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Adjustment of status is the name for the method used to apply for lawful permanent residency in the United States (or applying for a Green Card) when the applicant is already In U.S. One of its biggest benefits is that it eliminates the need for applicants seeking Green Cards to return to their home countries to complete visa processing.

Applicants outside of the United States, must obtain their visas overseas through consular processing.

How to Get a Green Card through Adjustment of Status

1. See if you qualify to apply for a Green Card

Under U.S. immigration laws, there are numerous options for applying for a Green Card.  However, the prerequisites for adjustment of status may vary depending on the classification that you are applying under. So the first step in the adjustment of status process is to see which category matches your circumstances. Go to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)  Green Card Eligibility Categories page to view all of the classifications.  Once you identify a suitable category, go to the specific page that lists what the eligibility requirements are.

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2. You or someone else must file an immigrant petition for you

In most cases, Green Card applicants must fill out at least two forms—an immigrant petition and a Green Card application. More often than not, a relative who already has a Green Card or who is a U.S. citizen, or an employer must complete the petition on your behalf. However, there are some situations in which you may qualify to file it yourself.

The forms used most often are:

Other petitions include:

In the vast majority of cases, an applicant pursuing lawful permanent resident status through adjustment of status must have an approved immigrant petition prior to filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Depending on your immigrant classification, however, it may be possible to file Form I-485 when the immigrant petition is filed or while the immigrant petition is pending. This is called “concurrent filing.” For more information on concurrent filing, visit the USCIS  Concurrent Filing page. You can also visit  the  Green Card Eligibility Categories page to determine if an immigrant petition is or is not required for each category.

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3. Check visa availability (if applicable)

In general, you cant file your Form I-485 until a visa is available in your category. Comprehensive information about this requirement can be found on  Visa Availability and Priority Dates page, the Adjustment of Status Filing Charts, and the Visa Bulletin on the Department of State website. To learn about exceptions to the visa availability requirement, please check your specific immigrant category for more information.

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4. File Form I-485

At this point, if you are already in the United States and meet all of the requirements for adjustment of status, you can file Form I-485. For detailed information about how to do so, see the Form I-485 instructions and the web page for your immigrant category.  If you are applying to adjust your status to lawful permanent resident under section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), you must complete both Form I‑485 and Form I-485 Supplement A, Adjustment of Status Under Section 245(i).

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5. Go to Your Biometric Services Appointment

After you file your Form I-485, USCIS will send you a notice about your biometrics services appointment at a local Application Support Center (ASC). This is where you will  provide your fingerprints, photograph, and/or signature. The notice will include the date, time, and location of the appointment. USCIS uses your biometrics to verify your identity and conduct required background and security checks. During the appointment, USCIS will ask you to sign an official acknowledgment certifying, for example, that you reviewed all the information in your application and that all the information in your application was complete, true, and correct at the time you filed it. If you do not sign the acknowledgment or fail to show up at your biometrics appointment without informing USCIS and seeking permission to reschedule your appointment, your Form I-485 may be denied. See Preparing for Your Biometrics Services Appointment to learn more.

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6. Go to your interview (if necessary)

USCIS officials will review your case to determine whether an interview is necessary. If you are selected for an interview, you must go to a USCIS office to answer questions regarding your Form I‑485. USCIS will send you a notice with the date, time, and location of the interview. When you come to your interview, you (and the person who filed the immigrant petition for you, if applicable) must bring originals of all supporting paperwork submitted with the Form I-485 application. This includes passports, official travel documents, and Form I-94, regardless of whether or not they are current.

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7. Respond to request for additional evidence (if necessary)

You may get a request for additional evidence from USCIS if:

  • You initially failed to provide all of the required evidence;
  • The evidence you submitted is no longer valid; or
  • USCIS needs more information to determine your eligibility.

The official request will indicate what you must provide. It will also inform you about where to send the evidence and the deadline for doing so. If you do not respond to the request promptly, your Form I-485 may be denied. Not all applicants receive a request for additional evidence.

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8. Check your case status

Visit check your case status online to monitor the progress of your application, or call the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 to verify the status of your Form I-485. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability: TTY 800-767-1833. Be prepared to give the USCIS representative specific information about your application, such as your receipt number, A-Number, name, and date of birth.

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9. Receive a decision

When USCIS makes a decision on your application,  you will get a written decision notice. If your application is approved, you generally will receive an approval notice first and then receive your actual Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) shortly thereafter. If USCIS denies your application, the decision notice will include the reason(s) for the denial and applicable grounds for appeal (if any).   Even if you cannot appeal, you may qualify to file a motion to reopen or reconsider. Both appeals and motions are filed on Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.To learn more, see the USCIS Questions and Answers: Appeals and Motions page.

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Check your Eligibility, Register, Begin your Forms, Sign & Pay when you’re Ready.

Our innovative online system allows you to figure out exactly which case or immigration benefit you

are likely eligible for, just by answering a few simple questions. After that, our system will allow you to register in our online client portal for free; with the assigned case you’re likely eligible for. You’ll be able to begin working on your case for free, by filling out our easy to understand forms (that become official USCIS forms) automatically, with our software. If you like our system and want to retain us for our Attorney Application Review service, you will be able to sign our representation agreement electronically and make your first payment.

