If you are currently in the U.S. and wish to apply for permanent residency, you will be eligible to adjust your status. If this is something you wish to undergo, Form I-485 will be mandated for you to fill out.
It’s important to note that the adjustment of status filing process could be lengthy from start to finish, due to biometrics appointment processing times, interview availability, and adjustment of status interview slot choices.
Below, we will give a general timeline as to what occurs after filing Form I-485, Adjustment of Status.
Steps to Complete After Filing Form I-485
After filing your I-485 form, you will receive a USCIS receipt notice in the mail. This notice will arrive from the USCIS typically two to four weeks after the office receives your completed form.
In some cases, USCIS will reject your application because of a failure to sign or application incompleteness. If this is the case, USCIS will return your form to you, and you will need to complete it correctly again.
Related Article: Check our comprehensive guide on the Form I-485 checklist
Receipt of Application
This receipt of your application is compulsory to keep because it contains a 13-digit number with which you can check your green card status. The typical I-485 processing time varies because the quicker this application, the quicker you can continue on with your application steps.
Biometrics Appointment Notice
Three to five weeks following the submission of your I-485 form, the USCIS will notify you to schedule your biometric appointment. The main priority of this appointment is to get fingerprinted, take professional photos, and gain a valid signature so that a background check can be performed.
If you want to make an I-485 status check or wonder when you will get your appointment notice, calling or emailing the USCIS contact center will be your best option.
Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
This Employment Authorization Document is the only way to prove that you are authorized to work within the U.S. for a given period. An EAD is commonly known as a work permit. This process will take approximately 12 to 16 weeks after initially filing your application Form I-765.
Your EAD and an advance parole travel document, which is a travel document allowing you to re-enter the U.S., are typically combined into a single physical card. This card will be sent to you in the mail to your I-485 filing address listed on your application.
Once the first two steps are completed, you will receive a notice to attend an adjustment of status interview. Sometimes, this interview might not be required by USCIS, but this will solely depend on your case.
If you have followed the stages of the Green card process and filed your application with all the necessary documents, this interview won’t be intense. Typically, the notice to schedule a consultation will come approximately four to 10 months after filing your green card application.
Adjustment of Status Interview
Prior to having your AOS interview, it’s important to prepare. Review all the documents you have filled out, look over Form I-485’s instructions, and ensure you have all the required paperwork.
Here are a few items you should make sure to bring with you to your appointment:
- A copy of your immigrant petition
- Your Adjustment of Status application
- Any original copies of your documents that were previously submitted to the USCIS
- An EAD or advance parole documents if you have them
- Your passport or travel stamp containing your immigrant visa obtained when you entered the U.S.
Granted Permanent Residence
Typically, eight to 14 months following your filing of a green card application, you will be granted permanent residence. If approved, the USCIS will then mail you your green card within a few weeks of their official decision.
If you are approved for permanent residence, you will no longer need your employment authorization document. Additionally, you can travel freely in and out of the U.S. and reap all the benefits a citizen of the U.S. has.
If on the chance you get denied, you will receive a letter in the mail with various reasons as to why your adjustment of status was denied. Here are some common reasons for the denial of an I-485 form:
- Criminal-related issues: If you have been convicted of certain types of crimes upon coming to the U.S. or attempt to move to the U.S. with a motive to commit crimes, your green card application will be denied.
- Immigration violations: If you were caught entering the U.S. illegally, violating the terms of your visa, or even abusing the visa process, then your green card could be subject to denial.
- The failure to meet application requirements: Because the green card process requires countless documents and fees that are needed to be properly processed, failure to follow the instructions or include all the information needed could result in a green card denial.
- The failure to attend mandatory appointments: As you know, interviews or appointments scheduled to obtain your green card legally are mandatory. If you do not attend, then your green card could be denied.
Steps After Form I-485 Approval
Receiving approval for your adjustment of status application is always great news. But, there are a few things you should do after being granted permanent residency. First and foremost, a stamp on your passport is the main source of proof that you are officially a legal permanent resident of the U.S.
This passport stamp you are required to get can be used similar to your physical green card, meaning it can be used as a legal travel document for travel abroad and re-entry into the U.S. or for employment purposes.
Taking an Appointment
An appointment must be made with the USCIS ahead of time because they do not offer walk-ins. Once you schedule your appointment, you will need to print out the confirmation receipt to show when you arrive at the local office.
Documents to Be Carried
Here are the documents that need to be brought with to your appointment:
- Your confirmation letter that you printed out regarding your appointment
- Two professional photographs that are the same
- A passport that is valid for at least one year from the stamping date
- Additional forms of ID, such as a driver’s license
- Your original mailed approval from your I-485 travel document form (USCIS won’t accept a printout of the approval notice)
After Stamping Your Passport
After your passport has been stamped, you will receive your physical green card in the mail within two to four weeks. However, sometimes your green card could take months but should arrive before your temporary green card expires.
You are able to look online via the USCIS website to check the status of your green card.
Getting a Social Security Card
Because you are now a legal permanent resident of the U.S. you will be able to acquire a social security card. Typically, it will take around 10 business days for the Social Security Administration to process your card.
The SSA will need to obtain all the information you gave from the Department of Homeland Security and change your legal residency status. Once this is completed, you will receive your card in the mail.
Get Help Completing and Filing Form I-485
Luckily, once your I-485 form gets approved, it’s generally smooth sailing. However, it’s important to follow the green card application process correctly the first time. By seeking out the support of ImmigrationDirect, we can ensure that your documents are filled out accurately and filed in a timely manner.
If you are starting the green card process or have any questions about what happens upon hearing approval from USCIS regarding your Form I-485, contact us today.