Some immigration statuses are connected to jobs (I-140), education, and close relationships with U.S. Citizens (I-130), such as:
- Immediate relatives, including spouses of U.S. citizens; unmarried children under 21 of U.S. citizens; orphans adopted abroad, orphans to be adopted in the U.S., by U.S. citizens; and parents of U.S. citizens who are at least 21 years old.
- Family preference categories, including unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, their spouses and their children; spouses, minor children and unmarried sons and daughters over 21 of LPRs; married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens and their spouses and minor children and brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children, provided the U.S. citizens are at least 21 years old.
In Canada, changing your visa status is limited to the following circumstances:
- A person can apply to change their temporary status from Visitor to Worker TRV (Temporary Resident Visa) from within Canada; however, that individual must then obtain a work permit.
- A person cannot change their immigration status from Visitor to Permanent Resident except in very specific cases such as refugee status or spouses and partners.
- Qualified graduate students studying in Cnada on a Study Permit may receive work permits to work while in school and for up to 3 years after they graduate.
In the U.S., it may not matter that a person overstayed the time permitted on their I-94 in most AOS cases, but it is best to speak with an attorney at The Bobb Law Firm PLLC to determine if individuals are in danger of activities that could disallow legal permanent residency. The I-94 Arrival/Departure Record is a very important record that USCIS uses to keep track of immigrants in the US on nonimmigrant visa status. The I-94 system is an automated record system maintained by the US Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) that provides an overview of individuals’ entries and exits into and out of the United States.
In Canada, in some cases, if it has been less than 90 days since your visitor status expired, you can apply to restore it and pay the applicable fee. However, there’s no guarantee that your application will be approved. If it has been more than 90 days since your status expired, you may not be able to restore your status, and may be subject to removal proceedings.
Benefit of Adjusting Status
As long as individuals are not flagged by U.S./Canadian immigration authorities before they get a chance to submit an adjustment of status application, then the subsequent stay in the United States/Canada will be lawful, and they will be able to get a green card/Canadian Permanent Resident Card (unless there are other problems with an application, or eligibility). The importance of an immigration attorney in this instance is paramount. Having a legal consultation at The Bobb Law Firm PLLC will allow individuals to understand their present status limitations, and what should be done to legally adjust a visa status. Also, if the foreign citizen entered the U.S./Canada illegally, they are not usually permitted to file for adjustment of status.
If you wish to extend your stay, you can research ahead about the processing time and documents needed so that you won’t overstay.
Adjustments of status protect individuals from lengthy inadmissibility periods of time, so it is imperative to speak to an experienced immigration attorney at The Bobb Law Firm PLLC to determine best actions.