Adjustment of Status Based on an Offer of Employment
A person may come to the Houston area from another country with the intent of staying for a definite period of time to work on a project. During that stay, his or her employer may recognize positive potential for that employee to remain in the United States for permanent position. At that point, a person needs to seek an adjustment of status. This process will change the person from a "nonimmigrant," which means a person who came to the United States for a temporary, limited period of time, to "permanent resident," a person authorized to live and work in the United States indefinitely.
Houston Adjustment of Status Lawyer
If you or your employee need an adjustment of status, a dedicated Houston immigration lawyer can assist you. An adjustment of status allows a person who is in the United States for a temporary work assignment to become a lawful permanent resident who may reside in the United States indefinitely. In the future, a permanent resident may choose to apply for citizenship. Kathryn Karam is a dedicated board-certified attorney who helps employers and employees solve complicated immigration problems.
Call Karam Immigration Law today at (832) 582-0620 to schedule a consultation to discuss adjusting your status. Kathryn Karam represents people throughout the Houston area, including Cinco Ranch, Katy, Cypress, The Woodlands, Baytown, Clear Lake and Pearland.
Overview of Adjustment of Status
To work in the United States, a foreign national should seek to obtain a work-authorized visa. If the person will only be working on a certain project or in a certain capacity for a definite period of time, he or she will obtain a nonimmigrant visa. Nonimmigrant visas include the L-1, for intercompany transfers, the H-1B, for employees in a specialty occupation, and the O-1 visa, for people with extraordinary ability.
To obtain a nonimmigrant visa, the intent from the beginning must be for the worker to travel to the United States, work for a certain, defined period of time, and then return to his or her country of origin.
In some circumstances, the person who came to the United States for a temporary stay may change his or her mind and wish to stay permanently. His or her employer may see potential for a permanent position in the Houston area for the employee. Or, the worker may see greater economic or education opportunity for his or her family.
When this occurs, the employee has two options. One is to return to his or her country of origin and wait for consular processing. The other is to seek an adjustment of status, which will allow the employee to remain in the United States and work while the change is processing.'
If the intent from the beginning is for the worker to fill a permanent position, he or she has two courses of action: He/she may seek to obtain a dual intent visa, such as an H or L visa. A dual intent visa will allow a person to apply for adjustment of status in the United States in the future. If the person cannot obtain a work-authorized visa but has a job offer available, he may apply for an immigrant visa. When the person uses the immigrant visa to enter the United States, a green card will be issued to him and the employee will have "lawful permanent resident" status, meaning he or she will have most of the rights and privileges of a citizen, and may apply for naturalization after five years.
To obtain an adjustment of status, a person must be eligible for an immigrant visa. To be eligible for an employment-based visa, the employer will usually have to file a petition on the employee's behalf. In some circumstances, a Labor Certification may be required before an employer can petition for the employee. Some employees may have the option to petition for himself. The employee will fall under one of five "preference groups," each with a different expected wait time that may vary month to month. Preference groups are based on the worker's ability and the type of job he or she is expected to do.
After the petition has been filed and a visa is available, the person must file Form I-485, the application to register permanent residency or adjust status. He or she must have fingerprints taken and attend interviews. An attorney can assist with all of this preparation work, which, if done incorrectly, could result in the application being denied and the worker being required to return to his or her country.
Finding the Best Houston Attorney to Assist with Adjustment of Immigration Status
If you realize an adjustment of status may be necessary for yourself or an employee, contact a Houston immigration lawyer today. In many cases, the quicker you act, the more likely you will be able to address any issues and the greater your chance at success. Kathryn Karam assists workers and employers with immigration issues in the Houston area. Call today at (832) 582-0620 to schedule a consultation.