Adjustment of Status in Removal Proceedings

In the case of any alien, other than an arriving alien, who has been placed in deportation proceedings or in removal proceedings, the immigration judge hearing the proceeding has exclusive jurisdiction to adjudicate any application for adjustment of status the alien may file. USCIS may adjudicate an adjustment of status application filed by an alien, other than an arriving alien, who is in removal proceedings only if the immigration judge terminates the removal proceedings.

In the case of an arriving alien who is placed in removal proceedings, USCIS has jurisdiction to adjudicate any application for adjustment of status filed by the arriving alien. An immigration judge does not have jurisdiction over an arriving alien’s adjustment application unless :

  • The alien properly filed the application for adjustment of status with USCIS while the arriving alien was in the United States;
  • The alien departed from and returned to the United States pursuant to the terms of a grant of advance parole to pursue the previously filed application for adjustment of status;
  • The application for adjustment of status was denied by USCIS; and
  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) placed the arriving alien in removal proceedings either upon the arriving alien’s return to the United States pursuant to the grant of advance parole or after USCIS denied the application.

USCIS district offices will also generally complete and conduct closing actions on the adjustment of status applications that have been decided by the immigration judge, such as the issuance of the Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card, or other temporary evidence of LPR status.