What is Form I-485?
Foreign nationals file Form I-485 to adjust their immigration status to permanent residents. Filing I 485 is the first step in obtaining your green card. There are three criteria for Form I-485. First, applicants must be residing in the United States. Foreign national residing outside the U.S. must first petition for an immigration visa. More information is available at the immigration visa section. Second, applicants must have an approved immigration petition through family, marriage, or employment. Third, applicants must have a current priority date assigned by the USCIS. A priority date is the date at which a petitioner or potential immigrant to the United States has indicated their interest in obtaining a visa to the USCIS.
After submitting an application package, USCIS issues a receipt number to applicants. Applicants can use this receipt number to check their USCIS case status online. I-485 processing time varies by petition type, but applicants seeking permanent resident status through employment can expect the petition to be reviewed within 4 months. During the review process, the USCIS may require applicants to come into a service center for in-person interview. In-person interview is common for marriage based petitions to verify the legitimacy of the marriage.
What are Form I-485 Instruction?
When submitting Form I-485, applicants must complete the form and submit supporting documents as a complete package. Applicants can download a copy of Form I-485. Below shows the list of required supporting documents.
- 2 copies of passport sized photographs
- Government issued identification with photograph
- Copy of a birth certificate (except for refugees and asylees)
- Inspection and Admission or Inspection and Parole; one of the following documents can be accepted.
- Passport page with admission or parole stamp
- Passport page with nonimmigrant visa
- Form I-94
- Documentation of Your Immigrant Category
- Documents may vary based on Part 2 of Form I-485
- Marriage Certificate and Other Proof of Relationship (required for applicants petitioning through marriage)
- Evidence of Continuously Maintaining a Lawful Status Since Arrival in the United States; one of the following documents can be accepted.
- Affidavit of Support/Confirmation of Bona Fide Job Offer or Request for Job Portability
- Evidence of Financial Support
- Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record (Form I-693)
In addition to supporting documents, applicants must not travel outside the U.S. If the application leaves the country after filing the I-485, the application will be abandoned unless applicant files Form I-131 and I-765. The applicant must receive approvals for I-131 and I-765 before traveling outside the country. Also, Form G-325A, which captures the applicant’s biographic information, is not required in the I-485 package. By answering part 1 and 3 of I-485, USCIS will be able to capture the applicant’s biographic information.
What is the Filing Fee for I-485?
For filing Form I 485, fee may vary on the application’s age and situation. Applicants must pay the full amount at the time of filing. Paying the wrong fee amount may lead to a rejection.
|Filing Fee||Biometric Services Fee|
|Under 14 and filing with the I-485 application of at least one parent|
|Under 14 and not filing with the I-485 application of at least one parent|
|Age 14 – 78|
|Age 79 or older|
|Filing Form I-485 based on having been admitted to the United States as a refugee|
Also, applicants under circumstances can file a fee waiver form (I-912) to waive the filing and biometric fees. An example of valid circumstance is an individual living at or below 150% of federal poverty guidelines.