Myths About Adjustment of Status Process

Adjustment of Status allows a qualified applicant who is in the US on a visa to apply for a green card without leaving the US. The process is different from consular processing, which requires the applicant to be outside the US while waiting for a green card. Adjustment of Status is seen as a preferable option, when permitted, because it offers the least interruption to an applicant’s life and does not require the breakup of a family during the green card process. However, there are a few myths about the process:

Myth: The USCIS is required to make a decision about your Form I-485 application within a specific number of days.

The Truth: The USCIS is under no legal obligation to make a decision within any specific time after your interview. In fact, adjustment of process varies widely from applicant to applicant and the amount of time it takes to process the application also varies. Some applicants may require an interview while some do not. It is true that the USCIS must make a decision about a Form N-400 within 120 day of a person’s naturalization interview, but the same restrictions do not apply to an adjustment of status application. In most cases, the USCIS tries to make decisions within four months on adjustment of status applications. However, there is no guarantee how long the process can take. Applicants can ensure that there are no undue delays in their application by completing applications correctly and by following all the instructions for adjustment of status carefully.

Myth: While at your adjustment of status interview, you will be told what the decision is about your application.

The Truth: In almost all cases, the interviewee will leave the adjustment of status interview without knowing the outcome. This is because the interview may have been given new material or documentation to review at the interview or because the applicant needs to submit additional documentation before a decision is made. In some cases, there is a wait for a final decision because security checks must be completed or because a visa number must first be made available.

Myth: In cases where adjustments of status is based on a marriage, the wife must take the husband’s last name in order to get a green card,

The Truth; Women are allowed to keep their maiden name, take their husband’s name, or take on a hyphenated name or some combination of the two names. This will not affect the adjustment of status application as women have the right to choose their name options after marriage.