Wisconsin Immigration Lawyers in Milwaukee

Adjustment of Status - Wisconsin Immigration Lawyers in Milwaukee

The United States is a place where everyone has a chance to make their dreams come true with hard work and dedication. In short, it is the land of opportunity. To be sure, all the Wisconsin immigration lawyers in Milwaukee at Gamino Law Offices, LLC are proud to be a part of the immigration process.

United States Legal Permanent Residency through Adjustment of Status

We look forward to serving foreigners from any nation who are physically present in the United States and hoping to remain. With this in mind, our Wisconsin immigration lawyers in Milwaukee support our clients’ goals to become part of the next generation of American immigrants. To this end, we assess every option to fulfill our client’s desire to get a green card. We also specifically review whether our client can adjust status without the need to return to their home country for visa processing. Our beautiful country offers the promise of personal and political freedom, religious tolerance, and economic opportunity for you and your family. Contact us to find out if you are eligible to adjust your status while you are in the United States and remain in the U.S. legally as a permanent resident.

Wisconsin Green Card Attorney

FAQ: Adjustment of Status

  • What are the possible bases to adjust status?
  • What are the steps to becoming a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)?
  • When will I be eligible to adjust my status?
  • How can I check my status?
  • What if my application for adjustment of status application is denied?

Getting a green card: bases to adjust status and become a Lawful Permanent Resident (LRP) in the United States

What are the possible bases to adjust status while in the United States?

Family based immigration options:

Family sponsored immigration petitions must specifically be filed by a relative who is a US citizen or lawful permanent resident. To sponsor a qualifying family member, you must properly complete form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative and all accompanying documents.

Employment based immigration options

Work sponsored immigration categories must generally be filed by your employer. Specifically, to sponsor a qualifying employee, the employer must submit form an I-140, petition for alien worker form.  However, entrepreneurs can file for themselves if they plan to make a significant financial investment in a business venture using an I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur form.

Special classes of immigrants:

 An I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), and Special Immigrant form may be filed by any of the following people seeking a green card:

  • Amerasians
  • A widow or widower of deceased U.S. citizen within 2 years of after the death of your spouse
  • Anyone who is the victim of domestic violence​ who is also the spouse or child of a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident
  •  A special immigrant, defined as: 
    • Religious Worker
    • Employees of the Panama Canal Company, canal zone Government employee, U.S. government in the canal zone employee 
    • Physician
    • Family Members or Employees of International Organizations
    • Juvenile Court Dependent
    • Armed Forces Member
    • Afghan or Iraqi nationals who supported the U.S. Armed Forces as a translator
    • Afghan national who worked for the U.S. government in Afghanistan
Humanitarian programs:
Refugee Status /Asylum 

You may be eligible to petition for adjustment of status if you have been persecuted or fear persecution due to race, religion, nationality, or social/political membership. The applicable form is I-589. However, you must file your refugee or asylum petition within 1 year of arrival.  You may also bring your children, using I-730 Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition.

 Victims of Human Trafficking and other Crime Victims

If you have been a victim of human trafficking you can request temporary immigration benefits. In particular, the relief available under this provision is a T visa, which is a non-immigrant visa. You can find information on this visa for victims of severe trafficking of persons here.

 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

DACA refers to a non-immigrant discretionary decision by USCIS to allow people who came to the US as children to remain without fear of removal. It is renewable every 2 years and provides a path to apply for work authorization.  Form I-821D was the form used to request DACA status. However, political changes have resulted in changes to the program more recently. You can find more information on DACA as a result of the changes here.

 T Visa

A T visa is a non-immigrant visa providing protection to victims of human trafficking during the investigation and prosecution of severe trafficking of person cases. You can learn more about T visas here.

U Visa

A U visa is a non-immigrant visa providing protection to crime victims suffering substantial mental or physical abuse from the crime during the investigation or prosecution of the crime. You can learn more about the U visa for crime victims here.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

Temporary protected status allows you to stay in the U.S. for a limited time when extraordinary conditions temporarily prevent a safe return to your Homeland Security designated TPS home country. However, this is not an immigrant visa. Temporary protected status is just that, temporary. Temporary protected status is often due to ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster or other temporary and extraordinary conditions.  You can learn more about Temporary protected status and Form I-821 by clicking the following link.

