Applying for a Greencard: Asylee or Refugee

You may adjust status to a permanent resident as an Asylee or Refugee if you’ve been physically present in the United States for at least 1 year since gaining asylum or refugee status.

Eligibility as an Asylee

To be eligible you must meet the following requirements:

  • You are physically present in the United States at the time you file your Form I-485, Adjustment of Status Application;
  • You have been physically present in the United States for at least one year after you were granted asylum;
  • You are still an asylee or refugee, or the spouse or child of a refugee;
  • You have not resettled in any other foreign country;
  • Your grant of asylum has not been terminated;
  • You are admissible to the United States for lawful permanent residence or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other form of relief; and
  • The officer will grant favorable discretion.

Eligibility as a Refugee

To be eligible you must meet the following requirements:

  • You were admitted into the United States as a refugee;
  • You are physically present in the United States at the time you file your Form I-485;
  • You have been physically present in the United States for at least one year after your admission as a refugee at the time you file your Form I-485;
  • Your refugee status has not been terminated;
  • You have not already acquired permanent resident status; and
  • You are admissible to the United States for lawful permanent residence or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other form of relief.

While there are no bars to Adjustment of Status for Asylees or Refugees, there may be a basis for inadmissibility. Such a basis may be based on Health, Criminal, Immigration or National Security grounds. It is important to verify your eligibility for a waiver of inadmissibility and prepare such a waiver with the application if eligible.

Steps to Applying

Step 1:

Apply for Adjustment of Status by filing Form I-485. Include relevant evidence showing physical presence in the United States for at least one year as an Asylee or Refugee. Don’t forget certified translations for any documents or evidence in a foreign language.

Step 2:

Look out for the I-797C Acceptance Notice which comes about two weeks after filing. Then the biometrics (fingerprinting) appointment about two weeks after the acceptance notice. The biometics appointment will be scheduled at your local USCIS service center. Be sure to follow instructions carefully on the appointment letter and take all relevant proof of identification.

Step 3:

Look out for the final adjustment of status interview. Attend the interview on the date and at the time in the letter. You will be informed of the officer’s final decision at the interview.

 

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