USCIS Updates Green Card Application Form

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) revised Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status and accompanying instructions to provide better information and to reduce complexity around the form. The updates are intended to increase the efficiency of the adjudication process by reducing errors and requests for evidence.

“The revised version gives applicants better information to accurately complete Form I-485, including clear navigation to the parts of the form and instructions that are relevant to the applicants’ specific situations,” according to the USCIS release to announce the form updates.

Features of the revised Form I-485 include these improvements:

  • Better flow and organization of questions for a more user-friendly experience for both applicants and USCIS officials, including improved readability through new spacing, columns, flow, white space, and formatting
  • Easier navigation through biographic information questions (Form G-325A,) eliminating the need to file a separate form
  • Easier identification of applicant immigrant categories with the inclusion of a list of 27 immigrant categories
  • Better assessment of applicant admissibility and eligibility with the added list of a comprehensive, admissibility-related questions

In another revision, USCIS added information to Form I-485 Supplement A and Form I-485 Supplement J (as well as each supplement’s instructions.) The additions provide applicants with greater informational detail about proper completion, filing, and submission of evidence in cases where the supplements apply.

USCIS will accept both the old and the new editions of Form I-485 and Supplement A and J for a 60-day grace period through Aug. 24, 2017. Beginning on Aug. 25, the agency will only accept the revised Form and Supplement A and J of Form I-485, cutting off submissions of the earlier versions of forms.

“Applicants living in the United States file Form I-485 to adjust their immigration status and become lawful permanent residents, which allows one to live and work permanently in the United States,” according to the agency’s release. “Adjusting status is a critical step for those seeking U.S. citizenship.”

The agency describes the new forms as “substantially updated” in areas identified by the agency as overly complex, identified after collecting comments from the public and stakeholders.

While users find a different look to both Form I-485 and its instructions, the nuts-and-bolts process for filing Form I-485 and Form I-485 Supplement A and Form I-485 Supplement J remains the same across the board. Paper applications are submitted to the locations listed on the form instructions.

“These updates should increase the efficiency of the adjudication process by reducing errors and requests for evidence,” according to the USCIS statement.