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.
- Form I-797 approval notices for all extensions and changes of nonimmigrant status
- Form I-94 Arrival-Departure Record
- Form I-20
- Form DS-2019
- Passport page with an admission or parole stamp
- Affidavit of Support/Confirmation of Bona Fide Job Offer or Request for Job Portability
- Document varies based on petition type. For example, Affidavit of Support (I-864) is required if application is I-130 or I-140
- 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.
What is the Latest Form I-485 Edition?
The latest edition of Form I-485 is the “Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status” edition dated 10/13/20.
What are the Required Documents for Form I-485?
1. Form I-485 Application
2. Birth Certificate
3. Valid Passport
4. Two Photographs
5. Copy of Immigration Court Order or Final Administrative Decision from USCIS
6. Evidence of Eligibility for Adjustment of Status (including marriage certificate, if applicable)
7. Evidence of Employment Authorization (EAD)
8. Evidence of Physical Presence in the United States (such as I-94 arrival/departure record)
9. Any Additional Supporting Documents for Form I-485 (such as police clearance, medical examination results, fee payment, etc.)
10. Affidavit of Support from Sponsoring Relative or Employer (if applicable)
How to Submit Form I-485?
First, you must complete Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence. This form can be found online at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website. Once you have completed the form, you must gather the necessary supporting documents and submit them along with your form. These documents will include evidence of your identity, proof of lawful entry into the United States, and other details that support your eligibility for a green card.
Once you have gathered all of your documents and completed the form, you must mail them to the USCIS Lockbox facility indicated on the form instructions. You must also pay the filing fee or submit evidence of fee waiver eligibility as required. Once your application is received by USCIS, they will review it and contact you if they need any additional information or documentation.
What are the Filing Tips for Form I-485?
1. Read the instructions for Form I-485 carefully. Make sure you understand all the requirements for the form before submitting it.
2. Complete all required fields. Make sure to fill out all necessary information including personal details, financial details, and other required documents.
3. Submit supporting evidence along with your application. Supporting evidence should include any relevant documents and evidence that will help establish your eligibility for adjustment of status.
4. Submit your application on time. Ensure that you submit your Form I-485 by the deadline, otherwise your application may be rejected or delayed.
5. Pay the application fee. Make sure to pay the appropriate filing fee when submitting your application, otherwise it will be rejected or delayed.
6. Follow up on your application status. You may check the status of your application online or by calling USCIS at 1-800-375-5283.
Are There Special Instructions for Form I-485?
Yes, there are special instructions for Form I-485. The instructions will depend on the purpose of the form and the category under which you are filing. It is important to read the instructions carefully before submitting your form. Additionally, applicants should make sure to fill out all of the required fields accurately and completely. It is also important to remember to include all supporting documents and evidence to avoid delays. If you need additional help, you can contact the USCIS or a qualified immigration lawyer.
What is the Form I-485 Fee?
The Form I-485 fee is an application fee for those who are applying for a permanent resident status in the United States. The fee for the I-485 form is $750 for the main applicant, plus $85 biometric fee per person.
Can I Apply for Form I-485 Fee Waiver or Reduction?
Yes, you can apply for a Form I-485 fee waiver or reduction. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allows certain individuals to apply for a fee waiver or reduction when filing certain immigration forms, such as Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Generally, those who receive certain means-tested benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), are eligible to apply for a fee waiver. Additionally, applicants whose annual household income is below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines may also qualify for a fee waiver. To apply for a fee waiver or reduction, you must complete Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, and submit it to USCIS along with your Form I-485 application.
What is the Form I-485 Processing Time?
The processing time for Form I-485 depends on many factors, including the type of application and the applicant’s particular situation. Generally, processing times can range from two to six months, but some applications can take longer. The USCIS website provides estimated processing times for each form and more information on processing times.
Form I-485 Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is an I-485?
An I-485 is an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. It is used by foreign nationals who are already in the United States to apply for lawful permanent resident status (also known as a “green card”).
2. Who can file an I-485?
Any foreign national who is physically present in the United States and has been admitted or paroled into the U.S. can file an I-485. The most common applicants include people with valid nonimmigrant status, people with approved I-140 employment-based immigrant petitions, and immediate relatives of U.S. citizens.
3. What supporting documents do I need to submit with my I-485?
You must submit documents that demonstrate you meet the eligibility requirements for permanent residence, including proof of lawful entry into the U.S., evidence of work authorization, and evidence demonstrating your relationship to a qualifying relative (if applicable). You must also submit two passport-style photos and a biometrics fee.
4. How long will it take to process my I-485 application?
The processing time for I-485 applications varies depending on the USCIS service center and the type of petition is filed. Generally, processing times range from 6 months to 2 years or more.
5. How much does it cost to file an I-485 application?
The filing fee for Form I-485 is $1,225 plus an $85 biometrics fee. Additional fees may apply depending on your particular situation. You should check with USCIS for more information about fees for specific types of petitions or applications.