I-485 Family-Based Applicants Additional Instructions

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Additional Instructions for Family-Based Applicants

The purpose of these additional instructions is to provide more specific information on each immigrant category. You must read the additional instructions that apply to your specific immigrant category as well as the previous main instructions for Form I-485. If your immigrant category is not discussed here, it is because there are no additional instructions for that category.

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Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative

Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens include the following relatives of U.S. citizens: spouses, unmarried children under 21 years of age, and parents (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age or older).

Immediate relatives do not have to wait until Form I-130 is approved to file Form I-485. You may file your Form I-485 together with your Form I-130, while Form I-130 is pending, or after your Form I-130 is approved. Immediate relatives always have a visa available once Form I-130 is approved.

Derivative applicants are not allowed in this category.

Other relative of a U.S. citizen or relative of a lawful permanent resident under the family-based preference categories (Form I-130)

Family-based preference categories include: unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age and older) of U.S. citizens; spouses, unmarried children (under 21 years of age) and unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age and older) of lawful permanent residents; married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens; and brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age or older).

If a visa is immediately available, applicants filing under a family-based preference immigrant category do not have to wait until Form I-130 is approved to file Form I-485. If a visa is immediately available, you may file your Form I-485 together with your Form I-130, while Form I-130 is pending, or after your Form I-130 is approved. Otherwise, you may file your Form I-485 only after your Form I-130 is approved and a visa is immediately available.

Person admitted to the United States as a fiancé(e) or child of a fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen (Form I-129F) (K-1/K-2 nonimmigrant)

Nonimmigrant fiancé(e) beneficiaries of Form I-129F always have a visa available, but may file Form I-485 only after marrying the U.S. citizen (Form I-129F petitioner) within the requisite 90-day period after admission to the United States on a K-1 visa.

In addition to the evidence listed in the What Evidence Must You Submit with Form I-485 section, you must submit
a copy of the marriage certificate to show that the K-1 nonimmigrant fiancé(e) married the U.S. citizen (Form I-129F petitioner) in the 90-day period. This additional requirement applies to both K-1 principal and K-2 derivative applicants.

If you are the widow(er) of a deceased individual who was a U.S. citizen at the time of death, you may be eligible to file Form I-485.

If your deceased citizen spouse did not file Form I-130 for you before dying, you may file Form I-360 as long as you file Form I-360 no more than two years after the date your spouse died. You do not have to wait until Form I-360 is approved to file Form I-485. You may file your Form I-485 together with your Form I-360, while your Form I-360 is pending, or after your Form I-360 is approved. Widow(er)s always have a visa available once Form I-360 is approved.

Your deceased citizen spouse may have filed Form I-130 for you before dying. In this case, you may file Form I-485 while Form I-130 is pending or after it is approved. If Form I-130 is approved, it will be considered an approved Form I-360.

When filing your Form I-485, you should provide a copy of the Form I-797 Approval Notice or Receipt for the Form I-130 filed on your behalf or the Form I-360 you filed (unless you are filing Form I-360 together with your Form I-485).

Form I-360

You may file under this category if you are the victim of battery or extreme cruelty by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident who is your spouse (or former spouse) or parent, OR if you are the victim of battery or extreme cruelty by a U.S. citizen who is your son or daughter and is at least 21 years of age. Special confidentiality protections (described at 8 U.S.C. section 1367) apply to you as the VAWA self-petitioner. 8 U.S.C. section 1367 provides two forms of critical protection for VAWA self-petitioners. The first form of protection is a prohibition on adverse determinations against

the victim based on information provided solely by their abuser and other prohibited sources. The second form of protection is a prohibition on disclosure of any information about the victim to third parties, except in certain very limited circumstances.

If a visa is immediately available, applicants filing as VAWA self-petitioners do not have to wait until Form I-360 is approved to file Form I-485. If a visa is immediately available, you may file your Form I-485 together with your Form I-360, while your Form I-360 is pending, or after your Form I-360 is approved. Otherwise, you may file your Form I-485 only after your Form I-360 is approved and a visa is immediately available. See the When Should I File Form I-485 section above for more information.

NOTE: VAWA-based applicants for adjustment of status are exempt from Affidavit of Support requirements; however, each applicant must include Form I-864W with the adjustment application.

NOTE: USCIS will not accept requests for Change of Address submitted online, mailed to USCIS Lockbox facilities, or by telephonic requests at the National Customer Service Center for adjustment of status applications filed by VAWA self- petitioners. For information on filing a change of address go to the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov/addresschange or contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283. For TTY (deaf or hard of hearing) call: 1-800-767-1833.

Derivative Applicants

Children of principal applicants may file as derivative applicants. However, you may not file as a derivative if the principal applicant is a self-petitioning parent of an abusive U.S. citizen son or daughter.

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