Applying for a Green Card can be an exciting and life-changing process. It is the key to securing permanent residence in the United States, allowing you to live and work freely in this great country.
However, Form I-485 (Application to Adjust Status), commonly known as the Green Card application, can be quite overwhelming. With so many papers to fill out and the risk of costly mistakes, getting your application approved by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can be daunting.
Form I-485 lets you apply for a Green Card while you are already in the United States, either as an immediate relative of a US citizen or as an immigrant visa holder. This application is crucial in demonstrating your eligibility for lawful permanent residence.
How Citizen Concierge Can Help You File an Application to Register Permanent Residence
It is important to note that the USCIS takes the application process seriously and expects applicants to demonstrate their eligibility for permanent residence. This is why it is crucial to complete Form I-485 accurately and provide all necessary supporting documents.
Any misinformation or omission may result in denying your application, leading to delays and potential legal complications. By choosing Citizen Concierge to assist you with your Green Card application, you can trust that your application will be handled professionally and accurately.
The friendly and knowledgeable immigration experts will guide you through each step, ensuring you understand the process and have all the necessary information at your fingertips.
Citizen Concierge truly cares about your success and will help you achieve your goal of becoming a lawful permanent resident of the United States.
Additional Documents You Can Include in the Form I-485 Package
You can apply for your Green Card through concurrent filing by submitting additional papers along with your Form I-485.
This not only speeds up the process but also ensures that you have all the necessary documentation in one package. Note that the following section is only relevant to candidates applying for residency through the family-based category:
This document establishes a spousal relationship and proves your marital history with a US citizen. It provides additional information about your spouse and is typically required for family-based applications.
The Affidavit of Support is a crucial paper that requires a financial sponsor to guarantee support to the immigrant during the immigration process. This form helps demonstrate that you will not become a public charge.
In addition to the above forms, there are a few optional papers that you may choose to include in your package:
This allows you to apply for an employment authorization paper while your Green Card application is pending. It's an excellent opportunity to have work authorization and be able to support yourself financially during the process.
If you'd like to travel to your home country while awaiting the approval notice for your Green Card, you can include this form to apply for an optional travel document. It ensures that you can return to the United States without any issues.
Finally, it is important to note that all applicants in the immigrant category are required to undergo a medical examination. You can include Form I-693, the medical report, in your Form I-485 package. This confirms that you are in good health and admissible to the United States.
Remember to gather all the necessary documentation and submit a complete package to avoid any delays or RFEs (Request for Evidence).
Basic Instructions for Filing Form I-485 at Home (Part One to Two)
While it is generally advised to rely on immigration experts who can assist you with the documentation, you can still fill out the general information on the form by yourself.
Just make sure to seek help from Citizen Concierge if you have any specific questions or if you come across sections that don’t apply to you. Here are some key points to keep in mind while filling out Form I-485:
Make sure to write your full name according to your passport and birth certificate. This helps ensure accuracy and consistency throughout the application process.
Note that candidates must submit foreign documents with a certified translation in English only. Applicants should also include photocopies of all papers unless they are specifically told to submit original forms only.
Determine which immigrant category you fall into and indicate it on the form. This category is typically based on the type of immigrant visa you currently hold or your relationship with a US citizen or Green Card holder.
Clarity in Non-applicable Sections
If you come across any questions that are not applicable to your situation, simply write "None" in the space provided. This will prevent further confusion or unnecessary information being included in your application. Otherwise, the USCIS might send back your form for revisions.
Handling Missing Middle Names
In case you do not have a middle name, make sure to indicate this by writing "N/A" or "None" in the respective field. Do not leave the space blank, as this may lead to the USCIS sending your application back for incomplete information.
Provide Accurate and Current Mailing Address
Make sure to provide your current US mailing address on the form. This will ensure that any notifications, requests for evidence, or other correspondence from USCIS reach you in a timely manner. If you want to make any changes to the form before submitting it, log onto the website using your USCIS online account number and edit accordingly.
General Instructions for Filing Form I-485 (Parts Three to Seven)
When completing part three of Form I-485, it's essential to note down everywhere you have lived in the past five years. Provide accurate addresses and dates of residency, including the periods spent abroad.
