APPLICATION TO REGISTER PERMANENT RESIDENCE OR ADJUST STATUS
There is no point in starting this application prior to learning whether or not you are eligible to apply for a Green Card (lawful permanent residence). To learn more about the requirements for qualification based on the circumstances of your case, click on one of the following links:
- Family-Based Applicants
- Alien Worker and Alien Entrepreneur
- Applicants with granted Asylum/Refugee Status
- Other categories Applicants
If you are outside of the United States, you cannot use Form I-485 to apply for a Green Card. However, you may apply at a U.S. Department of State consulate overseas for an Immigrant Visa that will allow you to come here and be admitted as a permanent resident. This method is called “Consular Processing”. However, if you are currently in the United States, you can apply for a Green Card (lawful permanent residence) through a process known as Adjustment of Status.
PASS ELIGIBILITY QUIZ
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FILLING OUT THE FORM
As we have already mentioned, Form I-485 is a long application. Therefore it is important not to rush. Type your answers or write neatly using a black pen. If you are using a pen, be sure to print your answers; do not use script or “cursive” writing. If you make mistakes or want to change your answer(s), don’t panic, just start from the beginning on a new form.
If you need more room to answer any questions in any part of this form, use the space provided in Part 14 at the end of the application. You may also make copies of Part 14 t to complete and file with this application or attach a separate sheet of paper. In either case, you must type or print your name and A-Number (if any) at the top of each sheet; indicate the Page Number, Part Number, and Item Number to which your answer refers; and sign and date each sheet.
Do not complete Part 13 until you are told to do so by the USCIS officer at your interview. When you are instructed to do so, you will sign and date the form in the space provided. By doing so, you swear that all information you have provided is true and accurate.
You can find a link to detailed instructions for completing Form I-485 here.
Part 1. Information About You (Person applying for lawful permanent residence)
Use the name that appears on your passport, unless it has changed since you got the passport. You should also provide other names that might appear on any of your paperwork.
Provide the address where USCIS can send mail to you. You should use the “In Care Of” line if you asked someone else to receive mail for you— put his or her name here. Notice that there’s an “Alternate and/or Safe Mailing Address” section option for people applying for a Green Card because they’re in an abusive or dangerous situation.
For the Place of Last Arrival into the United States, USCIS wants to know the location where you spoke to a CBP officer. (This would be the airport where you first landed if you came by plane.) If you can’t remember, you can retrieve this information by clicking the Get Travel History button on the I-94 website.
Date of Last Arrival into the United States refers to your most recent U.S. entry from abroad. That date should be stamped in your passport.
Where it asks about your status when you last arrived, if you entered using a visa, such as F-1 (student) or B-2 (visitor for pleasure), you should enter that designation. If you don’t know or don’t have a visa, describe your status with a term such as “student” “visitor” or “asylee.”
Question 23.a Your Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record Number was issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) when you entered the United States if you did so legally (unless you are a Canadian who came by car). If you came here prior to April 30, 2013, you will probably find a white I-94 card stapled in your passport. If you came after April 30, 2013, by sea or by air, you probably didn’t get an I-94 card, so you’ll have to get your I-94 number online at CBP’s I-94 retrieval website.
You must also provide the expiration date for your status in the U.S. In most cases, this is not the same as the date your visa expires, so don’t look at your visa for the answer to this question. Instead, look for it on your I-94. Some people, mostly students and exchange program visitors, do not have an exact expiration date—they are here for the “duration of status,” noted by “D/S” on the I-94. If this applies to you, enter “D/S” in the “Expires on” answer box.
Where Question 24 asks about “current immigration status,” use either a descriptive word (like “student” or “visitor”), or a visa designation (like “H-1B”) if you know it. If your status has changed since the last time you entered the U.S., enter the status you have now. Or, if you have no legal status, indicate that by entering “overstay” if the expiration date on your visa or permitted stay has passed (in which case you may not be eligible to adjust status unless you are the immediate relative of a U.S. citizen; see a lawyer to find out), or “EWI” (entry without inspection) if you crossed the border illegally but are nevertheless eligible to use the adjustment of status procedure ( this is extremely unlikely, so you should consult a lawyer).
