Adjustment of Status
Adjustment of status is the legal step of applying for permanent residency (also known as a green card) in the U.S. and changing your legal status in the U.S. from a visitor to a legal permanent resident. This is done via Form I-485 the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
Please note that the location where Form I-485 should be filed varies based on the reason for your eligibility and may change. It is a good idea to look at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website before mailing the form.
Do I need to adjust my status?
If you want to become a U.S. citizen, in almost all cases, you must first become a legal permanent resident, or green card holder. However, before you can adjust your status to a legal permanent resident you must show you are eligible for an immigrant visa that is immediately available. Often this means simply applying for a visa before you apply for adjustment of status. In some cases you can apply for adjustment of status along with your visa application.