BARS TO ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS/CHANGE NONIMMIGRANT STATUS
RULE #1: If your most recent entry was without inspection, you cannot adjust status (apply for a green card) nor acquire nonimmigrant status. 245a
Primary Exceptions: 245i, Cancellation of Removal, asylum, VAWA, TIU, TPS.
RULE #2: If you enter in valid nonimmigrant status and you fail to maintain status, you cannot adjust status, nor change, acquire or extend nonimmigrant status. 245c
Primary Excepctions:245i, 245k, Immediate Relative of a US Citizen, Cancellation of Removal, asylum, VA WA, T/U, TPS.
If your most recent entry was on a K visa (KI, K2, K3, K4), you can only adjust status through the K visa
petitioner and you cannot change nonimmigrant status. 245d
Primary Excepctions:Cancellation of Removal, asylum, V A WA, T/U, TPS. Note that 245; is not on this list!!!
EXCEPTIONS TO THE IMMEDIATE RELATIVE EXCEPTION. Even if you last entered in valid
nonimmigrant status and are now married to a US citizen, you cannot adjust status if you last entered as an
alien crewman (D visa) or entered in transit without a visa. 245c
Primary Excepctions: 245i, Cancellation of Removal, VA W A, TIU, TPS.
If you last entered on the Visa Waiver Program, even if you do not violate status, you cannot change or
extend nonimmigrant status and you cannot adjust status. 2~5c
Primary Excepctions:Immediate relative of a US citizen, 245i, Cancellation of Removal, asylum, VA WA, TIU visas, TPS.
THE EXCEPTIONS ON BARS TO ADJUSTMENT - DESCRIBED
Either (a) had an 1-130, I-140 or Labor Cert pending on !before April 30, 2001 AND were present since at
least December 2000, OR (b) had an 1-130, 1-140 or Labor Cert pending on/before January 14, 1998.
Derivatives ok.The 1-130, 1-140 or Labor Cert must have been approvable on its face at the time it was
filed. Even if you can't use the 1-130 or 1-140 to adjust under 245a, you can use it to qualify under 245i,
and use a new petition to adjust under 245a. 245i excuses problems under 245a and 245c only. NOT
245d!!! Courts split on whether 245i 'trumps' 9C.
(1) In removal proceedings. (2) Present in the us at least 10 years prior to commencement of proceedings.(3) Good moral character for ten years. (4) Exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to USC or LPR spouse, parent or child. Regardless of inadmissibility, except 212a9Cii because of stop-time provision.
(1) Married to LPR or USC, bona fide belief you were married to LPR or USC, or child of LPR or USC, and (2) abused physically or emotionally by that LPR or USC. Emotional abuse must be extraordinary to qualify. Fiance(e)slboyfriends don't count.
Trafficked/exploited and/or victim of crime. T: The trafficker and exploiter must be the same
person/organization. PolicelFB1 must prosecute and T applicant must be witness. PolicelFBI must
cooperate in the T visa process. U: victim of specific violence crimes, domestic violence, assault, etc.
Crime must be reported, and victim may not unreasonably refuse cooperation with investigation and / or
prosecution. Police must cooperate in visa process
Must be member of a protected group and must of credible fear of persecution because of membership in
that group. Gov't must participate, acquiesce or be unable to stop persecution. "Women" are not a
protected group. "Victims of non-government criminal activity" are not protected.
Entered in lawful status. Out of status less than 180 days. Highly skilled workers only. Labor cert already
approved or exempt. Visa priority date must be current.
Present in the US in any status or no status when gov't puts them on TPS list. Not a path to green card.
Immediate USC Relative: Spouse. Child under age 21. Parent if child is at least 2]. Category does not allow derivatives.
Some other exceptions:
NACARA (certain Central Americans who filed asylum claims in the 80s), Cuban Adjustment Act (Most Cuban EWls, even now), Registry (here since 1972), Amnesty (here since 80s and filed stuff then), Family Unity Act (filed stuff long ago), certain Haitans (not many), and a few other obscure sections of law.