Status is the legal term of art to denote if someone is physically present in the United States legally or illegally. Legal status is the persmission from the US government to be here in the United States. All non-US born persons require permission to be in the United States. Normally most non-US borns require a valid non-immigrant visa, but what happens when an I-485 application is filed and your non-immigrant visa expireds?
Concept of I-485 Pending
This is a difficult concept. Unless you are an immiediate relative or have protection under 245(i), the non-US born should always be in legal status. However, you can not change status or extend status while an I-485 is pending. Therefore, the correct legal term is a status called "Pending Adjustment of Status." Once the application is approved then your status is adjusted to lawful permanent resident. If it is denied, the clock for unlawful presence starts from the time of the denial. These are tricky issues that only an experienced immigration attorney should advice an immigrant. They are difficult concepts.
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