Resources on Adjustment of Status

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Recent changes to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services policy make it increasingly difficult for many TPS beneficiaries to adjust status through family-based petitions. This practice advisory reviews these policy changes as well as options for adjustment that may be available to help certain TPS beneficiaries adjust status, even if they initially entered the United States without inspection.

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CLINIC, along with Democracy Forward Foundation, Montagut & Sobral PC, and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, represents seven Temporary Protected Status beneficiaries and CARECEN in a lawsuit against the Trump administration challenging an unlawful policy change that harms many TPS beneficiaries.

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Under new Department of Homeland Security and Department of State regulations, having health insurance is a positive factor in determining whether an adjustment of status or immigrant visa applicant is likely to become a public charge. This resource reviews the types of health insurance that may be available to intending immigrants, how each type of insurance is viewed by DHS and DOS, and the types of documentation that must be submitted to show enrollment or future enrollment in a health insurance policy.

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently amended its Policy Manual to confirm that conditional resident status “terminates” when the agency issues a formal notice to that effect. This resource offers needed clarifications on the change.

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USCIS has issued new guidance on submission of medical examinations (Form I-693), effective November 1, 2018. Under the new guidance, medical examinations submitted on or after November 1, 2018 must have been signed by the civil surgeon within 60 days of submission. Once submitted, they will be valid for two years from the date of civil surgeon signature. 

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Asylees are able to adjust status after one year from the grant of asylum status pursuant to INA §209(b). But what happens to that asylum status after adjustment? The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) recently answered that question where it held that after an asylum seeker adjusts status to become a lawful permanent resident, the prior asylum status has “terminated.” Matter of N-A-I-, 27 I&N Dec. 72 (BIA 2017).

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On June 26, 2017, USCIS released a new version of Form I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status, along with a revised I-485 Supplement A for those applicants qualifying for adjustment of status under INA Sec. 245(i). In addition, USCIS has also released a new version of I-485 Supplement J that pertains to certain employment-based adjustment applicants. Each new application form is accompanied by revised instructions.

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Enacted in 1966, the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA) allows Cubans and their spouses and children to become permanent residents through adjustment of status. The law provides humanitarian relief to Cubans who are presumed to be political refugees and cannot seek residence through other avenues. To qualify for Cuban adjustment as a principal applicant, one must be a native or citizen of Cuba; have been inspected, admitted or paroled; be physically present in the United States for more than one year; and be admissible to the United States for lawful permanent residency.

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The October Visa Bulletin contains an important change in the timing of when family- and employment-based immigrant visa applicants can apply for adjustment of status.

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In a recent decision the Board of Immigration Appeals held that after-acquired derivatives are not eligible to be considered “grandfathered” for purposes of eligibility for section 245(i) adjustment of status. Matter of Estrada, 26 I&N Dec. 180 (BIA 2013).  This decision clarifies but is consistent with prior USCIS memos interpreting this provision.