Become a Permanent Resident While in the U.S. (Adjust Status)
- Am I Eligible to Adjust to Green Card - Permanent Resident Status?
- The Process of Adjusting to Green Card - Permanent Resident Status
- How to Apply for Green Card to Become a Permanent Resident While in the US
- Work Permits
- Foreign Travel
- Checking My Green Card Application Status
- How Can I Appeal the Denial of My Green Card Application?
- HELP! with Adjusting to Green Card Status - Permanent Resident Status
Am I Eligible to Adjust to Green Card - Permanent Resident Status?
To find out who may apply for a Green Card (permanent residence) while in the United States, see: Green Card Eligibility to Become a Permanent Resident While in the U.S. (Adjust Status)
Please note: your Green Card (permanent residence) status will be conditional if it is based on a marriage that was less than two years old on the day you were given permanent residence. For more information, see Removing Conditional Resident Status (for Marriage-Based Green Card).
The Process of Adjusting to Green Card - Permanent Resident Status
An immigrant (also called a Green Card holder or "lawful permanent resident") is a foreign national who has been granted the privilege of living and working permanently in the United States. You must go through a multi-step process to obtain a Green Card and become an immigrant (for more details see Obtaining a Green Card: The US Immigration Process).
- The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must approve an immigrant petition for you, usually filed by an employer or relative. For more information on immigrant petitions and their requirements, see Family Immigration Green Cards, Employment Immigration Green Cards, or EB-5 Investment Green Card Immigration Visa.
- The State Department must give you an immigrant visa number, even if you are already in the United States. For more information, see Immigrant Visa Numbers.
- If you are already in the United States, you may apply to adjust to permanent resident status to obtain your Green Card. (If you are outside the United States, you will be notified to go to the local U.S. consulate to complete the processing for a Green Card immigrant visa.)
This page describes how to adjust to permanent resident status if you are in the U.S., to obtain your Green Card.
How to Apply for Green Card to Become a Permanent Resident While in the US
See Green Card Application to Become a Permanent Resident While in the U.S. (Adjust Status) These application procedures will help you identify what you need to do. After you submit your application materials, you will be asked to go to an USCIS office to answer questions about your applications.
Applicants for adjustment to permanent resident status (Green Cards) are eligible to apply for a work permit while their cases are pending. You should use USCIS Form I-765 to apply for a work permit. You do not need to apply for a work permit once you adjust to permanent resident status (have Green Card status). As a legal permanent resident, your Green Card (Permanent Resident Card) will prove that you have a right to live and work in the United States permanently. Please see Obtaining a Work Permit for more information.
If you are applying for adjustment to Green Card permanent resident status, you must receive advance permission to return to the United States if you are traveling outside the United States. This advance permission is called Advance Parole. If you do not apply for Advance Parole before you leave the country, you will abandon your application with the USCIS and you may not be permitted to return to the United States. For more information, see: Advance Parole: Foreign Travel with a Pending Green Card Immigration Application.
Checking My Green Card Application Status
You may check the status of your application or case online, by phone, or by contacting an appropriate USCIS office. For details see USCIS Case Status: Check USCIS Case Status for Visas and Immigration. You may also want to review US Visa Wait Times and USCIS Immigration Processing Times. For more assistance, see HELP! (below).
How Can I Appeal the Denial of My Green Card Application?
If your application to adjust to permanent residence status (Green Card) is denied, you will receive a letter that will tell you why the Green Card application was denied. The process to remove you from the country will begin as soon as your Green Card application is denied. You will be allowed to have an immigration judge review the denial of your Green Card application during removal proceedings. During this review, USCIS must prove that the facts on your Green Card application were untruthful and that your Green Card application was properly denied. If the immigration judge decides to remove you from the country, you may appeal this decision.
Generally, you may appeal within 33 days after the immigration judge decides to remove you from the country. After your appeal form and a required fee are processed, the appeal will be referred to the Board of Immigration Appeals in Washington, D.C. For more information, see How to Appeal if USCIS Denied My Petition or Application (US Immigration, Green Card Denial).
- Have a specific question? To help you find an answer quickly, we have placed "Ask a Visa & Immigration Lawyer" boxes on this page. Simply type a question in any of the boxes to receive a response online from a visa and immigration lawyer.
- For assistance within the U.S., contact your nearest USCIS District Office or Sub Office. This link provides telephone numbers, addresses, directions, office hours, local filing procedures, and more.
- Or, call the national USCIS toll-free information service at 1-800-375-5283.
- If you have questions while outside the U.S., contact the nearest U.S. Consulate.
- You may also want to seek the advice of an immigration attorney (this link will help you find the right lawyer for your case), or an immigrant assistance organization. A list of accredited organizations and individuals is maintained by the Executive Office of Immigration Review, which also maintains a list of free legal service providers.