Individuals who are in the United States on an immigration visa will use Form I-485 to apply to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
Services (USCIS) for the adjustment of status to permanent resident.
What do you need before you can start the
Adjustment of Status process?
- You must have an USCIS approved immigrant visa petition. This could
be family based or employment based, for example.
- You must have an immigrant visa number. In some cases, even though you have an approved immigrant petition from
the USCIS, the State Department may take several years before they give you an immigrant visa number. Unless your
immigrant visa number is immediately available, the USCIS will assign you a Priority Date. The Priority Date is the date when your immigrant petition was filed. The Department of State publishes a monthly Visa Bulletin that informs you when your Priority Date meets the Qualifying Date. At that point, your petition is ready to be processed at the National Visa Center
(NVC). Once you have your immigrant visa number, you can apply for an adjustment of status.
Who may file Form I-485 for the Adjustment of Status and become a Green
You can file Form I-485 to adjust your status if you satisfy the above conditions and if:
- You are currently in the United States on an approved family based immigrant petition and an immigrant visa number
is already available; or
- You are under 21 years of age and are the unmarried child of a U.S. Citizen; or
- You are the spouse of a Lawful permanent Resident or Green Card holder; or
- You are under 21 years of age and are the unmarried child of a Lawful Permanent Resident or Green Card holder; or
- You are currently in the United States on an approved employment based immigrant petition and an immigrant visa
number is already available; or
- You entered the United States as a K-1 fiancé(e) of a U.S. Citizen and were married within 90 days after you entry into
the United States. And if you have children that entered the U.S. on a K-2 visa, they too can go through the adjustment of
status process with you, the K-1 visa holder; or
- You were granted asylum in the United States, you have been physically present in the U.S. for one year and you still
qualify as an asylee; or
- You were admitted in the United States as a refugee, you have been physically present in the U.S. for one year and
your status as not been terminated.
The Adjustment of Status Application Process
In order to apply for adjustment of status, you will need the following:
- Accurately completed Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status;
- A copy of a U.S. government document proving that you are eligible for adjustment of status, such as an approved
immigrant visa petition and immigrant visa number, a State Department letter stating that you've won the green card
lottery, a grant of political asylum, etc.;
- A completed Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, if required;
- A completed Form I-693, Medical Examination of Aliens Seeking Adjustment of Status;
- If the process was originally started through a family based immigration visa petition, then you must include evidence
showing family ties;
- If the process was originally started through an employment based immigration visa petition, then you may have to include the job offer letter, if applicable.
Once you have accurately completed Form I-485 application, send it along with the supporting documents and fees to the
appropriate USCIS address. If you are 79 years or older, you will not be charged a biometric fee. If you are filing this form on
the basis of being admitted to the United States as a refugee, then you need not pay any fee.
If after you send the adjustment of status application to the USCIS, you need to travel and/or work abroad, you can do so,
but you need advanced and approved permission to do so. If you do not get this travel document approval before you leave
the U.S., you will abandon your application with USCIS and you will not be allowed to return to the United States.