Adjustment of status plays an important role for aliens in removal proceedings who are eligible for this type of relief as a means to avoid an order of removal. It is also an important remedy available outside of immigration court for immigrants who have lawfully entered the United States and are married to a United States Citizen or have an approved employment based immigrant petition.
For aliens in removal or deportation proceedings, the immigration judge has exclusive jurisdiction over applications for adjustment of status, except, in general, for arriving aliens. Of course, the alien must be eligible to receive an immigrant visa and an immigrant visa must be immediately available at the time of filing the application. There is a list of restricted aliens and ineligible aliens. An adjustment of status application must be based on an immediately available immigrant visa, such as one filed by a United States Citizen spouse, or child who is over the age of 21.
Aliens that are deportable but not inadmissible may adjust status. The application can be “stacked” with other applications for relief under other sections of the Act, Applications for relief under waivers that are otherwise available in immigration court are often “stacked” with an application for adjustment of status. A refugee who became a lawful permanent resident may not be able to readjust status as a refugee.
Outside of immigration court, adjustment of status is an available means to achieve lawful permanent residence. If an immigrant is married to citizen of the United States and lawfully entered the United States, then the immigrant can seek lawful permanent residence through adjustment of status. Moreover, if an immigrant has an approved employer-based petition, the immigrant can, at times, use the approved employer-petition to adjust status to lawful permanent residence in the United States.
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