Form I-485: Step by step to apply for permanent residency

The green card is the dream of most migrants arriving in the United States. Many of them seek to change their situation through adjustment of status. In this note, we will see what is Form I-485 and how to apply for permanent residence.

We know that this kind of process is difficult to deal with. The amount of documentation required and the multiple variants of the process can be a challenge. That’s why we at Jaskot Law are here to help. Talk to our attorneys and take the first step towards your Green Card.

What is Form I-485?

Form I-485 is a document used to adjust your immigration status to permanent resident. It is usually requested after filing Form I-130. However, it is also useful for other cases. For example, a migrant with a VAWA visa who wants to apply for permanent residence can do so through the I-485.

Form I-485 is the document to apply for adjustment of status.
Form I-485 is the document to apply for adjustment of status.

This form is used to verify the foreign applicant’ s eligibility for a green card. It can be filed simultaneously with the I-130, which saves processing time. However, this varies from case to case. Therefore, it is best to consult a lawyer. At Jaskot Law we can help. Tell us about your case and clear your doubts.

Who can file Form I-485?

There are certain requirements that any applicant must meet in order to file Form I-485. These factors are:

  • Immigration Status: The applicant must have a valid nonimmigrant status at the time of filing Form I-485. This implies not having entered the country illegally and respecting the terms of your current status.
  • Immigrant visa availability: The applicant must have an immigrant visa available based on his/her priority date. These visas are determined by DHS.
  • Grounds of inadmissibility: The applicant cannot have any grounds of inadmissibility to enter the United States. Some of the causes include health reasons, criminal record, or risk of becoming a public charge.
  • Sponsorship: The applicant must have a sponsor. This may be an employer or a U.S. citizen or resident relative. However, please note that not all members of your family are eligible for adjustment of status.

Please note that eligibility requirements vary depending on your particular circumstances. Each case is unique, so it is best to seek the assistance of an immigration attorney. He can make sure that he meets all the necessary criteria. Do not risk your future. Contact us and get the legal help you need.

Who cannot file a Form I-485?

Not every migrant can apply for adjustment of status in the United States. Generally, you will not be able to file a Form I-485 if:

  • He entered the United States illegally.
  • He entered the United States “in transit” (i.e., en route to another country).
  • He was accepted to the United States as a witness or informant.
  • Is “deportable” for terrorist activity or is involved with a terrorist group.
  • It has some cause of inadmissibility. The most common are:
    • Health-related reasons (has a disease that poses a public health hazard).
    • Reasons related to your criminal record (you were charged with specific crimes, such as drug trafficking or human trafficking).
    • Security reasons (represents a threat to the national security of the United States).
    • Violations of U.S. immigration laws or processes.
    • Risk of representing a public burden (dependent on public or social benefits).

If this is your case, do not despair. Some grounds of inadmissibility are waivable through an immigration waiver. Therefore, it is best to seek the assistance of an attorney. Don’t let a hardship ruin your immigration process. At Jaskot Law we are here for you. Talk to a lawyer and move towards your American dream.

Supporting documentation for Form I-485

Along with Form I-485, you must submit certain supporting documentation. Some of the documents you may need are:

  • Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record.
  • Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative (if applicable).
  • Form I-864, Affidavit of Support.
  • Copy of the page(s) of your passport.
  • Two passport photographs.
  • Evidence of a valid relationship with the applicant’s relative or employer (if applicable).
  • Proof of legal entry into the United States.
  • Medical examination results.
  • Criminal background check.
  • Evidence of financial support.
  • Evidence of continuous U.S. residency (if applicable).
  • Proof of residency and/or citizenship of your sponsor (if applicable).
  • Payment of the corresponding fees.

Please note that supporting documentation varies depending on your particular case. For this reason, you may need to submit certain additional documents. Therefore, it is best to seek an attorney to assist you in gathering your documentation. At Jaskot Law we can help you. Tell us about your case and let’s get your documents in order.

What is the status adjustment process like?

The status adjustment process consists of the following steps:

1: Gather the required documentation

Before filing Form I-485, gather all necessarysupporting documentation. USCIS only accepts documents in English. If any document is in a foreign language, get a certified translation.

2: Completing Form I-485

Complete Form I-485 clearly and accurately. Answer “N/A” for questions that do not apply to your situation. You can do it online or by hand. Refer to the USCIS instructions or seek legal help if you need assistance.

3: Pay the corresponding fees

Along with Form I-485 and supporting documentation, pay the required fees. Accepted payment methods include credit card, check, money order or the USCIS online payment system.

4: Send the application

Submit your completed application to USCIS, either online or by mail. Verify the address of the USCIS office for your state before submitting.

5: Attend the biometric services appointment.

USCIS will schedule an appointment to take your biometrics, where you will need to provide fingerprints, signature and photographs. This is required for background and identity verification. Then, wait for the USCIS decision on your application.

If USCIS denies your application for adjustment of status, you could face serious consequences. In some situations, you may be placed in deportation proceedings. For this reason, the help of a lawyer is key. Do not risk your future. Talk to one of our attorneys and let’s take the next step in your immigration process together.

How long does it take to process Form I-485?

There is no specific processing time for Form I-485. Rather, this depends on your adjustment category and the workload of the USCIS office handling your application. For example, the processing time for applications filed by spouses of U.S. citizens is 9 to 11 months.

An immigration attorney can help you follow up on your case properly.
An immigration attorney can help you follow up on your case properly.

However, keep in mind that this is always a lengthy process. In addition, any errors or missing documentation can cause significant delays. It is best to consult with an immigration attorney to avoid these problems. At Jaskot Law we can help you. Contact us and take the next step towards your green card.

The adjustment of status process through Form I-485 is one of the most requested by immigrants. It allows employees, family members and beneficiaries of certain visas to obtain permanent residency in the United States. However, the process is extremely time-consuming. Moreover, it varies from case to case and depends on many factors.

This is why having the help of an immigration attorney makes all the difference. This is key to understanding the process, gathering the necessary documentation and avoiding costly problems. At Jaskot Law we know what is at stake behind an I-485 petition. We can help you. Talk to an attorney today and take the first step towards your green card.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I work or travel while processing my adjustment of status?

Yes, you can travel and work with a pending Form I-485. However, you must first apply for Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) and Advance Parole. You can talk to our professionals for more details.

What fees do I have to pay for the adjustment of status process?

You must pay a fee of $1,140 for filing Form I-485 and $85 for the biometrics appointment. However, depending on your situation, additional fees may apply. Therefore, it is best to check the USCIS website and consult with an immigration attorney.

How can I translate my additional documentation?

USCIS only accepts documents translated into English by certified translators and that meet USCIS requirements. It must be accompanied by a certificate of accuracy and the details of the translator hired. Also, remember to send the translated documents along with your Form I-485.

Can I bring my family with Form I-485?

Yes, you may bring your family by filing Form I-485 along with the I-130. The latter serves to establish the existence of the family relationship and must be presented by its sponsor. However, only certain immediate family members of citizens and residents are eligible. Therefore, it is best to consult with an attorney before proceeding.

Other resources that may be of interest to you

American Residency Processing by Family Petition: The Complete Guide

What Is A Derivative Beneficiary In An Immigration Case?

Permanent Residency by Asylum: Process and Advice

Permanent Residence for Asylees: What is the AS6 Category?

How to obtain permanent residency through TPS?

Is it possible to obtain permanent residency by T Visa?

Applying for VAWA residency: How is it done and how long does it take?

Approved Special Immigrant Juvenile Visa: What Next After Obtaining SIJS?