How can I obtain a green card after my student visa expires? 4 Answers as of July 12, 2011

I entered the US on a student visa and I legally obtained a SS# I graduated university with a BSc degree. I was legally employed to the best of my knowledge and have been paying and filing my taxes successfully for over 4 years now. My student visa has expired and I want to know if I can apply at my local immigration office to adjust my status so I can obtain a green card and be able to travel outside of the US.

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Law Office of Christine Troy
Law Office of Christine Troy | Christine Troy
It sounds like you are still in student status (meaning that DHS has not yet terminated your status) but are in violation of your status, because you graduated years ago and have been working for several years. Because of this, you can't change your status to a difference visa category in the US. Instead you have to go through consular processing, being aware that there is a real risk that a US consulate will not give you a new visa due to your past violation. I recommend that you consult with a competent immigration attorney to assess the likelihood of success and to determine if any green card avenues are open for you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/12/2011
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law | Linda Liang
PLR is not a right. It is a privilege. You are not entitled to green card because you have been here for a while. I bet you don't mean that way. Your employer has to sponsor you a work visa before you can legally work here. You have been illegal all this time. You should have a face-to-face discussion with a lawyer to determine your option. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/11/2011
Christian Schmidt, Attorney at Law
Christian Schmidt, Attorney at Law | Christian Schmidt
Since you state that you worked for 4 years, it appears that your student status lapsed. Unless you changed your status to one that would authorize employment, you currently do not have legal status that would allow you to adjust your status to one of a lawful permanent resident. Paying taxes does not make a difference. A bone fide marriage to a U.S. citizen would be the only exception from that rule. I recommend that you consult with an immigration attorney before you take any steps towards a green card to determine whether you are eligible for adjustment of status. Moreover, your immigration history may even bar you for up to 10 years from obtaining legal status if you leave the U.S. after being without legal status for more than six months. On the other hand, if you are currently in lawful status, you must first identify a basis for seeking a green card as an adjustment application hinges on an immigrant visa petition. Such a visa petition can be based on an offer of employment, qualifying family relations, or winning the annual diversity lottery.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/11/2011
Law Offices of Caro Kinsella
Law Offices of Caro Kinsella | Caro Kinsella, Esq.
If your student visa expired then you are not in lawful status, and your can only adjust your status to a lawful permanent resident if you are in lawful status. You need to consult with an Immigration Attorney to see what can be done.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/11/2011
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