Deferred Enforced Departure 

Deferred enforced departure is a non-immigration status that allows qualified individuals to stay in the U.S. and apply for work for a limited time according to a presidential directive. Individuals with deferred enforced departure are not subject to removal during the designated period of time. You can learn more specifically about deferred enforced departure here.

Humanitarian Parole 

Humanitarian parole may authorize an otherwise inadmissible applicant to the United States to come to the U.S. The authorization allows the applicant to come to the United States for a limited time due to a compelling emergency, urgent humanitarian reason, or significant public benefit. You can learn more specifically about humanitarian parole here. If you need to re-enter the United States consider whether you need to submit form I-131,  Application for Travel Document. However, if you file Form I-131, to request an advance parole document and depart the United States without having an advance parole document that is valid for the entire time you are abroad, USCIS will consider your Form I-131 abandoned.

You can learn more about humanitarian programs in United States immigration here.

What are the steps to adjust my status and remain in the U.S. legally?

Determine what specific immigration category for which you may qualify

Review the immigration categories and requirements above for a good summary of possible immigration classifications for which you may be eligible.  Our Wisconsin immigration lawyers in Milwaukee will also review your situation to help you determine what visa petitions may be available to you and the expected timelines for each.  While most people only file one immigration petition at a time, it is possible to file in more than one category for which you qualify.

File your immigration petition for a visa

Depending ​on which category you are eligible to adjust your status under, you may be able to file the petition to register permanent residency and adjust your status at the same time as your visa petition (concurrent filing).  Most categories require that your petition receive approval before you may file to become a permanent resident, but immediate relatives of US citizens and others who are eligible to have a visa immediately available may also file concurrently.  

Determine your visa availability

You may petition to adjust your status and become a lawful permanent resident once a visa is available for you.​

File your application

File your application to Register Permanent Residency or Adjust Status. Use form I-485.

Appear at your appointment 

Appear at your appointment at an Application Support Center.  You must appear before an immigration official to have your biometrics collected, normally including fingerprints, a photograph, and your signature.  You will receive a notice of this appointment.​

Attend any requested USCIS interview.  

Not all applications require an interview, but you may be required to appear for an interview to answer questions about your application.  If you are notified of an interview, it is required to attend.  You must also bring any originals of all documents submitted in support of your application regardless of whether they are expired, including your passport, official travel documents, and I-94 form​.

Wait for the decision.  

You will be notified of the decision to grant your adjustment of status to a lawful permanent resident by mail.  If you change your address, be sure to notify USCIS.  You may notify USCIS of your change of address online or using Form AR-11.

When will I be eligible to adjust my status?

​You may petition to adjust your status and become a lawful permanent resident once your immigrant visa is available.  If a visa is immediately available you may file your application to register permanent status I-485 form (or other petition based on your visa category) with your immigrant visa application. See concurrent filing requirements for more information here

How can I check my status?

​You may check visa availability and priority dates online here.  If you have a specific question about your petition and to receive information in addition to visa availability and priority dates you may call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283. Similarly, you can check your application’s status online at “My Case Status“.  

What if my application for adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident (LPR) is denied?

​The decision you receive in the mail will indicate if you can appeal the denial of your petition to adjust your status.  However, some decisions can not be appealed.  If you are able to appeal the decision denying you legal permanent residency your appeal must normally be filed within 30 days of the decision having been served, but some cases have shorter deadlines.  Sometimes you may file a motion to reopen or reconsider the decision to deny adjustment of status.  Both appeals and motions to reopen/reconsider must normally be filed using a Notice of Appeal or Motion, form I-290B.

Additional resources: adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident (LPR / Green Card Holder) for aliens in the U.S.:

Organizations in Southeastern Wisconsin dedicated to helping immigrants:

Catholic Charities
Milwaukee Refugee Resettlement
Waukesha Immigrant Assistance

Lutheran Social Services
Refugee and Resettlement Assistance

UMOS – Housing and Transitional Jobs

Voces de la Frontera

Wisconsin Department of Children and Families
Refugee Programs Section
819 North 6th Street, Room 670
Milwaukee, WI 53203-1606

Finally, contact US immigration lawyers in Milwaukee to assist you with any of your Wisconsin immigration law needs today. Also, visit our US Immigration Resources Page for more information.