Part 2. Application Type or Filing Category
For Question 1, checkmark in the box that matches your situation. For instance, if you are a family-based applicant and are either an immediate relative or a preference relative with a current Priority Date and the right to apply for adjustment of status, put an “X” in Box 1.a. If you are an employment-based applicant and an employer has petitioned for you, check mark in Box 1.b.
In Question 3, the “underlying petition” is probably an I-130, I-140, I-360, or I-526, so look for the receipt number that USCIS put on its I-797 approval notice. If you’re filing in an immigrant category that allows you to file your petition along with your Form I-485 (which is unlikely), leave this blank.
In Question 4, your “Priority Date” (if you’re not in a category where visas were immediately available, such as an immediate relative) is a six-digit number located on your USCIS approval notice. This number indicates the year, month, and date when the petition was initially filed on your behalf (or by you). You should also note that a “derivative applicant” is someone who didn’t need a separate visa petition, but was named in, and is riding on another person’s petition.
Part 3. Additional Information About You
Question 1. Check the “Yes” box, If you have applied for an immigrant visa (for permanent residency) at a U.S. consulate overseas any time in the past. You must then indicate where and when you applied, and what happened. Question 3. The decision is either approved, denied, refused, or withdrawn. However, you don’t have to explain why this decision was made on this form.
Questions 5.a – 10.b The information you provide under “Address History,” is used for background checks. Fill it out as completely as you can, and if you need more room to list additional addresses, use the space provided in Part 14 of the form. The question about “most recent address outside the United States (Question 9.a-10.b) applies to situations where someone has lived in the U.S. for several years. If that doesn’t describe you, you might be putting an address that you’ve already entered above here.
Questions 11 – 22.b The information you provide under, Your “Employment History” will also be used for background check purposes. Just write or type “None” in the first box if you haven’t been working.
Part 4. Information About Your Parents
This part is also simple and should be easy to complete. Just provide basic This asks for basic biographical information, and you should write or type the answers in the appropriate spaces. The information provided here will also be used for background checks.
Part 5. Information About Your Marital History
In this part, you should indicate whether you are currently single, married, divorced, and so on, and provide details about your current spouse (if you are married). This information, and that provided under “Information About Prior Marriages,” is critical if you are immigrating to the U.S. based on marriage – USCIS wants to determine whether you are eligible to do so or not (being married to two people at once is a problem).
Part 6. Information About Your Children
This is where you must provide detailed information about all of your children (including adult children and stepchildren), even if they are not immigrating now. This is crucial if they want to immigrate later because failure to mention them now will create doubt as to whether they really exist.
Part 7. Biographic Information
The information supplied here is also used to confirm your identity. Simply indicate your race, or ethnicity and provide the information about your physical appearance/characteristics in the appropriate spaces.
Part 8. General Eligibility and Inadmissibility Grounds
This section addresses all of the ways that you could be “inadmissible” to the United States (meaning that even though you meet the basic visa requirements, past crimes, immigration violations, serious health or financial trouble, and other factors make you ineligible for entry into the country).
Among other things, this section is designed to identify terrorists. If you have been affiliated or associated with an organization that engages in or promotes violence against any group or country, even if you were only in its nonviolent subgroup, consult a lawyer. By the way, you can also list the groups that you have volunteered with, such as religious organizations, to show that you are a good person.
For most of the rest of the questions in Part 8, your answers are hopefully “no.” (Question 24 is an exception; it’s meant for J-1 visa holders who are trying to circumvent the usual requirement that they spend two years outside the U.S. before returning.)
You have to provide information about all arrests, even if you were wrongfully arrested and you were never charged with a crime. You do not have to provide any information about traffic tickets (motor vehicle infractions) unless drugs or alcohol were involved, or you were fined more than $500. You will have to provide police and court records and other material showing what happened with every arrest, charge, conviction, or sentence.
