How to File an Application to Adjust Status

An immigrant who wishes to remain in the United States past the expiration date on their visa will need to extend or change their status. One way to change status is to file an application to adjust status before their visa expires. Not everyone qualifies, so it is advisable to learn about the requirements as early as possible.

Two Ways to Qualify for Adjustment of Status

There are two main ways to qualify for an adjustment of status. Those who are already in the United States are allowed to file here. Those living outside the U.S. must file through a process called consular processing (and the USCIS has a number of rules and guidelines that must be followed). Those are available online or from a qualified immigration attorney.

Form I-485 Adjustment of Status

Applicants must file United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-485, Adjustment of Status. A visa must be available in your specific category, and availability and priority dates can be viewed online. Along with the application, you must submit any supporting documentation. If you forget to include that, your application will be delayed.

Security Check and Biometrics Collection

If your application is accepted, you will be required to appear at a USCIS office. The date, time, and location will be provided to you in a letter of notice, also called a notice to appear. You will be fingerprinted and a background check will be completed. Additionally, you will be interviewed under oath, and your answers will be used to help make a decision regarding your status adjustment approval.

What If the Application Is Denied?

Applicants receive written notification of approval or denial of their application. If the application was denied, you will be provided with the reason. Some decisions can be appealed, though not all. If you qualify for an appeal, it must be made within 30 days. If your denial was due to a lack of information, you may be able to provide further documentation.

The adjustment of status can be a complicated process. It is best to speak with an attorney for assistance through the process and with an appeal. If you need help with an adjustment of status, contact the legal team at Udall Shumway PLC to discuss your case.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding File an Application to Adjust Status, or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at 480.461.5330, log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.