For non-legalized citizens, the immigration system sometimes proves harsh and unfriendly. Even when great pains are taken to heed its demands, the process is incredibly slow and arduous. But love conquers all – and your chances are all the easier with highly capable family immigration lawyer at your side. Even though adjustment of your status can be very slow, understanding your options and eliminating as many application and procedural mistakes as possible will help you maximize the speed of approval.
Many Ways To Achieve the Same Thing
Depending on where you are at in the process, adjusting legal status can take an enormously long time or be right around the corner. It depends entirely on the individual’s specific circumstances, and there are several different routes to status adjustment with their own timeframes.
Read through the options below, and determine which one (or several) may apply to you – and be well on your way to navigating the sometimes less-than-friendly immigration terrain ahead of you.
Adjustment of Status Through Marriage
Marrying an American or U.S. citizen can be one of the faster processes depending on how soon you can obtain a spousal visa, and each country grants them at their own speed. You will have to determine how fast your country’s consulates can work with U.S. immigration services to achieve the vital first step of the process and obtain your fiancé visa.
Once admitted into the country, you must get married within 90 days to the same man or woman with whom you applied for the fiancé visa – and the immigration services will check, so nothing but the most legally authorized funny business. All told, the spousal visa process can take anywhere from 11 to 52 months, with the prime determinant being the citizenship status of your fiancé (being quicker for natural citizens than naturalized citizens, for example).
Status Adjustment for Victims of Crimes
Those who have been victims of certain crimes (aka, “U nonimmigrants”) can often be fast-tracked to legal status. Beyond simply recovering from the crime itself, though, the primary purpose is to protect witnesses and informants who are a part of an ongoing investigation and legal proceeding by law enforcement.
Talk with an immigration attorney to see if you can become a lawful permanent resident more quickly (from 13 to 29 months) if you’ve been a victim of a crime and have evidence that you are actively working with U.S. law enforcement officials.
Getting Status Adjustment Through Asylum
Asylum-based status adjustments are an option, but only after being in the country for a full year after being granted asylum. Depending on other factors, this can be quite a fast or extremely slow method to adjusting your status – it can take anywhere between 7 months and 6 years to be approved. Definitely look into other bases for achieving status adjustment in order to speed up your efforts, rather than just relying on asylum alone.
Family Petition for Adjustment of Status
Aliens who have relatives that are citizens (a “qualifying relationship,” in legalese) may be able to receive quicker approval for their status adjustment application, especially for children and siblings. This is one of the fastest approval times, often taking between 8 and 14 months!
Adjusting Status Via Employment Sponsorship
Another fast and effective way of achieving status adjustment is by lining up an employment sponsor. An employer, US business, or independent sponsor willing to enter into a long-term work agreement with you could fast track your citizenship application procedure (after all, nothing typically moves legal papers faster than commercial matters around here).
If you can get an employment Green Card, as most immigrants can, do so! Your waiting time drops to about 6–9 months – and an expedited application, though pricey, could be processed in less than a month.
Is Status Adjustment Through a Tourist Visa Possible?
Technically, there is no legal precedent establishing a path to citizenship through a tourist visa by itself – and in fact, entering the country with the intention of staying long term with nothing more than a tourist visa is illegal.
However, a tourist visa in conjunction with other qualifying factors may help speed up the status adjustment process. This is one factor in particular where having an experienced immigration lawyer is not just helpful, but essential.
Achieving the Fastest Status Adjustment Possible for You!
Obviously, becoming a lawful permanent resident is much, much slower than applying for your run-of-the-mill license, library card, or frequent shopper discount program. Yet with the right advice and an experienced immigration law firm at your side, you can maximize your speed and chances of having your status adjustment application approved – and be living the good life with the ones who matter most to you in no time.