You must also provide information about every employer you have worked for in the past five years, regardless of the duration. Be sure to include both full-time and part-time positions, as well as any periods of self-employment or military service.
Additionally, part four asks for information about your deceased or alive parents. Include their full names, dates of birth, countries of birth, and immigration status if applicable.
The next section (part five) focuses on your marital history. You must disclose detailed information about each marriage, including the date, location, and status (current or terminated).
Include information about children in the sixth part of the form. Provide their full names, birth dates, countries, and immigration status.
The seventh part of Form I-485 focuses on your biographic information, including your race, gender, ethnicity, and physical attributes.
Check out our guide to Form 1-130.
Additional Assistance for Completing Form I-485 (Parts Eight to 12)
This section (part eight) requires applicants to provide information regarding their eligibility for adjustment of status. It covers various aspects, such as the grounds for inadmissibility, including criminal acts and violations, illegal entries, and being a member of organizations with questionable affiliations.
Part nine deals with accommodation for individuals with disabilities or impairments during the biometrics appointment.
Next, part 10 focuses on the applicant's contact information. In this section, you must provide your personal statement affirming the accuracy of the information provided in the application.
Lastly, parts 11 and 12 are for the interpreter or translator. The USCIS understands that language barriers can be challenging, allowing candidates to use interpreter services. Be sure to fill out these sections, sign them, and provide the required information accordingly.
Who Can Apply for Form i485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence/Adjust Status)?
Applying for permanent residence in the United States can be a life-changing opportunity for many individuals and families. Form I-485 is the crucial step toward securing a Green Card. However, who exactly is eligible to apply?
Candidates from six primary categories with different subcategories can fill up Form I-485:
One of the subcategories of individuals who can apply for Form I-485 are immediate relatives of a US citizen, including the following applicants:
- The legal foreign spouse of a US citizen.
- The parent of a US citizen who is at least 21 years old.
- Also, the unmarried child of a US citizen, where the applicant is at least 21 years old.
Additionally, the immediate relative of a lawful permanent resident can also apply for a Green Card under the family-based category, including:
- The family member of a US citizen or a permanent resident (at least 21 years old).
- Also, the fiancé(e) of a US citizen or the fiancé(e)s unmarried child.
- The widow(er) of a US citizen.
- Lastly, a VAWA petitioner or the victim of abuse (parent, child, or spouse) of a US citizen/permanent resident.
It is essential to consult official sources and seek legal advice to determine your eligibility and understand all the requirements for Form I-485. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website and Citizen Concierge can provide accurate and up-to-date information tailored to your situation.
There are three subcategories under this primary section, catering to different individuals applying for a Green Card through Form I-485:
- Immigrant investors, including candidates who invested $1,050,000 or more in a US enterprise. Additionally, the enterprise must employ 10 workers.
- Immigrant workers; this subcategory is open to first, second, and third-class foreign workers.
- Physician National Interest Waivers; this subcategory is only open to medical practitioners who agree to work full-time in a US-based area for a specific time.
- "Special immigrants," including religious workers, international broadcasters, special immigrant juveniles, Iraq or Afghan nationals, etc.
Applying with incorrect or incomplete information can lead to delays or even denials of your application by the USCIS. Don't take unnecessary risks; do your due diligence before filing Form I-485.
Refugee or Asylee
Any candidate granted at least one year of refugee or asylee status can apply for a Green Card through Form I-485.
Victims of Abuse
Applicants from the following subcategories also meet the eligibility requirements for filing Form I-485:
- Special immigrant juvenile
- VAWA petitioner
- Abused dependent of a Cuban national
Citizen Concierge can help abuse victims accurately fill up Form I-485 by sending applicants personalized instructions and a documents checklist. This ensures the process is easier to understand and candidates fulfill all criteria without making costly mistakes.
This subcategory is only open to people living in the United States since January 1972.
Crime and Human Trafficking Victims
On the other hand, applicants with a T-non-immigrant status or U-non-immigrant status can also apply for a Green Card through Form I-485.
