Adjustment of status with a tourist visa

Adjustment of status with a tourist visa offers visitors to the United States the opportunity to change their immigration status under certain circumstances, allowing them to reside in the country legally and permanently .

This process is especially relevant for those who, after arriving on a tourist visa, find legitimate reasons to change their status, whether due to family ties, job offers or significant changes in their personal circumstances.

What is Adjustment of Status with Tourist Visa?

Adjustment of status by tourist visa is an administrative procedure that allows individuals who have entered the United States under a tourist visa (B-1/B-2) or any other nonimmigrant visa category to apply for lawful permanent residence, commonly known as a green card, without the need to leave the United States to complete the visa application process.

This process provides a pathway to change immigration status from within the United States, facilitating the applicant’s path to permanent residency under certain conditions and requirements established by the immigration authorities.

Adjustment of status with a tourist visa is like upgrading your immigration status from tourist to permanent resident without leaving the U.S., similar to changing from a temporary to a long-term permit while staying in the same place.

For example, if a person comes to the United States to visit Disneyland on a tourist visa and then decides that they want to stay and live in the country permanently, this process allows them to apply for residency without having to return to their home country to start the process all over again.

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Duration of Stay with Tourist Visa

The tourist visa is generally granted for a period of 6 months, during which the first 90 days are critical to establish whether the visa holder may be eligible to apply for adjustment of status.

The ability to adjust status within this timeframe is crucial, especially for those who aspire to obtain permanent residency.

Eligibility for Adjustment of Status

The adjustment of status process is open to individuals who:

  • They are physically present in the United States.
  • Have entered the country on a tourist visa or any other non-immigrant visa.
  • Meet specific criteria established by the USCIS, such as having an immediate family member who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, or receiving an offer of employment that does not adversely affect the U.S. labor market.

It is important to note that adjustment of status requires the applicant to demonstrate not only his or her eligibility but also his or her intent to remain in the U.S. for legitimate reasons and his or her ability to support himself or herself financially.

Application Process

The process begins with the filing of the Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This step must be completed before the applicant’s nonimmigrant status expires.

In some cases, an employer may initiate the process by filing a petition on behalf of the noncitizen worker, especially if the worker possesses unique skills or if the offered position does not displace U.S. workers and does not adversely affect working conditions.

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Receipt of Decision

Once the application is filed, USCIS will review the case and issue a decision notice. If the application is approved, the applicant will receive a notice of approval followed by his or her Permanent Resident Card.

In case of denial, USCIS will provide the reasons for the decision and, generally, no appeal is allowed. However, the applicant may have the option to file a motion to reopen or reconsider his or her case.

Important Considerations

Given the ever-changing immigration environment in the United States, it is essential to stay informed about current policies and seek the advice of an immigration attorney. This professional can guide you through the complex process, ensuring that all requirements are met and maximizing the chances of a favorable resolution.

Adjustment of status with a tourist visa is a viable path for those who meet specific criteria and seek to make the United States their permanent home.

Although the process can be lengthy and complex, careful planning and adherence to immigration laws can result in a successful change of status, opening up new opportunities to live and work in the United States.

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