Adjustment of Status (I-485)
Eligible persons present in the United States can apply for lawful permanent resident status by filing Form I-485 Application To Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. The Adjustment of Status means changing your immigration status and becoming a permanent resident without returning home to complete visa processing. It is the same as applying for a Green Card.
The eligibility for Adjustment of Status depends on more factors than can be listed here. Each category of immigration has different criteria for filing the I-485 petition.
These are the different immigrant categories in which you are able to apply for a Green Card but our firm specializes in the following:
- Family Relationship (approved through Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative)
- Marriage to U.S. National (approved through Form I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé)
There are other circumstances in which you may be eligible to file an adjustment of status application, such as if you are a student, tourist, or Cuban national. Our immigration attorneys can assist you.
Visa Availability in Your Category
Before filing Form I-485, you need a visa that is available in your category of immigration.
Specific petition categories, such as family relationships, allow you to file your I-485 Petition for Adjustment of Status at the same time your relative files Form I-130. Other categories, such as employment-based petitions, are more limited. In this case, you will need to check visa availability on the Department of State’s Visa Bulletin.
To correctly use the Visa Bulletin, you have to know your Priority Date, the date that your employer or relative filed your immigrant petition. If you applied for a labor certification, your Priority Date would be the date of approval by the Department of Labor.
Green Card applications can get very complicated and scary. Our immigration lawyers can provide the correct information for you to file an application for the Adjustment of Status successfully.
What if I Have a Marriage Green Card/Spouse Visa
If you have a spouse visa based on marriage with a U.S. lawful permanent resident, filing Form I-485 can prove that you are eligible for U.S. permanent residency. As long as the foreign spouse has entered the United States with a valid visa, they can file for Adjustment of Status of their residence. Your Form I-130 must already be approved or concurrently filed to be eligible for a permanent Green Card. Spouses must be physically present in the U.S. to file the I-485 petition.
Supporting Documents for Filing To Adjust Status
Part of the filing process is gathering the necessary documents to include in your application for Adjustment of Status.
Here is a list of supporting documents for Form I-485:
● 2 passport/travel document style photographs
● A copy of a government-issued ID (with photograph)
● A copy of your birth certificate
● Inspection and admission documentation
● Documentation of your immigrant category (a copy of the petition filed on your behalf or approval/receipt of notice)
● Any criminal records
● If marriage-based: your marriage certificate
● Other various waivers and forms
Our immigration attorneys can give personal guidance throughout the application process to suit your unique situation.
What To Expect After Filing Form I-485
After you file Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, you will receive a date and time for your Application Support Center appointment. Here, you will have to provide fingerprints, photographs, and signatures. This appointment is necessary to conduct security checks and verify your identity.
At the appointment, you must sign saying you reviewed your application and that all the information is accurate and complete at the time of filing. If you miss your appointment without properly notifying the Application Support Center, your application can be denied.
If You Are Outside of the U.S.
If you are ineligible to apply for a Green Card or Adjustment of Status, you can alternatively use Consular Processing. This process is when you apply for a Green Card through a U.S. consulate in your country. In this case, you must still have an immigrant petition filed in the U.S. on your behalf. The consular office should notify you when the right kind of visa is available so you can apply for it.