And while there’s nothing wrong with receiving public assistance, it may also result in your being found inadmissible as a “public charge.” Again, consult with an attorney before submitting this application.
If the true answer to any of these questions is “yes,” do not lie (which is not only unethical but could, if discovered, effectively end your chances of immigrating to the U.S.). Instead, consult an attorney who can thoroughly assess the situation.
Part 9. Accommodations for Individuals With Disabilities and/or Impairments
If you are disabled or impaired and require special arrangements for your interview— explain exactly what you need in this part. For example, if you have a service dog that will come to the interview with you, say so here.
Part 10: Applicant’s Statement, Contact Information, Declaration, Certification, and Signature
This is where you, the applicant for the Green Card, sign the form. You’ll also need to assure USCIS that you understand what you’re signing and stand by the authenticity of the supporting evidence you’ve submitted, and provide contact information.
Part 11: Interpreter’s Contact Information, Certification, and Signature
This is the place where your interpreter should sign if you relied on one to answer the questions. If you don’t speak or understand English well or at all, it’s best to have an interpreter (or a lawyer) help you with the form and sign it. You don’t have to speak English to get your Green Card, but if you need an interpreter at your Green Card interview, the officer is probably not going to approve your application if you don’t have an interpreter sign it.
Part 12. Contact Information, Certification, and Signature of the Person Preparing this Application, If Other Than the Applicant
If you completed Form I-485 yourself, leave this part blank. If not, this is where the lawyer or other person who filled out the form for you should sign and provide his or her information.
Part 13. Signature at Interview
Leave this blank for now. You’ll sign it when you meet with a USCIS officer for your green card interview.
If your I-485 was prepared by anyone other than yourself, you will provide information about that person in Part 12. USCIS will want to know this person’s name, address, and contact information. The preparer must make a statement and certification about their qualifications and intent in filling out the form for you. The preparer will need to sign and date in the space provided.
⛔️ DO NOT
Do NOT complete Part 13 until you are told to do so by the USCIS officer at your interview. When you are instructed to do so, you will sign and date the form in the space provided. By doing so, you swear that all information you have provided is true and accurate.
FILL THE FORMS
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USCIS requires that you send certain documents along with your application. These are known as supporting documents, and most applicants must submit the following types:
- Passport photos. Two recent identical, unedited, unmounted color passport-style photographs of yourself measuring 2-inches by 2-inches. They must also show your full face from the front and meet additional specifications set forth in the instructions. Any photograph in which you are wearing a hat or anything else on your head is not acceptable unless you are doing so to conform with religious requirements. Do not forget to write your name and A-Number (if applicable) on the back of the photograph.
Government-Issued Identity Document with Photograph
- A photocopy of a government-issued ID that includes your photograph. A copy of your current or expired passport is acceptable. If you don’t have one, you can also submit a copy of your driver’s license or similar identification.
Inspection and Admission or Inspection and Parole
- Proof that an immigration officer questioned you and reviewed your documents when you arrived in the United States and that you were allowed to enter the country through admission or parole. Acceptable documents include all I-94 Arrival/Departure Records used to enter the US; a copy of your passport page with admission or parole stamp (issued by a U.S. immigration officer); or a copy of your passport page with a nonimmigrant visa. If you claim that you were admitted or paroled into the United States but do not have these documents, you may submit secondary evidence or a sworn statement to support your argument.
Documentation of Your Immigrant Category
- Proof that you qualify for adjustment of status in a particular immigrant category. Acceptable evidence includes a photocopy of Form I-797, Receipt Notice, for your immigrant petition. (I-130 or I-140); and your immigrant petition (if you are filing in an immigrant category that allows you to file Form I-485 before your petition is approved). Derivative applicants who are filing based on a principal applicant’s petition should submit photocopies of form I-797, Approval or Receipt Notice, for the principal applicant’s immigrant petition (if applicable); and Form I-797, Approval or Receipt Notice, for the principal applicant’s Form I-485 (if applicable) or a copy of the principal applicant’s Form I-551 (Green Card) (if applicable).
