Frequently Asked Questions About Adjustment of Status Through Marriage

Adjustment of status is the process that allows some people to adjust their current non immigrant status to green card status without leaving the US. 

The current fee for adjustment of status is $1225(filing fee & biometrics). The filing fee for the I-130 is $535.

You will usually have a decision within 12-18 months after filing. The I-130, I-131 and I-765(work authorization) are usually decided within 6-8 months. However, the wait time is notoriously difficult to predict since it varies depending on the workload at USCIS.

The forms that are typically filed for a marriage based one step adjustment of status include: I-130, I-130A, I-485, I-765, I-131, I-864 and I-944.

Common documents that are submitted with an adjustment of status application include: identity documents such as recent passport style photos, birth certificates and copies of passports; immigration status documents such as the I-94 and visa stamps; marriage documents such as marriage certificates and evidence that shows the validity of the marriage(joint bills, property ownership, affidavits from family members and friends with knowledge of the relationship, photos, etc.);  documents related to the public charge issue such as tax transcripts, employment verification letters, pay stubs, a credit report, proof of assets, etc.

At the adjustment of status interview, the USCIS officer will ask you and your spouse questions pertaining to your background and your relationship. They will also ask questions that relate to any inadmissibility factors.

Yes. It is oftentimes possible for a spouse of a US citizen to adjust status even if they have overstayed on a visa. 

You should expect questions about your spouse’s background such as names of children, siblings, location of work, names of parents, etc. You can also expect questions about the details of the relationship: how you met, how long you dated, where you got married, who came to the wedding, etc.

Bars to adjustment of status include: immigration violations, public charge grounds, criminal convictions, fraud(to obtain immigration benefits) etc.

The answer to this question will depend on your circumstances. However, people who are already in the US in valid status oftentimes prefer to adjust status so that they can stay in the US while they await a decision on their green card application. This option does have some drawbacks and risks that should be discussed with an immigration lawyer before you proceed.

Attorney fees will vary by firm. My firm charges $2600 for the one step adjustment of status process.

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