This blog discusses adjustment of status while in removal proceedings. In a some of our earlier entries, we have discussed the family-based petition process and how adjustment of status works. Those previous entries were written under the premise that the green cardapplicant was not in removal proceedings. This entry will attempt to explain what an adjustment of status applicant should expect if they are currently in removal proceedings while trying to apply for their green card.
Impact of Removal Proceedings on Adjustment of Status Applicant
If an applicant for a green card through a family-based petition is currently in removal proceedings, it is important for their immigration attorney to have this information. This is because the process changes once removal proceedings are initiated. An immigration judge does not have the authority to adjudicate an I-130 petition, so the applicant’s attorney should file Form I-130, Petition for an Alien Relative first with the USCIS and have that approved before they continue to the next step.
Taking the Appropriate Steps in Immigration Court
When an applicant is in removal proceedings and trying to adjust status, the USCIS is notified. After being notified, USCIS no longer has jurisdiction to make a decision on the applicant’s I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status and this decision now rests with the immigration court. Form I-485 must be filed with the applicant’s local immigration court, along with all supporting documentation.
Once received and calendared for a hearing, the immigration judge will review the applicant’s adjustment of status packet at an individual hearing. The applicant will have to demonstrate that they are not otherwise inadmissible to the United States and that they have a qualifying relationship to the petitioner in their application. If the application is approved by the immigration judge, an order will be issued to that effect and the applicant will receive their green card at a later time.
It would be important for you to consider setting up a consultation with an attorney at Gilles Law, PLLC. You can reach us at 980-272-8438 at our office in Uptown Charlotte. We are here to assist with your inquiries.
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