8 U.S.C. § 1255 : US Code - Section 1255: Adjustment of status of nonimmigrant to that of person admitted for permanent residence

    (a) Status as person admitted for permanent residence on
      application and eligibility for immigrant visa
      The status of an alien who was inspected and admitted or paroled
    into the United States or the status of any other alien having an
    approved petition for classification as a VAWA self-petitioner may
    be adjusted by the Attorney General, in his discretion and under
    such regulations as he may prescribe, to that of an alien lawfully
    admitted for permanent residence if (1) the alien makes an
    application for such adjustment, (2) the alien is eligible to
    receive an immigrant visa and is admissible to the United States
    for permanent residence, and (3) an immigrant visa is immediately
    available to him at the time his application is filed.
    (b) Record of lawful admission for permanent residence; reduction
      of preference visas
      Upon the approval of an application for adjustment made under
    subsection (a) of this section, the Attorney General shall record
    the alien's lawful admission for permanent residence as of the date
    the order of the Attorney General approving the application for the
    adjustment of status is made, and the Secretary of State shall
    reduce by one the number of the preference visas authorized to be
    issued under sections 1152 and 1153 of this title within the class
    to which the alien is chargeable for the fiscal year then current.
    (c) Alien crewmen, aliens continuing or accepting unauthorized
      employment, and aliens admitted in transit without visa
      Other than an alien having an approved petition for
    classification as a VAWA self-petitioner, subsection (a) of this
    section shall not be applicable to (1) an alien crewman; (2)
    subject to subsection (k) of this section, an alien (other than an
    immediate relative as defined in section 1151(b) of this title or a
    special immigrant described in section 1101(a)(27)(H), (I), (J), or
    (K) of this title) who hereafter continues in or accepts
    unauthorized employment prior to filing an application for
    adjustment of status or who is in unlawful immigration status on
    the date of filing the application for adjustment of status or who
    has failed (other than through no fault of his own or for technical
    reasons) to maintain continuously a lawful status since entry into
    the United States; (3) any alien admitted in transit without visa
    under section 1182(d)(4)(C) of this title; (4) an alien (other than
    an immediate relative as defined in section 1151(b) of this title)
    who was admitted as a nonimmigrant visitor without a visa under
    section 1182(l) of this title or section 1187 of this title; (5) an
    alien who was admitted as a nonimmigrant described in section
    1101(a)(15)(S) of this title,(!1) (6) an alien who is deportable
    under section 1227(a)(4)(B) of this title; (7) any alien who seeks
    adjustment of status to that of an immigrant under section 1153(b)
    of this title and is not in a lawful nonimmigrant status; or (8)
    any alien who was employed while the alien was an unauthorized
    alien, as defined in section 1324a(h)(3) of this title, or who has
    otherwise violated the terms of a nonimmigrant visa.

    (d) Alien admitted for permanent residence on conditional basis;
      fiancee or fiance of citizen
      The Attorney General may not adjust, under subsection (a) of this
    section, the status of an alien lawfully admitted to the United
    States for permanent residence on a conditional basis under section
    1186a of this title. The Attorney General may not adjust, under
    subsection (a) of this section, the status of a nonimmigrant alien
    described in section 1101(a)(15)(K) of this title except to that of
    an alien lawfully admitted to the United States on a conditional
    basis under section 1186a of this title as a result of the marriage
    of the nonimmigrant (or, in the case of a minor child, the parent)
    to the citizen who filed the petition to accord that alien's
    nonimmigrant status under section 1101(a)(15)(K) of this title.
    (e) Restriction on adjustment of status based on marriages entered
      while in admissibility or deportation proceedings; bona fide
      marriage exception
      (1) Except as provided in paragraph (3), an alien who is seeking
    to receive an immigrant visa on the basis of a marriage which was
    entered into during the period described in paragraph (2) may not
    have the alien's status adjusted under subsection (a) of this
    section.
      (2) The period described in this paragraph is the period during
    which administrative or judicial proceedings are pending regarding
    the alien's right to be admitted or remain in the United States.
      (3) Paragraph (1) and section 1154(g) of this title shall not
    apply with respect to a marriage if the alien establishes by clear
    and convincing evidence to the satisfaction of the Attorney General
    that the marriage was entered into in good faith and in accordance
    with the laws of the place where the marriage took place and the
    marriage was not entered into for the purpose of procuring the
    alien's admission as an immigrant and no fee or other consideration
    was given (other than a fee or other consideration to an attorney
    for assistance in preparation of a lawful petition) for the filing
    of a petition under section 1154(a) of this title or subsection (d)
    or (p) (!2) of section 1184 of this title with respect to the alien
    spouse or alien son or daughter. In accordance with regulations,
    there shall be only one level of administrative appellate review
    for each alien under the previous sentence.

