Applying for a change in your immigration status can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. It’s understandable to want an answer as soon as possible once you file for an Adjustment of Status (AOS) so you can permanently remain in the United States.

Government processes are notoriously slow, however, so it’s important to be patient as you wait for a decision on your case. Here’s what you can expect in terms of the timeline for AOS applications.

What is the AOS Timeline?

When you submit your AOS application, you can expect a notice that your paperwork has been received within a few weeks. If there were any mistakes in the application, it might be rejected at this time, or you might be asked to submit more information.

A few weeks later, you might be able to make the appointment to provide your biometric information. These are scheduled several weeks in advance.

The appointment takes about 30 minutes to complete. All you need to provide are your fingerprints and signature. The immigration office will also take a photo of you at this time.

Within about four to ten months, you will need to schedule your AOS interview. This interview usually takes place within a year of filing your application. If your interview is successful, you should have your permanent resident card within a few more months. However, the process can take longer, depending on the situation.

What Happens if My Visa Expires During AOS Processing?

Before applying for AOS, you typically need a valid visa or a visa waiver. The only exception is for people married to U.S. citizens who have already overstayed their visas. Many people who apply for AOS are concerned about their visa expiring during the AOS application process.

The good news is that once your application is in process, you will not be penalized or deported for overstaying your visa. You are allowed to stay in the United States until your application has been approved or denied.

How Can I Apply for Adjustment of Status?

If you haven’t applied for your Adjustment of Status yet, it’s important to make sure that you qualify before you get started. You don’t want your application denied because you didn’t realize that there was no green card available or your visa was not eligible for an AOS.

Immigration law is extremely complicated. Navigating it without knowledge of the U.S. legal system could jeopardize your ability to stay in the country.

It’s a good idea to work with an experienced immigration lawyer to answer your questions and evaluate your eligibility for different immigration processes before applying for AOS or any other program. To speak with our New Jersey immigration attorney, call our Hackensack office at (201) 883-9800 today.