People who are lawfully present in Georgia with non-immigrant visas might wonder how they might be allowed to remain beyond the expiration of their visas. Depending on the type of non-immigrant visa, it might be possible for a person to apply for an adjustment of status to allow him or her to remain in the U.S. as an immigrant.

A person’s eligibility to adjust their status will depend on whether they entered the U.S. legally and the basis for immigration. For example, there may be differences based on whether the adjustment of status is for family, employment, a special immigrant classification or humanitarian purposes.

In cases in which the adjustment of status will be based on a family or employment relationship, the family member or employer will have to file a petition on behalf of the immigrant. For example, if the adjustment of status is based on a marriage to a lawful permanent resident or citizen, the U.S. citizen spouse or lawful permanent resident will need to file a petition on behalf of his or her spouse. Similarly, employment-based immigration begins with the employer filing a petition on behalf of the employee to adjust his or her status. Certain special categories of immigrants are allowed to file petitions on their own behalf. Finally, some humanitarian programs do not require petitions to be filed for adjustments of status.

People who are lawfully present in the U.S. with non-immigrant visas might want to talk to experienced immigration law attorneys about their eligibility to adjust their statuses. An attorney may review the facts and circumstances and explain the potential ways that a person might be able to seek an adjustment of status to secure a green card. The lawyer may also review a petition to ensure that it is complete and contains the types of supporting documentation that might be needed.