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Adjustment of Status

Adjustment of status is a process, under Section 245 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, that allows those eligible to obtain permanent residency status (green card) while being physically present in the United States.

A key requirement to qualify for adjustment of status is that the applicant must have entered the United States legally. He or she must have been “inspected and admitted” into the U.S., at a port of entry. The second key requisite is that the applicant must be eligible to receive an immigrant visa, which must be current.

The best example of immigrant visas is those that a person obtains through an immediate relative petition—the petition of a U.S citizen spouse, adult son or daughter, or parent. We have many years of experience helping immigrants adjust status. Talk to an experienced lawyer at Ayala about your adjustment case.

Green Card Through Family Petition

When a family member makes an application for an immigrant visa for you, the application is approved, and the visa is available, then you could immigrate to the United States through a procedure called Consular Processing.

USCIS the entity in the U.S. that approved your visa, will forward the approved petition to the consulate where the applicant is located. Once the consulate receives it, you will be notified to complete some other applications that can be complex and for which the assistant of an experienced lawyer is highly recommended.

Moreover, a lawyer can guide you through the process in your home country, which requires medical examinations, interviews, documents gathering, and financial affidavits, among others. We have helped immigrants all over the world with their consular process. Talk to an experienced lawyer at Ayala.

Business Visas (E, L)

The E-2 nonimmigrant visa allows a person of a country that has a treaty of navigation or commerce with the U.S. to be admitted to the U.S. when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business. Certain employees of the E-2 Investor or of a qualifying organization may also be eligible for an E-2 visa. To obtain the visa, at least 50 percent of the business must be owned by the national of the treaty country. The foreign national must be seeking temporary entry.

An E-2 treaty investor may be admitted solely to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which he has invested, or of an enterprise in which he is actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital. What is “substantial” depends on the type of business. We generally recommend an investment of over $100k. E-2 investment of less than 100k are difficult because it is hard to show the reviewer that that investment will support the salary of the investor and then other employees.

The US enterprise must be bona fide which means not for the purpose of just bringing the investor. At Ayala, we are very experienced with investment visas, calls us to help you with your case. We help investor from any place in the world.

The L-1A nonimmigrant classification enables a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. This classification also enables a foreign company, which does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send an executive or manager to the United States with the purpose of establishing one.

Green Card Through Investment

A person can also obtain a green card through a monetary investment. The most popular is the known EB-5 immigrant visa. The EB-5, is a visa that allows a foreign investor to obtain a green card if he or she invests $1,000,000 in a business in the United States that will employ at least 10 American workers or, if the business will be created in a “targeted employment area” (TEA), (areas with high unemployment), then the investment can be $500,000.

On this latter smaller investment, there are two options. One where the investor invests in its own business and he or she creates the 10 employment positions or, the second where he or she can delegate this task to a “Regional Center.”

A Regional Center is essentially a business, approved by the government that, with the investor’s capital, will create 10 American jobs. If you are interested in obtaining a green card through investment, contact and experienced immigration lawyer at Ayala.

Green Card Through Employment

There are a few ways you can obtain a green card through employment in the United States. The options are closely linked to the applicant’s abilities, education, and knowledge. For example, under the first option (EB1-A Visa), you must be able to show extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim.

Similarly, if you are an outstanding professor or researcher in an academic field you may be able to obtain an EB1-B visa. The third one, the EB1-C is a visa, available for outstanding managers and executives of multinational corporations. This last one requires that the executive have been employed outside the United States in the 3 preceding years prior to the petition for at least 1 year by a firm or corporation, and that the executive is coming to the U.S. counterpart of that corporation in the same capacity.

For more information on how to obtain a green card through employment contact an experienced immigration lawyer at Ayala.


Naturalization legal services involve a wide variety of cases. The simplest of cases (with which we’ll be happy to assist you too) involve the long time legal permanent resident who has rarely left the United States, has a spotless criminal history and is fluent in the English language.

Then, it starts to get more complicated. Add a misdemeanor in your teen years, an arrest for which you were not charged, an actual criminal conviction where you served jail time, and you have a more complex case for which you need a good naturalization lawyer to tell you if you should even apply. Non-criminal issues like unpaid taxes, or failure to pay child support can also prevent you from showing the required “good moral character.”

In another set of cases, you may be already a citizen though you didn’t know you were. For example, if you were not born in the U.S., but your father was a U.S. Citizen at the time you were born, then you may be a U.S. citizen at birth and what you need is not to “naturalize” but to request a Certificate of Citizenship. At Ayala we have handled the most complex naturalization cases and we’ll be happy to help you obtain the ultimate immigration goal—Citizenship.

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