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Distinction between Adjustment of Status x Change of Status


The expressions "change of status" and "adjustment of status" are legal terms related to an immigrant's situation within the United States and have slightly different meanings:

 

• Change of Status:

 

- It refers to altering a person's immigration status within the United States.

- Typically, this involves transitioning from one visa category to another without leaving the country.

- For example, an individual may change from a student visa to a work visa without having to depart the United States, provided they meet the requirements for the new visa category.

 

• Adjustment of Status:

 

- It refers to the process by which a foreign national change their status from non-immigrant to permanent resident (Green Card holder) within the United States.

- This usually occurs when a person is physically present in the United States and is eligible to obtain permanent resident status without needing to depart the country to apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.

- Adjustment of status is typically available to those who qualify for one of the various types of immigrant visas, such as employment-based visas, family-based visas, or asylum-based visas, among others.

 

In summary, "change of status" pertains to switching from one visa category to another within the U.S., while "adjustment of status" refers to obtaining permanent resident status without leaving the country. Both are important processes within the United States immigration system and are subject to specific requirements and procedures.

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