When we talk about adjustment of status, we typically think about a newlywed couple where one spouse is a U.S. citizen and the other is not. Much of the information out there about the adjustment of status focuses on the types of documents and questions that the couple should expect USCIS to want and ask.
But couples aren’t the only ones who apply for adjustment of status. Adult children who are U.S. citizens who have non-U.S. citizen parents often apply to those parents. This is especially true as the parent becomes older and the child wants the family to be closer together. The forms are the same as for married couples: an I-130 to establish the relationship, the I-765 work card, the I-864 affidavit of support, and the I-485 application for adjustment of status.
I’ve been at several interviews for child-parent adjustment of status cases. They struck me as a little bit odd. The relationship is typically established just by the birth certificate. There is no requirement that they present the amount of documentation that married couples have to provide. If the parent and child are listed on the same birth certificate, that should be all it takes to establish the relationship. Unless the parent had any sort of complicating factors such as an old immigration record or criminal infraction, the interviews were over and done within ten minutes.
As of late, USCIS has realized that not all adjustment of status applications need to go through an interview process. Certain applications are approved at the Service Center – that is, without any interview taking place. This can only happen with perfectly prepared applications and where the client has an absolutely clean record.
In the past two weeks, we have had two clients get approved for adjustment of status without having to set foot in the local USCIS office. This saves time and stress for everyone. Not only do my clients appreciate a faster adjudication, but it frees USCIS to conduct interviews on other cases faster.
We often complain that common sense isn’t so common in the field of immigration law, but I do appreciate and recognize this effective common-sense program that USCIS has started.