Most people obtain green cards by being sponsored by their relatives (including their spouses) or through their employers. Others become permanent residents through EB-5 investments, the green card lottery or asylum.
Most persons who are residing in the U.S. are eligible adjust their status to permanent residence without leaving the U.S. However, if you have ever violated your lawful immigration status, you may be eligible to adjust your status only if you:
1. Are an “immediate relative” of a U.S. citizen (Parent, spouse or child);
2. Qualify for benefits under section 245(i) of the law and pay an appropriate fine;
3. Qualify under section 245(k) of the law as an employment-based immigrant; or (4) Qualify under section 209 if you are an asylee or a refugee.