Adjustment of Status Through Marriage

When you need an adjustment of status through marriage, immigration attorneys from Manji Law, P.C. can help. Contact us to schedule an initial consultation.

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Atlanta Immigration Attorney Jameel Manji

Author: Jameel Manji, Founder, Manji Law, P.C.

Mr. Manji founded Manji Law in 2016 to follow his passion of helping people navigate the complicated immigration system. Mr. Manji graduated from Georgia State University College of Law and received Master of Taxation from the Georgia State’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business. Published on: December 12, 2019, Last Updated on: December 26, 2019.

Manji Law is your complete immigration solution. If you are seeking assistance with the Atlanta Immigration Court, please give us a call. Manji Law can provide valuable insight, assistance, and a guiding hand to help you achieve your goals.

Who Can Apply for Adjustment of Status?


Foreign nationals who are married to a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident may qualify for a change of status from non-immigrant to immigrant based on their marital status. This process is called adjustment of status through marriage.

Non-immigrants who wish to adjust their status to immigrant (permanent resident) may file adjustment of status applications while physically present in the United States, without having to leave the country. It is important to ensure that you are eligible for this process before you apply.

If you or your foreign spouse fit the description above, consult an experienced immigration attorney if you wish to bring a spouse to the USA and obtain lawful permanent residence status.

Eligibility Criteria for Adjustment of Status


You will be eligible if you meet all of the following criteria:


Physical Presence in the United States

The application must be submitted while you are physically present in the U.S. For foreigners outside of the US, a different immigration process called consular processing is followed at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their country.

Immigration Must Have Been Legal

A stamped I-94 and immigration and naturalization passport stamp, which you received upon entry into the U.S., can serve as proof of your legal immigration. Unlawful presence will result in rejection.


The Family-Based Petition Must Have Been Approved

The immigration petition must be approved by USCIS before foreign nationals can apply for a family-based visa.


No Change in Circumstances

A change in circumstances that met a requirement for the application will result in ineligibility.

Consider the scenario where a U.S. citizen husband petitions for his alien wife as an immediate relative, but their circumstances change during the application process, and they get divorced. Their petition will be denied as a result of the change in circumstances.

Changes in circumstances can occur in many different ways. If you are uncertain whether a change in your circumstances will affect your eligibility, it is important for you to speak with an Atlanta-based immigration attorney immediately.


Statutory Bars Against a Change of Status

In addition to meeting the criteria above, there is one other hurdle you must clear to qualify for a permanent resident card. No statutory bars must exist against you.

Several statutory bars prevent people from adjusting their status. The USCIS website lists them.

Applying for Adjustment of Status Through Marriage


The first step in the adjustment of status process is to file an application with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The Form I-485 must be completed and must be submitted with a host of supporting documents. In other words, it is an application to register permanent residence or to adjust status.

Many other forms would typically be submitted concurrently, depending on the applicant’s circumstances. These may include any of the following:

  • Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
  • Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
  • Form I-130A, Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary
  • Form I-864, Affidavit of Support
  • Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record
  • Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (optional)
  • Form I-131, Application for Travel Document (optional)

If USCIS Atlanta information is what you need, we can advise you. Call Manji Law, PC, today!

A Word About Supporting Documents

Checklists are a good way to ensure that you have included all of the supporting documents required by each USCIS application. The number of supporting documents can be pretty substantial. For instance, documents showing co-mingling of your and your spouse’s financial resources may be required as part of a change of status through marriage application. To prove your marital relationship is genuine, you can show your joint bank accounts, tax returns, insurance policies, and car or home titles.

Adjustment of Status Through Marriage – The Timeline


Every case is different, and USCIS often suffers backlogs, so it is hard to predict how long the process will take.

AOS Marriage-Based Green Card Timeline

At the time of writing this article, the processing time for a marriage green card for both U.S. Citizens and LPR immigrant visa applications currently takes 12-22 months for the spouse of a US citizen and 12-22 months for the spouse of a US green card holder.

You can avoid long processing times by preparing your application thoroughly and including all supporting documents in neat, easy-to-access folders.

There are, however, some USCIS offices that appear to process applications more quickly. The processing time of various offices can be found on USCIS website.

Application Cost for Status Adjustment Through Marriage


Various fees are payable depending on your circumstances and your concurrent filing.

The I-130 petition filing fee will cost $535. After approval of the initial petition, you should pay for filing your I-485, which is your green card application. This will cost you $1 225, which includes a fee of $85 for your biometrics appointment.


You Can Check The Status of Your Application Online


You can track your adjustment of status application on the USCIS website by entering your case number and checking for updates. You can access information, updates, and case status at any time. Once your application has been approved, USCIS will reflect the approval online.

How Can an Attorney Help With a Change of Status Application?

Before you file your adjustment of status application by yourself, consider whether it might be worth consulting with experienced immigration lawyers, who can handle the bulk of the work and assist you in adjusting your status.

Our understanding of the processes and the nuances of the law allows us to effectively interact with USCIS, complete the forms completely, and file them on time to keep you in the country as desired. Let us handle your marriage-based green card application so you can enjoy the benefits of immigration. Get a free case evaluation from Manji Law, PC, today.