How Do I Become a Lawful Permanent
Resident While In The United
How Do I Become a Lawful
Permanent Resident While in the United
An immigrant 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 become an immigrant. In most cases, USCIS must first approve an
immigrant petition for you, usually filed by an employer or relative. Then, an
immigrant visa number must be available to you, even if you are already in the United States.
After that, if you are already in the United
States, you may apply to adjust to permanent resident status (If you are outside
the United States, you will
be notified to go to the local U.S.
consulate to complete the processing for an immigrant visa.)
Where Can I Find the Law?
The Immigration and Nationality Act is a law that governs immigration in the United States.
For the part of the law concerning most types of permanent resident status,
please see INA § 245. The specific eligibility requirements and procedures for
adjusting to permanent residence status are included in the Code of Federal
Regulations [CFR] at 8 CFR § 245.
Who is Eligible?
To find out who may apply for permanent residence in the United States,
please see eligibility information.
(Please note, your 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, please see How Do I
Remove the Conditions on Permanent Resident Based on Marriage?.)
How Do I Apply?
To find out how you can apply to become a lawful permanent resident of the United States,
please click here to see Application Procedures, which will help you identify
what you need to do. After you submit your application materials, you will be
asked to go to a USCIS office to answer questions about your applications.
Will I Get a Work Permit?
Applicants for adjustment to permanent resident status 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. As a lawful permanent resident,
you should receive a permanent resident card that will prove that you have a
right to live and work in the United
States permanently. Please see How Do I Get
a Work Permit? for more information.
Can I Travel Outside the United States?
If you are applying for adjustment to 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 obtain Advance Parole before you leave the country, you will abandon your application with USCIS and
you may not be permitted to return to the United States. For more
information, please see How Do I Get a Travel Document?.
How Can I Check the Status of
Please contact the USCIS office that received your application.
You should be prepared to provide USCIS staff with specific information about
your application. Please click here for complete instructions on checking the
status of your application. Please click here for more information on USCIS
How Can I Appeal?
The only applications for permanent residency (Form I-485) which can be
appealed to USCIS are those based on a marriage which took place while the
alien's application was in process or those based on Section 586 of Public Law
106-429, adjustment of status for certain nationals of Vietnam, Cambodia and
Laos. These appeals must be made to the Administrative Appeals Unit (AAU).
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, please see, How Do I Appeal A Denial of My Application or