- Who Can File Form I-485?
- What Documents Do You Need to File Form I-485?
- How Much Does It Cost to File Form I-485?
Foreign nationals who are living in the United States under temporary visa status may apply for Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Only individuals who are eligible for a Green Card and fulfill certain requirements may use the form to become legal permanent residents of the United States. To put it simply, the form is for temporary U.S. visa holders who want to adjust their status to lawful permanent residence.
The eligibility criteria may vary based on the immigrant category the person is applying under. Additionally, he or she must be physically present in the U.S. to file the application form.
The form is available for free download on the official USCIS website. Make sure you use only the latest version of the form or your application might get rejected.
One may apply as a “Principal Applicant” who is directly eligible for a particular immigrant category, or as a “Derivative Applicant” who is a family member of the principal applicant. The principal applicant as well as the derivative applicant must clearly outline the immigrant category they are applying under. The eligibility requirements for adjustment of status vary based on the category you choose.
For instance, certain immigrant categories do not have the option to apply as derivative applicants. On the other hand, there are a few categories that allow additional family members of principal applicants to apply as derivative applicants.
If you do not belong to any of the immigrant categories mentioned on Form I-485, Part 2. Application Type or Filing Category, Item Numbers 1.a. – 1. g, you must tick the option “Other Eligibility” in Item Number 1.g. and specify the category you are applying under.
The USCIS also specifies individuals who may not be eligible to adjust their status to permanent residence. You may be regarded as ineligible for adjustment of status if:
- Certain adjustment bars mentioned in INA sections 245(a), (c), (d), or (e) apply to you.
- You fall under the grounds of inadmissibility as mentioned by the USCIS in INA section 212 (a), specifying conduct, acts, and conditions that make non-immigrants ineligible to adjust status to legal permanent residents. To get more details, you can explore your options for green card eligibility.
- You are eligible to adjust your status to permanent residence under INA section 245(i) even if certain adjustment bars apply to you.
- You hold specific diplomatic privileges, rights, and exemptions under A, G, or E non-immigrant status.
- You are/were a J-1 or J-2 non-immigrant exchange visitor who is subject to fulfilling two-year foreign residence requirements as outlined in INA section 212(e).
If you want to apply for a marriage-based U.S. Green Card, you or your foreign spouse must be physically present in the United States before they can file Form I-485 for a Green Card. Additionally, the spouse must enter the country on a valid visa.
If you have not participated in the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV Lottery) and applied for Form I-485 for adjustment of status, then you need to submit the following supporting documents:
- Proof that you held a visa U.S. visa upon arrival in the country. You must submit a copy of your visa and the I-94 travel record as evidence.
- A copy of your passport and birth certificate as proof of your nationality.
- Proof of conduct, such as a certified copy of the court, which states that you have never been convicted or arrested.
- Proof of your sponsor’s financial stability to understand if they can support the applicant.
- If the person is a derivative applicant, you must submit documents stating your relationship with the applicant.
- Your marriage certificate if the principal applicant is the spouse of a valid U.S. citizen or Green card holder.
- Report or vaccination record and Immigration Medical Examination.
The standard filing fee for Form I-485 is $1,140. You are required to pay an additional $85 as a biometric services fee.
Filing Form I-485 for adjustment of status may be tricky and requires knowledge of federal immigration law. You may refer to USCIS’s Instructions for Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status or seek consultation from an experienced immigration lawyer. They will help you navigate the challenges and benefits of being a Green Card holder in the United States.
Onal Gallant Bayram&Amin PC is a law office specializing in Real Estate Law, Intellectual Property, Corporate and Business Law, Immigration Law, and US Visa Processes. We provide reliable advice on topics like forming a corporation, buying a house in the US, trademark registration, and Green Card applications (e.g., EB3 Visa or DV Lottery). Our experienced lawyers are ready to help with exceptional knowledge and insight into immigration law.
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