First, there are no 'common' problems.
Second, by out-of-status I assume that the alien entered the US with a visa and still has their I-94, albeit expired.
Some would say that it is a straight-forward process of submitting a 'one-step' application kit with the base forms being the I-130/I-485.
I'd say that it would be well worth your investment to download those forms, along with the G-325 and I-864 forms, and take them to an attorney for review & discussion of your situation.
Do not rely completely on information you get on this website. It is always wise to consult personally with an immigration attorney before taking any action with the US CIS, or US Consulate.
Please consider contacting one of the attorneys on Avvo. Or, contact the American Immigration Lawyer's Association www.ailalawyer.com for a referral. If you are low income and feel that you can not afford an attorney, try contacting one of the organizations on this list: www.justice.gov/eoir/probono/states.htm
Franco Capriotti - Senior Legal Counsel - Capriotti International Law
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Contact the American Immigration Lawyers Association www.aila.org for a referral to an experienced immigration attorney. NOTE: They also have referrals to low/no-cost attorneys. LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.
Each case is different. Whether you can adjust depends on how you entered the US, and if without a visa, on whether you qualify for 245(i), and on whether you have any criminal history that would render you inadmissible.
You should retain an experienced immigration lawyer to review all the facts and advise you accordingly.
J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.
The complications can vary depending on the facts of the case. Unless the out of status alien is an immediate relative who was inspected upon entry into the U.S. then he alien is most likely ineligible for adjustment of status and would bve forced to consular process. If the alien was out of status for more than 180 days then the alien would be inadmissible for 3 years from the date of departure. If the alien was out of status for more than a year then the period of inadmissibility increases to 10 years
There are, of course, exceptions to these general rules. Consult with an experienced immigration attorney for case specific advice.
Jeffrey A. Devore, Esq.
Board Certified Immigration Attorney
Devore Law Group, P.A.
2925 PGA Blvd., Suite 204
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
Telephone: (561) 478-5353
Facsimile: (561) 478-2144