The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) permits the change of an individual’s immigration status while in the United States from nonimmigrant or parolee (temporary) to immigrant (permanent) if the individual was inspected and admitted into the United States and is able to meet all required qualifications for a green card (permanent residence) in a particular category. The common term for a change to permanent status is “adjustment of status.”

The INA provides an individual two primary paths to permanent resident status. Adjustment of status is the process by which an eligible individual already in the United States can get permanent resident status (a green card) without having to return to their home country to complete visa processing.

An alternative process for an individual outside US (or who is in the United States but is ineligible to adjust status) is to obtain a visa abroad and enter the United States as a permanent resident). This pathway is referred to as “consular processing.”

Steps for Adjustment of Status:

  1. Determine Your Basis to Immigrate
    The first step in the adjustment of status process is to determine if you fit into a specific immigrant category. Most immigrants become eligible for a green card (permanent residence) through a petition filed on your behalf by a family member or employer. Others become permanent residents through first obtaining refugee or asylum status, or through a number of other special provisions.
  2. File the Immigrant Petition
    When you know what category you believe best fits your situation, in most cases, you will need to have an immigrant petition filed on your behalf.
  3. Family Based
    Family based categories require that a U.S. citizen or permanent resident relative file petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130).
  4. Employment Based
    Employment based categories most often require the intending U.S. employer to file for Alien Worker. Entrepreneurs who intend to invest significant amounts of capital into a business venture in the United States may file Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur” on their own behalf.
  5. Special Classes of Immigrants
    In some cases, certain immigrants may file a Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), and Special Immigrant. To learn more about who may file a special immigrant petition.


Contact the Law Office of Raphael M. Scheetz to discuss how we can help you.

Mr. Scheetz’s help and support were immense. He is a great Attorney, remarkable lawyer and a terrific person. He has my complete respect and gratitude.

– Anastasiya K.

Travelers coming to the US for tourism or business for ninety days or less from qualified countries may be eligible to visit the US without a visa. Currently, twenty eight countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program, including Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Uruguay.

Visitors entering on the Visa Waiver Program cannot work or study while in the US and cannot stay longer than ninety days or change their status to another category, unless they get married to a United States citizen.


Contact the Law Office of Raphael M. Scheetz to discuss how we can help you.



I was so lucky that Mr. Scheetz was my Immigration Lawyer. Everything seemed to turn from black to white after meeting with him. His immediate attention and action were extremely impressive. Thank you!

– Gina B.

I am so grateful for what Mr. Scheetz did for my cousin William J., he saved his life. And also he proved me wrong. My family and I are eternally thankful for all his efforts.

– Mike N.