Evidence of Continuously Maintaining a Lawful Status
- If you are applying under a family-based preference category or an employment-based preference category (and certain other categories), provide evidence to show you have continuously maintained lawful immigration status while in the United States and cannot be legally prevented from getting a Green Card. Acceptable proof includes copies of Form I-797 approval notices for all extensions and changes of nonimmigrant status; Form I-94 Arrival-Departure Record, including printouts of paperless I-94 admissions; and Passport page with an admission or parole stamp (issued by a U.S. immigration officer). Be sure to provide evidence for every time you entered the United States and for the time periods spent in the United States (unless the instructions for your specific question direct you to do otherwise).
Evidence of Financial Support
- Provide evidence to show that you will be able to support yourself financially, or have some other means of support and that you are not likely to require public assistance as long as you are living in the United States. For all family/immediate relatives – and some employment-based applicants, the only acceptable proof is an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864).
- You must file a Confirmation of Bona Fide Job Offer with your Form I-485 if your application is related to an employment-based visa petition (Form I-140) in certain categories and you are filing your application after the employer filed Form I-140 for you. **
Report of Medical Examination
- All applicants filing Form I-485 must have a medical exam conducted by an authorized physician. You may Form I-693, Medical Examination, Vaccination Record as proof that you did so along with Form I-485, or after you have filed Form I-485.
Certified Police/Court Records of Criminal Charges, Arrests, or Convictions
- Provide detailed information about all arrests, convictions and charges in the United States and abroad, even if the arrest occurred when you were a minor. Acceptable material includes the original police and court records; certified copies of police and court records; or sworn statements from law enforcement or prosecutors pertaining to each incident.
Marriage Certificate and Other Proof of Relationship
- Provide a copy your marriage certificate (If you are filing Form I-485 as the derivative applicant spouse of the principal applicant in most categories). If you or your spouse was married before, you must also submit that the marriage ended legally (due to death or divorce). Acceptable proof includes a divorce decree or death certificate.
Once you fill out your immigration form(s) our system will generate a customized checklist of documents you will need to submit to the USCIS with your immigration case. You can easily upload your documents into our system and request an attorney review to ensure that they are accurate and sufficient
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Now your form is completed correctly and it’s time to send it to USCIS
MAKING YOUR PAYMENT
The filing fee for Form I-485 is $1,140. There is also an $85 Biometric Services fee for most applicants. You do not have to pay the Biometric Services fee if you at least 79 or older, or if you are filing Form I-485 after you were admitted to the United States as a refugee. If you are 14 or younger and filing with one or both of your parents, the Biometric Services fee is $750.
WHERE TO SEND YOUR PACKAGE
The mailing address for your Form I-485 depends on your eligibility category. Please see the Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status page to see where you should file your application.
DETAILED FILING INSTRUCTIONS
Once your forms and documents are complete and ready to be filed you will be provided with detailed instructions on where to file and what to expect after your case is filed with the USCIS
The most detailed instruction with examples
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What is concurrent filing?
A not long time ago USCIS’s, implemented a new rule allowing the filing of an I-485 and a Form I-140 petition at the same time and provided a visa number is available at the time of filing. Concurrent filing associated with EB-1 and EB-2 beneficiaries.
How long will I have to wait to approve my application?
Once you file your Application for Adjustment of Status on Form I-485, the length of time it will take depends upon the current processing time and that can vary depending upon your location. It depends on whether your Green card application is employment-based or family-based or another immigration category. Employment-based adjustments can take anywhere from six months to two years to be approved. Family-based, it could take at least 12-18 months or longer before your I-485 application could be adjudicated.
Can I leave the country while my adjustment is pending?
- Yes, but only if you have received advance parole (referred to as a travel document). Once you are eligible to apply for an adjustment of status, You can apply for advance parole with form I-131 at the same. Once their travel documents are approved, even with pending adjustment applications, you be able to travel (as long as their adjustments remain pending).
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