Schedule and have your Initial Consultation with your Attorney

After you have made the minimum payment, you will be prompted to schedule your initial

consultation with your attorney. Your attorney will then contact you on the date and at the time you select. During the Consultation, your attorney will verify that you are indeed eligible for the case our software assigned, and that it is the best option for you. They will then instruct you on how to properly continue to fill out your assigned Immigration Forms, and about any required or recommended supporting documentation for your case type. Your attorney will also seek to address any questions or concerns you may have, about your individual process and petition

Finish completing your Forms, your Attorney Checks your Petition, and you Submit

You will use our innovative software system to continue to fill out the necessary forms for

your case, and any supporting documentation. Then when you have completed everything, your attorney will check your USCIS forms for accuracy, completeness, adherence to USCIS standards and procedures, and any possible ineligibility/inadmissibility grounds that might come up. Your attorney will tell you how best to address any problems with your petition that they observe, and then you will make the necessary and/or recommended changes. If you elected for the add-on service of having your attorney check your supporting documentation, they will also give you feedback on that. Once you have made the proper changes, you will print your petition, sign where indicated, and then send it off to USCIS in the pre-addressed and pre-paid envelope, we provide. From there, you’ll only have to make sure to respond to any ensuing correspondence or requests from USCIS, should there be any.
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Our online tool makes it so easy to complete your immigration paperwork

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Check your Eligibility, Register, Sign (or Schedule a Consultation First).

Begin by answering one of our online Eligibility Quizzes. If all goes well, our software will tentatively

assign you a case. You will then be able to register, create your profile, and request an individualized price quote for your case–all for free. We will get back to you with an individualized price quote shortly. You can then sign our electronic retainer at the quoted price (subject to certain reservations). Or, if you prefer, you can schedule and pay for a consultation, before signing. If you choose to make us your attorneys by signing right away; you will use our secure online system to make your first payment, and then you will still be prompted to schedule a consultation. To ethically and most effectively serve you, our Full Attorney Representation Service always begins with a consultation.

Have your Initial Consultation with your Attorney and let them get to work.

Your attorney will contact you as scheduled, for your consultation. They will verify your eligibility for

the case our software pre-selected, and make sure it is actually the best option for you. Your attorney will detail the steps for handling your specific immigration matter, and render you any necessary and pertinent legal advice. Addressing your questions, and requesting any documents and information that you’ll need you to provide (such as birth certificates), will also be priorities of the consultation. If you did not already retain Zontlaw formally, your attorney will send you a price quote (with the $150 dollar consultation fee deducted from the cost of your representation); after the consultation. You can then formally sign and retain us as your attorneys. After you make your first payment, your attorney will proceed to the next step. If you have already retained us, you’ll make your first payment if you haven’t already (the one after the $150 minimum), and your attorney will automatically proceed to the next step.

Your Attorney Compiles your Case, you Sign, and your Attorney Submits.

Your attorney prepares all necessary USCIS forms and any supporting materials in their power. If

there is supporting documentation that only you as the client have access to (ex: former employer letters), they will tell you exactly what you need to do and provide you with samples, so you can get the correct documentation. Once everything is ready, your attorney will compile your case into a professional legal petition, with a cover letter and a table of contents that will please USCIS and/or the other immigration authorities. They will check everything again, and send it to you to print and sign, via our secure online system. You will print and sign your completed case, and mail it to us in the envelope we provide. Your attorney will verify that you signed in the correct places, and they will send it off to the correct USCIS Dropbox, processing center, or other authority. It is possible that USCIS or other immigration authorities may request additional documentation/clarification regarding your petition. Your attorney will handle any such requests, communicating with you as required.
How our Legal Services Work page

Our online tool makes it so easy to complete your immigration paperwork

Start my Application


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Where and what

Personalized Guidance and USCIS Fees and Instructions on where to file, free shipping label to USCIS

Up-to-date Forms

Our experienced immigration professionals check the website content daily to keep up with changes in laws or forms required.

Comprehensive forms

Answer a few simple questions and our innovative system will generate a complete form and ready to be presented

Error Checking

Our team of professionals will check all your answers to make sure that they are accurate, complete and ready to be submitted

Evidence Checklist

Once you assemble and upload all required documents, we will check if the evidence is correct and will provide a cover letter.


choose your attorney

With more than a decade in the field, Julia Greenberg has earned a reputation as a highly successful immigration attorney. Since 2006, she has represented countless corporate and individual clients in complex matters ranging from removal (deportation) to asylum, family, business and investor’s petitions, and employment-based cases.

Authorized to practice in immigrant courts throughout the United States, Ms. Greenberg may also appear before the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Northern, and Eastern districts of New York, and the New York Supreme Court. Ms. Greenberg takes pride in helping clients who have been unable to get satisfactory results elsewhere. Her honesty and compassion, combined with her expertise and vast knowledge of immigration law make her a formidable opponent in court – resulting in a long list of satisfied clients and positive referrals.

Outside of court, Ms. Greenberg often addresses Congress regarding relevant legislation. She also devotes her spare time to making presentations at local events, where she answers questions for New York’s immigrant community.Ms. Greenberg is a member of the New York City Bar Association, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), where she is a member in good standing in its New York Chapter. Ms. Greenberg is also fluent in Russian.




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