    (f) Limitation on adjustment of status
      The Attorney General may not adjust, under subsection (a) of this
    section, the status of an alien lawfully admitted to the United
    States for permanent residence on a conditional basis under section
    1186b of this title.
    (g) Special immigrants
      In applying this section to a special immigrant described in
    section 1101(a)(27)(K) of this title, such an immigrant shall be
    deemed, for purposes of subsection (a) of this section, to have
    been paroled into the United States.
    (h) Application with respect to special immigrants
      In applying this section to a special immigrant described in
    section 1101(a)(27)(J) of this title - 
        (1) such an immigrant shall be deemed, for purposes of
      subsection (a) of this section, to have been paroled into the
      United States; and
        (2) in determining the alien's admissibility as an immigrant - 
          (A) paragraphs (4), (5)(A), (6)(A), (6)(C), (6)(D), (7)(A),
        and (9)(B) of section 1182(a) of this title shall not apply;
        and
          (B) the Attorney General may waive other paragraphs of
        section 1182(a) of this title (other than paragraphs (2)(A),
        (2)(B), (2)(C) (except for so much of such paragraph as related
        to a single offense of simple possession of 30 grams or less of
        marijuana), (3)(A), (3)(B), (3)(C), and (3)(E)) in the case of
        individual aliens for humanitarian purposes, family unity, or
        when it is otherwise in the public interest.

    The relationship between an alien and the alien's natural parents
    or prior adoptive parents shall not be considered a factor in
    making a waiver under paragraph (2)(B). Nothing in this subsection
    or section 1101(a)(27)(J) of this title shall be construed as
    authorizing an alien to apply for admission or be admitted to the
    United States in order to obtain special immigrant status described
    in such section.
    (i) Adjustment in status of certain aliens physically present in
      United States
      (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) and (c) of
    this section, an alien physically present in the United States - 
        (A) who - 
          (i) entered the United States without inspection; or
          (ii) is within one of the classes enumerated in subsection
        (c) of this section;

        (B) who is the beneficiary (including a spouse or child of the
      principal alien, if eligible to receive a visa under section
      1153(d) of this title) of - 
          (i) a petition for classification under section 1154 of this
        title that was filed with the Attorney General on or before
        April 30, 2001; or
          (ii) an application for a labor certification under section
        1182(a)(5)(A) of this title that was filed pursuant to the
        regulations of the Secretary of Labor on or before such date;
        and

        (C) who, in the case of a beneficiary of a petition for
      classification, or an application for labor certification,
      described in subparagraph (B) that was filed after January 14,
      1998, is physically present in the United States on December 21,
      2000;

    may apply to the Attorney General for the adjustment of his or her
    status to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent
    residence. The Attorney General may accept such application only if
    the alien remits with such application a sum equalling $1,000 as of
    the date of receipt of the application, but such sum shall not be
    required from a child under the age of seventeen, or an alien who
    is the spouse or unmarried child of an individual who obtained
    temporary or permanent resident status under section 1160 or 1255a
    of this title or section 202 of the Immigration Reform and Control
    Act of 1986 at any date, who - 
        (i) as of May 5, 1988, was the unmarried child or spouse of the
      individual who obtained temporary or permanent resident status
      under section 1160 or 1255a of this title or section 202 of the
      Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986;
        (ii) entered the United States before May 5, 1988, resided in
      the United States on May 5, 1988, and is not a lawful permanent
      resident; and
        (iii) applied for benefits under section 301(a) of the
      Immigration Act of 1990. The sum specified herein shall be in
      addition to the fee normally required for the processing of an
      application under this section.

      (2) Upon receipt of such an application and the sum hereby
    required, the Attorney General may adjust the status of the alien
    to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence if - 
        (A) the alien is eligible to receive an immigrant visa and is
      admissible to the United States for permanent residence; and
        (B) an immigrant visa is immediately available to the alien at
      the time the application is filed.

