Immigration Lawyer in Colorado – Izaguirre Law Firm

How to obtain the Permanent Residence or Green Card

Green Card lawyer in Colorado

We have received many questions about how to obtain the Permanent Residence in the United States, and that is why today we will talk about Adjustment of Status, the process that grants you the long-awaited “Green Card”.

In immigration, there are several paths or processes that can lead you to permanent residency, but we are going to start explaining the basic principles to understand how Adjustment of Status works.

What is an AOS?

To begin with, Adjustment of Status or AOS, is the process by which you can apply for lawful permanent resident status with the Form I-485. If your form is approved, then you will be granted a Green Card.

Eligibility, who can apply for AOS?

To apply for  AOS, the foreign national must be eligible based on its immigration status or category prior to the AOS. For example, you should check to see if you have an immediate family member who is a Permanent Resident or U.S. Citizen, or what type of Visa you entered the United States on. Here are some immigration categories that will lead to an AOS.


Immediate relative immigrant meaning that if you have an:

    • US citizen spouse
    • US citizen parents
    • US citizen siblings
    • US citizen children over 21 years old


  • LPR (Lawful permanent resident) spouse
  • LPR parents
    • LPR parents only can make a family petition for immigrants unmarried children of any age.


Employment immigrant means that you can apply for a permanent residence if your visa is employment-based.


*PS: There are many variables and exceptions under this category, we recommend you always seek the advice of an immigration attorney. Izaguirre Law Firm does not handle this type of process.


The most common are:

  • Minors (under 21 years of age) in need of protection in case of abuse, abandonment or neglect by a parent.
  • Religious worker*
  • National of Afghanistan or Iraq*

*PS: Those marked with an asterisk at Izaguirre Law Firm are not handled by us, however you can always consult with another immigration attorney who is an expert in the category you need.


It is important that you meet the following:

  • You have been granted asylum status at least 1 year ago (Approved asylum).
  • You have been admitted as a refugee at least 1 year ago (Approved refugee status).

NOTE: If your refugee/asylee status exceeds more than 1 year, and you have not submitted the Form I-485, then you will lose your AOS eligibility.

*PS: Those marked with an asterisk at Izaguirre Law Firm are not handled by us, however you can always consult with another immigration attorney who is an expert in the category you need.


Victims of Human Trafficking and Crime Victims if you:

    • Were granted T Visa at least 3 years ago.
    • Were granted U Visa at least 3 years ago.

  NOTE:  T Visas/ U Visas holders must apply for AOS before its expiration date. They are not renewed.

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Widow(er) and VAWA petitioner, meaning if you are:

    • A widow(er) of a US Citizen
    • A victim of battery or extreme cruelty committed by:
      • A US citizen spouse or former spouse
      • A US citizen parent
      • A US citizen son or daughter
      • A LPR spouse or former spouse
      • A LPR parent.

NOTE: You must have a granted I-360 form to apply for AOS.


Cuban Adjustment Act, meaning if you:

    • Are native or citizen of Cuba
    • Were inspected and admitted or paroled.
    • Are physically present in the US at the time you file your I-485 form.

NOTE: Be sure to consult with an immigration attorney all the requirements to apply for AOS. If you don’t have a valid Parole, you might not be eligible for AOS.

There are  more types of eligibilities to get the Lawful Permanent Residence Status, for more information, please visit:

What is the “visa availability”?

Immigration Attorney in Colorado Springs

Well, it is necessary to understand how the system works in order to acquire any U.S. immigrant visa and permanent residency, so we’ll need to to observe the “Visa Availability”.

First, the INA (immigration and nationality act) sets several immigrants visas every fiscal year. The US Department of State can issue these visas to non-citizens who have applied for this status (AOS). But, because there is a huge number of immigrants petitions every fiscal year, there’s a waiting time based on your Priority Date and Category of your petition.

The priority date is the date when your petition was received by the USCIS and it is located on the  I-797 (notice of action) receipt.

The Category is your type of eligibility, those mentioned above.


What is the Visa Bulletin?

A visa bulletin allows you to check your places in a visa queue, according to your Priority Date, Category and Nationality.   

The example below is the visa bulletin based on the Family category.

This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers of visas during February 2024, indicating when immigrant visa applicants should be notified to assemble and submit required documentation to the National Visa Center.

Talking to family-based immigration, these are de categories descriptions:

  • F1: Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens
  • F2A: Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents
  • F2B: Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents
  • F3: Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens
  • F4: Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens

NOTE: In order for you to apply to the AOS and obtain your Green Card, it is important to you check the Visa Bulletin to find out when you can file your I-485 form. Availability is not always immediate, and according to your category, priority date and nationality, your waiting time will be.


At Izaguirre Law Firm we can help you with your Adjustment of Status if it is based on the following categories:

  1. Relative
  2.  Special Immigrant such as Unaccompanied Minors.
  3. Humanitarian T/U Visas
  4. VAWA
  5. Cuban Adjustment


The content of this blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal consultation or recommendation. It is always advisable to consult with an immigration attorney to analyze your particular case and provide you with the possible options for which you are eligible. 

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If you are in the United States, call us to arrange your immigration status!

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