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Adjustment of status allows a person to obtain permanent residency without having to proceed overseas to apply for an immigrant visa.  To qualify for adjustment of status, the individual must be been inspected and admitted or paroled, be in lawful status and have not worked illegally in the United States.  They must also have a visa number immediately available at the time of application.  The adjustment of status applicant must also be able to overcome all ground of inadmissibility.  

In 1994 Congress passed a special adjustment of status provision commonly known as 245(i).  INA 245(i) allows people who entered the US without inspection and are otherwise ineligible for adjustment, to obtain a green card within the United States if they had a work or family visa petition filed on or before April 30, 2001, and if they pay a $1000 penalty.  The program ended on April 30, 2001 and has not been reopened since then.