Adjustment of Status

Adjustment of status is an option for any individual who qualifies to become a permanent resident and wishes to obtain his or her green card without leaving the United States. By applying for adjustment of status, the individual also applies for a work permit (Employment Authorization Document) and may even be eligible to obtain a travel permit, known as advance parole to allow him or her to go abroad for a special purpose. An individual who wishes to apply for adjustment of status generally must have entered the country legally and never have violated his immigration status. Borja Law Firm has helped thousands of their clients adjust and can do the same for you.

Adjust through Marriage

One of the most common and fastest ways of obtaining legal permanent residence is through marriage to a U.S. citizen. However, the smallest mistake could lead to a bad outcome. It is recommended that you reach out to an immigration attorney to assist you.

The entire process starts with the submission of an I-130 Petition for the foreign-born spouse. If the spouse entered the U.S. lawfully can avoid having to leave the United States and simply submit an I-485 package for adjustment of status, in which case the spouse receives a work permit (Employment Authorization Document) within 90 days and potentially qualify for an Advance Parole document which would allow the foreign-born spouse to travel abroad.

However, if the spouse entered the United States unlawfully, or without inspection, then he or she may be obligated to apply from abroad, but they can try to obtain a provisional waiver, to avoid a long separation.

To successfully obtain a green card for the foreign-born spouse, the marriage must be bona fide. In other words, the marriage should not be a fraud or a mere arrangement between two unattached individuals to obtain a green card. In order to prove that the marriage is legitimate, the couple might want to have a wedding reception where the U.S. citizen’s parent’s and other family members are present. In addition, proving the legitimacy of the marriage can be easier if the couple has joint property, files joint income tax returns, and has a child.

In cases where the marriage is less than two years old when legal permanent residency is granted, the green card for the foreign-born spouse has a two-year time limit. Within the 90-day period previous to the expiration of the green card, the couple should file form I-751 to obtain the 10-year green card for the foreign-born spouse.
If the situation arises where the marriage is terminated before the two-year period is reached, the foreign-spouse is obligated to submit the I-751 to apply for a “good faith marriage waiver” of the joint petition requirement.

Adjust through Family

Over half a million people are granted green cards in the United States with the sponsorship of a relative with legal status. Depending on the status of the sponsor, certain relatives have the opportunity of legally immigrating to the United States. United States citizens can sponsor spouses younger children, adult sons or daughters, parents, and siblings. U.S. permanent residents, however, are limited to only sponsoring spouses, younger children, and unmarried sons and daughters. With the exception of spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens who are considered “immediate relatives,” all other relatives are put through a numerically-limited and cumbersome preference system.

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) is an immigration classification available to certain undocumented immigrants under the age of 21 who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned by one or both parents. SIJS is a way for immigrants under twenty-one to apply for and obtain legal permanent residence in the United States.

The requirements for a child to qualify for SIJS are:
1. The applicant must be under 21 years old;
2. He/she must be unmarried;
3. He/she must be declared dependent in a juvenile court;
4. Reunification with one or both of the child’s parents must no longer be a viable option due to abuse, neglect, abandonment or a similar basis under state law; AND
5. It is not in the best interests of the minor to return to his/her country of nationality or last habitual residence.

What are the benefits of SIJS? First, it begins a path towards citizenship for the minor. Second, it waives several types of inadmissibility that would otherwise prevent the minor for becoming a resident or citizen.

There are two main stages in obtaining Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. And Borja Law Firm has years of experience in both stages.

First, the minor must begin in a proceeding in the Family or Surrogate’s Court in the county where they reside. Typically, this would take the form of a custody or guardianship proceeding. As part of this proceeding, the minor must obtain a “special findings order” that declares the minor’s eligibility for SIJS, in addition to the underlying custody or guardianship order.

Second, after receiving this order from the Family or Surrogate’s Court, the minor may then apply to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) for SIJS through a I-360 Petition.


Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign national if he or she meets the requirements set forth by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Borja Law Firm has proudly helped hundreds of their clients become citizens.

In most cases, an applicant for naturalization must be a permanent resident before starting the process. You may be eligible for naturalization if:
– You have been a permanent resident for at least 5 years and meet all other eligibility requirements.
– You have been a permanent resident for 3 years or less and meet all the eligibility requirements necessary to process naturalization as the spouse of a United States citizen.
– You have eligible service in the US Armed Forces and meet all other eligibility requirements.
– Your son or daughter may be eligible for naturalization if you are a U.S. citizen, the son or daughter was born outside the U.S., and the son or daughter currently resides outside the U.S., and all other requirements are met of eligibility.