Note that applicants in a few other categories can also use Form I-485 to become a Green Card holder, including those qualifying for the following sections:
- Cuban Adjustment Act
- Lautenberg Parolee
- Indo-Chinese Parole Adjustment Act of 2000
- Diversity Immigrant Visa Program
- Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act
- American Indian People (born in Canada)
- Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness
- Diplomats from Section 13
Unlike expensive lawyers, the i-485 experts at Citizen Concierge provide budget-friendly personalized filing instructions based on your specific circumstances, ensuring that you are well-prepared for your Green Card interview.
With professional assistance, you can navigate through the maze of paperwork and requirements, making the entire process more manageable.
Will I Become a Lawful Permanent Resident If My Form I-485 Gets Approved?
When submitting Form I-485, there are certain obligations that you must fulfill. These include attending required interviews, providing biometric information (such as fingerprints), and cooperating with the USCIS officer handling your case.
During the interview, you may be asked to provide additional information or clarify certain aspects of your application. Ultimately, whether your Form I-485 will be approved rests with the USCIS.
The immigration officer reviewing your application will consider various factors, such as your eligibility, supporting documents, and the completeness of your application. They will also assess whether you meet the required criteria for the subcategory under which you are applying.
It's understandable to feel overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork and the importance of this application process.
However, by familiarizing yourself with the process, being thorough with your documentation, and paying attention to detail, you can minimize the risk of costly mistakes that might jeopardize your application's approval.
Working with an experienced immigration company or seeking assistance from reliable resources like Citizen Concierge can also significantly increase your chances of success. Remember, your goal is to secure your Green Card and enjoy the benefits of permanent residency in the United States.
Who Cannot File for an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status?
It's important to understand that not everyone can apply for a Green Card through Form I-485. A few factors may render an individual ineligible to file an application for permanent residence or adjust their status in the United States.
Specific Immigrant Categories
Certain subcategories are automatically disqualified from applying for permanent residence or adjusting their status. These include individuals classified as crewmen, those in transit to another country, informants, witnesses, spies linked to terrorism, and those subject to deportation.
Criminal History or Records
A criminal history involving illegal activities, child abduction, or polygamous relationships can make an individual ineligible to file Form I-485. Violations of US immigration laws can also be disqualifying factors. It is essential to consult Citizen Concierge if you have any concerns related to your criminal record.
Disqualifying Mental Health Conditions and Diseases
Individuals with certain mental health conditions or diseases that threaten public health and safety may be ineligible to apply for permanent residency or adjust their status. However, the guidelines for such conditions are strictly defined, and it is advisable to seek legal advice to understand your situation.
Also, note that not all mental health conditions automatically disqualify an applicant, and each case is considered individually.
Threat to National Security
Suppose an individual is found to threaten national security or has been engaged in activities that compromise the safety and welfare of the country or its citizens. In that case, their Green Card application may be denied entirely.
It's crucial to remember that this list is incomplete, and there may be other circumstances or conditions that can disqualify a candidate from filing Form I-485 for a Green Card. If you fall into any of these categories or have concerns about your eligibility, it's strongly recommended to seek the advice and guidance of an experienced immigration expert.
What Is an Employment Authorization Document?
Are you eagerly awaiting your approval notice for Form I-485 while planning your next career move? If so, you may be eligible to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), also known as a work permit.
This crucial document allows eligible immigrants to legally work in the United States while they await the approval of their Form I-485 for a Green Card. The USCIS issues the document and provides temporary employment authorization to eligible candidates.
To apply for an Employment Authorization Document, applicants must meet specific criteria. The applicant's statement to the immigration officer must include a valid reason for needing the work permit. Additionally, candidates must submit Form I-765 along with the required supporting documents.
The processing time for an EAD can vary, but it is essential to note that it can take up to 12 months to receive a decision on your application. Therefore, applying as early as possible is crucial to ensure timely processing and receiving your work permit promptly.
Once issued, an Employment Authorization Document is usually valid for one year. After its expiration, individuals must renew it to maintain their legal right to work while they await their Green Card. It is vital to keep track of the document's expiration date and initiate the renewal process in a timely manner to avoid any gaps in employment.
However, not everyone is eligible to apply for an EAD. Certain individuals, such as those in ineligibility categories, are not qualified to apply for this documentation.
