Adjustment of Status (in Removal Proceedings)
In certain situations, a person who is in deportation (removal) proceedings can adjust their status to avoid deportation and to obtain or re-obtain a greencard. For example, a person who entered the United States with a visitor visa (B2 visa) and overstayed the authorized period of stay is deportable. However, if that person got married to a United States citizen, he or she might be eligible to adjust their status to that of a Lawful Permanent Resident, even if in deportation proceedings and even if he or she overstayed their visa by several years.
A person who is in deportation (removal) proceedings may apply for adjustment of status before the Immigration Judge if that person:
- has a qualifying relative:
- a United States citizen spouse,
- a United States citizen son or daughter who is 21 years old or older, or
- a United States citizen parent (if the person in deportation proceedings is under 21 years old).
- was inspected or paroled and admitted in the United States.
- Therefore, a person would not be eligible to adjust status if they "entered without inspection," (ewi). For example, where someone simply crossed the border without going through immigration. However, there is an exception to this rule for people who had a qualifying USC relative who filed a petition for them before April 30, 2001 (INA 245(i)).
If you already have a greencard and are deportable for a criminal conviction, you may be able to readjust your status. In other words, you may be deportable because of the criminal conviction, but you may not be inadmissible. So, you could lose your current greencard, but readjust your status to obtain a new greencard, thus avoiding deportation. You would not have to leave the United States.
Whether you are already a lawful permanent resident or have never been a lawful permanent resident, you would apply for adjustment of status in the Immigration Court before the Immigration judge. You would have to meet all of the eligibility requirements for obtaining a greencard by presenting evidence to the Immigration Court at an Individual Hearing.
Here at Shorstein, Lasnetski, & Gihon, we routinely practice before the Orlando Immigration Court. We have experience with all types of deportation cases, including Adjustment of Status. If you are eligible to adjust your status before the Immigration Court, we can represent you in court. Give us a call for a free consultation to determine if you or your loved one is eligible to adjust status to avoid deportation.