Whether this is your first renewal cycle or you’ve been in the United States for decades, the immigration process and its requirements can be overwhelming. The opportunity to live in this country provides immeasurable opportunities, but failing to keep up with documentation requirements can lead to swift removal. Working with an immigration attorney in Austin can help you meet deadlines and feel confident about the status renewal or adjustment process.
As you get close to the “Admit Until” date on your visa, you have to make an important decision about whether or not you want to stay. If you want to renew, begin the renewal process well in advance of the “Admit Until” date. Waiting too long can have serious consequences. If you’re found in the country after the expiration of your visa, several things could happen:
- You could be barred from entering the United States again for a period of three to 10 years, depending on your specific circumstances
- You may be unable to get another visa or green card
- A requirement to include your visa overstay on all future applications
- Removal proceedings
Furthermore, the renewal process often moves extremely slowly, depending on the current backlog. Failing to fill out a form correctly or missing important information could lead to your application being rejected, causing further complications. With an immigration attorney, you can submit your renewal paperwork and all required fees in a timely manner. Their assistance can help you avoid common errors that may delay your renewal.
Ways to Obtain Adjustment of Status
When you decide you’d like to live in the U.S. permanently, it’s time to apply for a green card. Through the adjustment of status process, you’ll apply for permanent resident status while remaining in the United States.
There are several ways you may qualify for an adjustment of status:
- Family. Parents, spouses, or unmarried children under 21 of a U.S. citizen may be able to get a visa immediately.
- Employment. If you have received a job offer, you may qualify for a green card. This can be challenging, since you have to meet several criteria and be selected to receive a green card via employment.
- Refugee status. One year after entering the U.S. as a refugee, you must apply for permanent residence.
- Other immigration programs. Depending on the current administration and immigration laws, there may be additional programs that immigrants can use to obtain a green card and change their status.
After verifying that you are able to obtain an adjustment of status through inclusion in one of the groups listed above, you can begin working through the process with an attorney. The process takes at least several months and can take more than one year. You may have to submit to a formal interview and biometric screening. Depending on the route you’re using to adjust your status, you may have to provide additional evidence. For example, you may have to demonstrate the validity of your marriage, offer proof of a legitimate job offer, or supply documentation from your initial entry into the country.
This process is extremely time-sensitive and requires attention to detail. Missing a deadline or failing to pay all of the necessary fees can seriously delay or compromise your adjustment of status. You must also meet certain rules while waiting for your adjustment of status to be granted. As an example, traveling to another country without authorization from the federal government could leave you unable to re-enter the United States.
Get Help With Your Immigration Documents at Sandoval & James
At Sandoval & James, we have extensive experience in immigration law and understand the comprehensive requirements involved. No matter how simple or complex your immigration situation is, we’re here to help—contact Sandoval & James at 512-647-2314 to get started.