      (3)(A) The portion of each application fee (not to exceed $200)
    that the Attorney General determines is required to process an
    application under this section and is remitted to the Attorney
    General pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection shall
    be disposed of by the Attorney General as provided in subsections
    (m), (n), and (o) of section 1356 of this title.
      (B) Any remaining portion of such fees remitted under such
    paragraphs shall be deposited by the Attorney General into the
    Breached Bond/Detention Fund established under section 1356(r) of
    this title, except that in the case of fees attributable to
    applications for a beneficiary with respect to whom a petition for
    classification, or an application for labor certification,
    described in paragraph (1)(B) was filed after January 14, 1998, one-
    half of such remaining portion shall be deposited by the Attorney
    General into the Immigration Examinations Fee Account established
    under section 1356(m) of this title.
    (j) Adjustment to permanent resident status
      (1) If, in the opinion of the Attorney General - 
        (A) a nonimmigrant admitted into the United States under
      section 1101(a)(15)(S)(i) of this title has supplied information
      described in subclause (I) of such section; and
        (B) the provision of such information has substantially
      contributed to the success of an authorized criminal
      investigation or the prosecution of an individual described in
      subclause (III) of that section,

    the Attorney General may adjust the status of the alien (and the
    spouse, married and unmarried sons and daughters, and parents of
    the alien if admitted under that section) to that of an alien
    lawfully admitted for permanent residence if the alien is not
    described in section 1182(a)(3)(E) of this title.
      (2) If, in the sole discretion of the Attorney General - 
        (A) a nonimmigrant admitted into the United States under
      section 1101(a)(15)(S)(ii) of this title has supplied information
      described in subclause (I) of such section, and
        (B) the provision of such information has substantially
      contributed to - 
          (i) the prevention or frustration of an act of terrorism
        against a United States person or United States property, or
          (ii) the success of an authorized criminal investigation of,
        or the prosecution of, an individual involved in such an act of
        terrorism, and

        (C) the nonimmigrant has received a reward under section
      2708(a) of title 22,

    the Attorney General may adjust the status of the alien (and the
    spouse, married and unmarried sons and daughters, and parents of
    the alien if admitted under such section) to that of an alien
    lawfully admitted for permanent residence if the alien is not
    described in section 1182(a)(3)(E) of this title.
      (3) Upon the approval of adjustment of status under paragraph (1)
    or (2), the Attorney General shall record the alien's lawful
    admission for permanent residence as of the date of such approval
    and the Secretary of State shall reduce by one the number of visas
    authorized to be issued under sections 1151(d) and 1153(b)(4) of
    this title for the fiscal year then current.
    (k) Inapplicability of certain provisions for certain employment-
      based immigrants
      An alien who is eligible to receive an immigrant visa under
    paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of section 1153(b) of this title (or, in
    the case of an alien who is an immigrant described in section
    1101(a)(27)(C) of this title, under section 1153(b)(4) of this
    title) may adjust status pursuant to subsection (a) of this section
    and notwithstanding subsection (c)(2), (c)(7), and (c)(8) of this
    section, if - 
        (1) the alien, on the date of filing an application for
      adjustment of status, is present in the United States pursuant to
      a lawful admission;
        (2) the alien, subsequent to such lawful admission has not, for
      an aggregate period exceeding 180 days - 
          (A) failed to maintain, continuously, a lawful status;
          (B) engaged in unauthorized employment; or
          (C) otherwise violated the terms and conditions of the
        alien's admission.
    (l) Adjustment of status for victims of trafficking
      (1) If, in the opinion of the Secretary of Homeland Security, or
    in the case of subparagraph (C)(i), in the opinion of the Secretary
    of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, as
    appropriate (!3) a nonimmigrant admitted into the United States
    under section 1101(a)(15)(T)(i) of this title - 

        (A) has been physically present in the United States for a
      continuous period of at least 3 years since the date of admission
      as a nonimmigrant under section 1101(a)(15)(T)(i) of this title,
      or has been physically present in the United States for a
      continuous period during the investigation or prosecution of acts
      of trafficking and that, in the opinion of the Attorney General,
      the investigation or prosecution is complete, whichever period of
      time is less;
        (B) subject to paragraph (6), has, throughout such period, been
      a person of good moral character; and
        (C)(i) has, during such period, complied with any reasonable
      request for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of
      acts of trafficking;
        (ii) the alien (!4) would suffer extreme hardship involving
      unusual and severe harm upon removal from the United States; or

        (iii) was younger than 18 years of age at the time of the
      victimization qualifying the alien for relief under section
      1101(a)(15)(T) of this title.(!5)


    the Secretary of Homeland Security may adjust the status of the
    alien (and any person admitted under section 1101(a)(15)(T)(ii) of
    this title as the spouse, parent, sibling, or child of the alien)
    to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence.
      (2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to an alien admitted under
    section 1101(a)(15)(T) of this title who is inadmissible to the
    United States by reason of a ground that has not been waived under
    section 1182 of this title, except that, if the Secretary of
    Homeland Security considers it to be in the national interest to do
    so, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in the Attorney General's
    (!6) discretion, may waive the application of - 

        (A) paragraphs (1) and (4) of section 1182(a) of this title;
      and
        (B) any other provision of such section (excluding paragraphs
      (3), (10)(C), and (10(E)),(!7) if the activities rendering the
      alien inadmissible under the provision were caused by, or were
      incident to, the victimization described in section
      1101(a)(15)(T)(i)(I) of this title.


