Do I Have to Maintain Status Once I Have Filed the Adjustment of Status?

To file an adjustment of status application (or green card application) from within the US, the form I-485 is filed with USCIS. However, with certain exceptions, a person must be in valid immigration status at the time of filing the adjustment of status application with USCIS.

Many times though clients ask if they must maintain the nonimmigrant status while the I-485 adjustment of status application is pending with USCIS.

Period of Stay Authorized By the Attorney General

Generally speaking, once a person has filed the adjustment of status application, the person is considered to be in a period of stay authorized by the attorney general. This period of authorized stay continues until a decision is made on the application. Therefore, generally, it is not strictly required that a person maintain nonimmigrant status while their I-485 application for permanent residence is pending.

Best Practices for Filing & Sleeping Well

However, at Sumner Immigration Law, we like to advise for the worst possibility so our clients are well-prepared and hope for the best outcome. Therefore, we generally recommend that a person maintain nonimmigrant status, if possible, until the I-485 is approved. That way if for some reason the I-485 is unexpectedly denied the applicant at least has a nonimmigrant status to fall back on while strategizing for the next step. That said, in some instances it is not possible to maintain nonimmigrant status, or not desired. Further, in some instances it may not be possible to maintain nonimmigrant status – for example, an F-1 student may not be able to travel internationally and return on the F-1 visa once the I-485 is filed. Therefore, whether you maintain status or not, it is important to speak with an experienced immigration attorney to make sure you increase the chances for smooth processing.

Recent blog posts

May
26
2021
We’re entering the season for summer travel for vacation and to visit family and friends! More people have been vaccinated, and travel is more feasible (in some ways) than last summer. However, foreign nationals wanting to travel must plan stra… Read More
May
4
2021
Traveling overseas for an extended period of time when you have a green card (permanent residence card) has always been tricky. However, it has become even trickier during the Covid pandemic. This is the second of a series of blog posts about traveli… Read More
Apr
21
2021
Traveling overseas for an extended period of time when you have a green card (permanent residence card) has always been tricky. However, it has become even trickier during the Covid pandemic. We’re publishing a series of blog posts about travel… Read More

Read More Blog Posts

“I have worked with a lot of immigration attorneys in the past for various needs for family and friends. I have not had to find a new attorney since I got in touch with Emily. I have known her since her early days as an attorney and she was the best o… Read More"
– Derek M.
“My Green Card got approved! Thank you very much for your help, I highly appreciate it! The way you have executed the filing procedure was simply perfect, from filing labor to GC approval, your documentation and communication with me was the best. I w… Read More"
– Kishore

More Client Reviews