Green Cards / Adjustment of Status

Immigration adjustment of status lawyer Dayna Lally offers free initial phone consultations for questions about marriage-based green cards.

Visa overstay adjustment of status, and whether this is a possibility, is a concern of many people. Contact our office to see what we can do for you!


Adjustment of status is the process for applying for a green card while in the United States. Individuals outside of the United States must obtain an immigrant visa abroad through consular processing. 

An immigrant may be ineligible for adjustment of status if they are subject to one or more bars.

Some of the most common reasons for green card denials include:

  • Unlawful status;
  • Failure to maintain status; and
  • Unauthorized employment.

Certain bars do not apply to immediate relatives of United States citizens.

An immediate relative of United States citizen may apply for a green card in the United States even if: 

  • The relative is now employed, or has ever been employed, in the United States without authorization; 
  • The relative is not in lawful immigration status on the date he or she files for a green card; 
  • The relative has ever failed to continuously maintain a lawful status since entry into the United States; 
  • The relative was last admitted to Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) as a visitor under the Guam or CNMI Visa Waiver Program and is not a Canadian citizen; 
  • The relative was last admitted to the United States as a nonimmigrant visitor without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program; or 
  • The relative has ever violated the terms of his or her nonimmigrant status. 

Application Process

Applicant files a I-485 application with supporting documents with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Electronic Filing

Electronic filing is not available for I-485 applications.


The fee to file an I-485 application is $1,140. An $85 biometric services fee is required for applicants age fourteen to seventy-eight.

USCIS filing fees are not refundable, regardless of any action U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services takes on the application.

Checks should be made payable to the “U.S. Department of Homeland Security.”

Fee Waiver

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will consider a fee waiver request for an I-485 application. You can review the fee waiver guidance on the USCIS Fee Waiver website.

Processing Time

Green card applications are processed at varying speeds depending on a variety of circumstances. Visit the USCIS Processing Times website for the most up-to-date information.

Conditional Permanent Residency

Two-year green cards are given to individuals who were married less than two years at the time they applied for green card. This is known as conditional permanent residency

In order to remain a permanent resident, a conditional permanent resident must file a petition to remove the conditions of their residency during the ninety days before their two-year green card expires.

The petition is Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.

Removal of Conditions

Timely filing to remove the conditions on permanent residency is a critical step for condition permanent residents to obtain a ten-year green card.

If a conditional resident does not timely apply to remove the conditions on their permanent residence, they could lose their conditional resident status and be removed from the country.

Have an Immigration Question?

If you have a question about immigration or would like to schedule a free consultation for a marriage-based green card application, contact Dayna Lally using the contact form below.

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