Form I-485, Adjustment of Status
Murray & Silva, P.A. simplifies Form I-485 by explaining eligibility, required documents, and how to successfully apply. Give us a call today.
Becoming a Permanent Resident in the U.S.
Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, is a form used by immigrants on a temporary visa in the U.S. to obtain lawful permanent residence. This includes immigrants on study, employment, tourism, or asylum visas and holders of conditional permanent residency status.
To apply for adjustment of status, you must be eligible for a green card and meet several criteria, which we will explain in detail in this article. If you are planning on applying for adjustment of status, consider consulting an attorney to ensure the best possible outcome.
Immigration attorneys at Murray & Silva, P.A., are dedicated to helping you achieve your immigration goals with the least complications or delays. Contact us to learn how we can make becoming a U.S. permanent resident a lot easier for you.
What Is Form I-485?
Form I-485 is used by foreigners in the U.S. on non-immigrant visas to adjust their status to permanent residence.
A successful Form I-485 application allows the foreign national to obtain a green card and become a lawful permanent resident. This means that they can live and work in the U.S. without requiring an employment authorization document for a renewable ten years.
Form I-485 Eligibility Criteria
Only eligible immigrants can apply for a green card as stipulated in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Luckily, you can qualify for a green card in multiple categories, including employment-based, family-based, and humanitarian.
While each category and sub-category has specific requirements, you’ll need to meet the following criteria in all cases:
An immigrant visa is immediately available to you. If you are a relative of a green card holder, you can only file Form I-485 when your priority date becomes current. If you are an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, a visa is always available to you.
You entered the U.S. on a valid visa.
You have maintained legal status or are eligible for unlawful presence waivers.
You are in the U.S. at the time of application.
You can show proof of financial support.
You qualify for a U.S. immigrant visa.
You are admissible into the U.S.
Before going through the green card process for family members of a permanent resident, make sure you have the necessary documentation to prove your relationship with the sponsor of your I-130 petition. For example, if you are the spouse of a U.S. citizen, you must provide a marriage certificate.
In addition to the eligibility requirements mentioned above, you are required to prove that your job offer still exists with the employer that sponsored your I-140 petition and that you are planning to accept it once your application is approved.
Asylees, VAWA self-petitioners, DACA recipients, and refugees can all apply for U.S. permanent residency status if they are eligible for an immigration visa and meet the adjustment of status requirements.
A qualified immigration attorney can help you determine your eligibility and overcome any possible obstacles.
Along with your Form I-485, you must submit certain supporting documents, depending on your visa category. Here’s what you’ll generally need:
Proof that you were legally inspected and admitted into the U.S., such as form I-94.
Copy of your foreign passport and birth certificate
Proof of immigration status, such as the notice of approval of Form I-130 or I-140
Proof of financial means if applicable. The petitioner should attach pay stubs and federal tax returns.
Evidence of no past criminal record. If you have ever been arrested, you must secure a court records certificate to prove you were acquitted.
Proof of immigration medical examination done by a USCIS-approved doctor.
Proof of maintaining continuous lawful status
The Required Information to Complete Form I-485
Form I-485 consists of 13 parts, each dedicated to a certain type of information about the applicant. Here are a few details that you’ll need to include in your application.
Current legal name, birth date, mailing address, and Form I-94 record number
Filing category and the eligibility criteria you’re applying for
Address and employment history in the previous five years
Your parent’s details, including their names and birth dates
Your marital status and prior marriages, if any
Your children’s details, including their date and country of birth
Weight, height, race, ethnicity, hair, and eye color
Whether an interpreter or any other person helped you fill out the form
Contact details and sign the form
The interpreter’s contact information, if applicable
Ensure you read the filing instructions provided by the USCIS before filling out the form.
How to File Form I-485?
You must submit your completed and signed Form I-485 via mail only. The USCIS won’t accept any form submitted in person. The address to which you can submit your application depends on your state of residence and filing category.
You must pay a filing fee of $750 or $1,140, depending on your age and immigration status, and an additional $85 for biometric services. Refugees are exempted from paying filing and biometrics fees.
What Happens After Filing Form I-485?
You’ll get a biometrics appointment notice a few weeks after successfully filing Form I-485. At the biometrics office, your photograph, fingerprint, and signature will be collected by a USCIS officer. Remember to carry your notice of appointment and your ID card.
A few months after submitting your application, The USCIS may summon you for an interview. The interview usually seeks clarification of the information you submitted in Form I-485. You must carry with you the original documents you attached to the application form and any other documents the USCIS requests.
Track your Case and Wait for a Decision
You can track the progress of your application online using your receipt number, Alien registration number (A-number), or date of birth.
Contact Murray & Silva, P.A., Today
Collecting the required documents, completing the application form, and filing it can be challenging and stressful. Even the tiniest mistakes or discrepancies can lead to delays or rejections. It’s important to seek legal counsel from a professional immigration lawyer to ensure the smooth processing of your case and the most favorable outcome.
Murray & Silva, P.A. can help you fill out Form I-485 and guide you through the entire process. With our attorneys on your side, you’ll be assured of a seamless application process without any mistakes, complications, or delays.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today for a free consultation.
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