      (3) An alien shall be considered to have failed to maintain
    continuous physical presence in the United States under paragraph
    (1)(A) if the alien has departed from the United States for any
    period in excess of 90 days or for any periods in the aggregate
    exceeding 180 days, unless - 
        (A) the absence was necessary to assist in the investigation or
      prosecution described in paragraph (1)(A); or
        (B) an official involved in the investigation or prosecution
      certifies that the absence was otherwise justified.

      (4)(A) The total number of aliens whose status may be adjusted
    under paragraph (1) during any fiscal year may not exceed 5,000.
      (B) The numerical limitation of subparagraph (A) shall only apply
    to principal aliens and not to the spouses, sons, daughters,
    siblings, or parents of such aliens.
      (5) Upon the approval of adjustment of status under paragraph
    (1), the Secretary of Homeland Security shall record the alien's
    lawful admission for permanent residence as of the date of such
    approval.
      (6) For purposes of paragraph (1)(B), the Secretary of Homeland
    Security may waive consideration of a disqualification from good
    moral character with respect to an alien if the disqualification
    was caused by, or incident to, the trafficking described in section
    1101(a)(15)(T)(i)(I) of this title.
      (7) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall permit aliens to
    apply for a waiver of any fees associated with filing an
    application for relief through final adjudication of the adjustment
    of status for a VAWA self-petitioner and for relief under sections
    1101(a)(15)(T), 1101(a)(15)(U), 1105a, 1229b(b)(2), and 1254a(a)(3)
    of this title (as in effect on March 31, 1997).
    (m) Adjustment of status for victims of crimes against women
      (1) The Secretary of Homeland Security may adjust the status of
    an alien admitted into the United States (or otherwise provided
    nonimmigrant status) under section 1101(a)(15)(U) of this title to
    that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence if the
    alien is not described in section 1182(a)(3)(E) of this title,
    unless the Secretary determines based on affirmative evidence that
    the alien unreasonably refused to provide assistance in a criminal
    investigation or prosecution, if - 
        (A) the alien has been physically present in the United States
      for a continuous period of at least 3 years since the date of
      admission as a nonimmigrant under clause (i) or (ii) of section
      1101(a)(15)(U) of this title; and
        (B) in the opinion of the Secretary of Homeland Security, the
      alien's continued presence in the United States is justified on
      humanitarian grounds, to ensure family unity, or is otherwise in
      the public interest.

      (2) An alien shall be considered to have failed to maintain
    continuous physical presence in the United States under paragraph
    (1)(A) if the alien has departed from the United States for any
    period in excess of 90 days or for any periods in the aggregate
    exceeding 180 days unless the absence is in order to assist in the
    investigation or prosecution or unless an official involved in the
    investigation or prosecution certifies that the absence was
    otherwise justified.
      (3) Upon approval of adjustment of status under paragraph (1) of
    an alien described in section 1101(a)(15)(U)(i) of this title the
    Secretary of Homeland Security may adjust the status of or issue an
    immigrant visa to a spouse, a child, or, in the case of an alien
    child, a parent who did not receive a nonimmigrant visa under
    section 1101(a)(15)(U)(ii) of this title if the Secretary considers
    the grant of such status or visa necessary to avoid extreme
    hardship.
      (4) Upon the approval of adjustment of status under paragraph (1)
    or (3), the Secretary of Homeland Security shall record the alien's
    lawful admission for permanent residence as of the date of such
    approval.
      (5)(A) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall consult with the
    Attorney General, as appropriate, in making a determination under
    paragraph (1) whether affirmative evidence demonstrates that the
    alien unreasonably refused to provide assistance to a Federal law
    enforcement official, Federal prosecutor, Federal judge, or other
    Federal authority investigating or prosecuting criminal activity
    described in section 1101(a)(15)(U)(iii) of this title.
      (B) Nothing in paragraph (1)(B) may be construed to prevent the
    Secretary from consulting with the Attorney General in making a
    determination whether affirmative evidence demonstrates that the
    alien unreasonably refused to provide assistance to a State or
    local law enforcement official, State or local prosecutor, State or
    local judge, or other State or local authority investigating or
    prosecuting criminal activity described in section
    1101(a)(15)(U)(iii) of this title.