Steps by Step Adjustment of Status 101

Step By Step: Adjustment of Status

1. I know all the questions USCIS have. I combined them into two proprietary questionnaires, one for you and one for your Spouse. I send these to you, to provide me with all the needed details about your situation. I ask the questions early, so that we know EXACTLY where you stand, and that you are eligible for the Green Card Process.

2. You and your Spouse complete the background questionnaires and return them to me

3. I closely audit your answers, looking for inconsistencies, gaps, mistakes, illogic, anything that “doesn’t look right”. Immigration doesn’t need much to become suspicious, so it is critically important that the information provided does not accidentally trigger alarm bells.

4. I give  you and your Spouse a sophisticated level of Personal Support until the questions asked by USCIS have been answered fully, logically and are consistent

5. I use your information to prepare all the forms needed to apply for Permanent Residency.

6. At NO EXTRA charge, on request, I ALSO prepare the forms needed to apply for Employment Authorization. This way your spouse would be able to work starting about 2 months after we submit the Adjustment of Status package, instead of waiting for the GreenCard to be issued.

7. Also, at NO EXTRA charge, on request, I prepare the forms needed to apply for Advance Parole. This way your spouse would be able to leave the USA for travel starting about 2 months after we submit the Adjustment of Status package, instead of waiting for the GreenCard to be issued.

8. I create for you a private, HOMEPage at This is where you view the documents that are ready for your signatures, as well as personalized checklists, and instructions all customized to your case.

Click here to view a Sample Private HomePage

9. At your HomePage, based upon my detailed review of your background details, I post for you a custom personalized check list of things to do, photos, civil documents, and various ways (that I have encountered over 36 years) to demonstrate the bona fides of your Marriage and relationship. The check list is extensive. Not all items can be obtained by all couples. I categorize the list into three color coded priority levels. REQUIRED, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, and RECOMMENDED.

10. Going through the personalized checklist I prepared for you, you should collect a stack of evidences, photos, correspondences, signed documents, civil documents needed for your petition. I call this your SHOEBOX. As soon as the shoebox is full, mail it me.

11. Once I get your shoebox I block off most of a day from my calendar, so I can quietly spread out, and examine each piece. I confirm all required civil documents and signed forms are present and legible, then check the items that demonstrate the “bona fides” of your relationship.

My plan is to “tell your story”, that of a genuine, bona fide couple, who deserves to be recognized, with your foreign spouse speedily granted permission to live permanently in the USA. I pick and choose those evidences that are the most persuasive and positive, and put aside those that do not help. I devote much time with your photos. A picture IS worth a thousand words. A few well chosen photos can create a solid impression of a bona fide, genuine relationship. My objective is to choose the RIGHT ones to help your case.

12. At the time I created your personalized document checklist, I sent a third questionnaire prompting with questions asking you to describe the “history of your marriage”. I use the answers to compose a compelling personal letter, addressed to immigration, to add a “human face” on to your petition. This should convince the most skeptical Consular Officer yours is a genuine relationship and merits prompt approval, and his “help” to swiftly confirm the GreenCard.

13. I assemble all of your documents and evidences into an attractive, bound, tabbed, complete and compelling petition. Just like USCIS likes it.

Click here to view a sample VisaCoach Presentation

I RUSH the petition to you via priority mail. A complete copy for your records is included.

14. The petition you receive has about a dozen (yellow flags), clearly showing where you should sign and date. I also fill in a facsimile of what the check made out to USCIS should look like, and confirm the address where to mail your petition and check.

15. I update your HomePage on the NEXT STEPS, on what you and your Spouse should do while waiting on USCIS’s approval.

16. It is unusual for my clients to hear anything from USCIS but “thanks for your case”, “please attend a brief interview” and “your GreenCard is approved”. Sometimes USCIS makes a request for more evidence. This is called an RFE. Should that occur, I draft the response and help you to provide what is needed, as quickly as possible.

17. If the issued GreenCard is conditional (valid for two years only) I mark my calendar to contact you 6 months before it’s expiry date, so that you won’t forget to apply for “removal of conditions on residence” during the rigid 90 day submission window.

By Fred Wahl
the Visa Coach