Adjustment of status allows you to apply for permanent residency status if you have been approved for an immigrant visa and an immigrant visa is available for you. Adjustment of status can be very useful, since it allows you to start applying for work authorization and for other benefits while you wait for your official green card or immigrant visa. Even once you have been approved for an immigrant visa and once you have found out that an immigrant visa is available for you, it can still take quite some time in order for you to receive your visa. Status adjustment allows you to start enjoying the benefits of your visa immediately. Once you adjust status, you can start enjoying work authorization as well as the status of an immigrant in the United States.
By the time your actual visa arrives, with adjustment of status, you could already have received employment authorization and may already be working. Many people who arrive in the United States need to keep working in order to support themselves while waiting for their immigrant visa and other documents. An adjustment of status ensures that there are no delays in allowing you to work and apply for work authorization.
Status adjustment is not the most common way of applying for residency. Many people apply for an immigrant visa, permanent residency, or a green card through a consular office before ever entering the United States. However, adjustment of status is also a very effective way to secure your green card, especially if you have already been able to establish residency and a life in the United States and can therefore show that you are qualified for an adjustment of status. In some cases, adjustment of status is the most common method to proceed. For example, if you are receiving a green card because you are the fiancé or spouse of a US citizen, you will enter the US on a fiancé visa, in most cases, and apply for adjustment of status after your wedding.
In order to qualify for an adjustment of status, you must meet all the requirements established by the USCIS. In addition, you must not abandon your residency status by suddenly leaving the United States before your application is approved. As well, if you have taken part in unlawful employment or have committed crimes while you’re adjustment of status is pending or before you apply, you may not qualify for permanent residency.