The USCIS provides clear guidelines on who can qualify for an EAD, and it is crucial to review these guidelines before applying. Additionally, if you are a foreign national (non-English speaker) applying for form I-765, remember to provide an accurate mailing address, receipt number, and your language interpreter's contact information.
The Costs of Filing Form I-485 (Adjustment of Status) for a Green Card
If you're considering applying for a Green Card in the United States through the Adjustment of Status process, it's important to gather all the necessary documents and be aware of the various costs involved.
The filing fee for Form I-485 depends on your age and circumstances. Let's start with applicants below the age of 14. The cost for this age totals $750.
On the other hand, the cost of filing Form I-485 is $1,225 for candidates in the age range of 14 to 78. If you or your loved ones are older or above 79 years old, a filing fee of $1,140 must be paid. It's important to note that refugees and asylees under the Immigration and Nationality Act are eligible to file Form I-485 for free.
Understanding the fees associated with this process can sometimes be confusing. That's why a team of experts at Citizen Concierge is ready to assist you.
They can help you gather all the necessary documents and figure out the exact costs you will need to cover to file Form I-485. Having the guidance of professionals who are knowledgeable in immigration matters can make the entire process much smoother for you.
Documents You Must Present to the USCIS
When applying for a Green Card, providing the USCIS with the necessary documents is crucial to showcase your eligibility and increase your chances of a successful application.
Proof of Valid Visa and I-94 Travel Record
The USCIS requires applicants to provide proof of a valid visa with the exact expiration date noted. Include a copy of your visa number and your I-94 travel record, which provides information about your lawful entry into the United States. This documentation is crucial in verifying your legal status and eligibility for a Green Card.
Evidence of Nationality
To establish your nationality, you will need to provide official documents such as your birth certificate and foreign passport along with Form I-485. These documents serve as concrete proof of your identity and citizenship in your home country.
Demonstrating your financial stability is an essential part of the Green Card application process. Include supporting documents, such as federal income tax returns and bank statements, to showcase your financial capabilities. This information helps the USCIS assess your ability to support yourself and your dependents in the United States.
As part of the application process, you may also need to submit an Affidavit of Support from a qualified sponsor. This document confirms that the sponsor is financially responsible for you and will provide the necessary support until you are self-sufficient or become a US citizen.
Police Clearance and Medical Examination Results
To ensure the safety and security of the United States, the USCIS requires applicants to undergo a thorough background check.
Include police clearance certificates from your home country from the age of 16. Additionally, a medical examination approved by the USCIS is necessary to assess your health and admissibility into the country.
Form I-485 adjusts your status and secures permanent residence (a Green Card) in the United States. However, before that, you will need to provide information such as your mailing address, alien registration number (if applicable), immigrant visa, and employment authorization document (if applicable).
It is crucial to fill out the form accurately and provide all the necessary supporting documents. One essential aspect of the process is the priority date, determining when an immigrant visa becomes available.
This information is vital in understanding your place in line and estimating how long the process might take.
Secondary Documents You Can Submit to the USCIS When Applying for Form I-485
In some cases, primary documents may be unavailable or lost. Candidates without a birth certificate, for instance, can submit alternative papers such as school records, census records, or baptism records. These documents serve as secondary evidence to establish your identity and nationality.
Additionally, applicants who do not have both parental figures alive can submit two written statements from guardians who have knowledge of the applicant's statement and birth. These declarations act as supporting documents to verify your personal background.
When applying for a Green Card, one of the first things you need to consider is the priority date. This date determines your place in line for a visa number, as outlined by the bulletin, which is published monthly by the US Department of State.
The visa bulletin is a valuable resource that provides crucial information about the availability of Green Cards for each category, allowing you to choose the optimal time to file your Form I-485 application.
Navigating the Form I-485 Application to Adjust Status can be a daunting task, but with the assistance of Citizen Concierge, you can feel confident and informed throughout the process.
The immigration experts at Citizen Concierge can provide guidance and preparation resources to help you smoothly navigate your Green Card interview.
Additionally, the friendly and knowledgeable team is dedicated to providing personalized assistance, addressing any questions or concerns you may have.
The above is a sponsored post, the views expressed are those of the sponsor/author and do not represent the stand and views of Outlook Editorial.