I-485 Form: Understanding the Adjustment of Status Application Process

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Unlock the complexities of the I-485 form for permanent residency with professional guidance from The Law Office of Tatiane M. Silva, P.A.

What Is Form I-485?

If you entered the U.S. lawfully and are eligible for a green card, it is possible to transition from your current immigration status and become a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) through the adjustment of status process without having to leave the U.S. 

Form I-485 is one of the primary documents you need to get started. Formally known as the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, the I-485 form is an official document issued and processed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It allows green card applicants like you to demonstrate that they meet the legal conditions for adjustment of status and a green card.

The success of your adjustment of status application largely depends on this form and the information you include in it. Therefore, it is important that you understand how the form works to maximize your chances of a positive outcome.

At The Law Office of Tatiane M. Silva, P.A., we take pride in our ability to help our clients realize their dreams of becoming permanent residents of the United States. As a dedicated immigration law firm, we recognize that this form is one of the keys to your permanent residence, so we’ve created this comprehensive guide to help you understand its basics.

Read on to learn more about Form I-485, its crucial role in the adjustment of status process, and some of the specific ways we can help.

Who Can File Form I-485?

Generally, the individuals who are eligible to file Form-I-485 fall within three broad categories:

1. Family Based-Green Card Applicants

Those in this category are eligible for permanent residence because they are closely related to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR).

Usually, the U.S. citizen or LPR relative must have filed an immigrant petition (Form I-130) on behalf of the green card applicant and obtained approval before Form I-485 can be filed. However, the immediate relatives (parents, spouses, and minor unmarried children) of U.S. citizens are eligible for concurrent filing, meaning they can file forms I-130 and I-485 simultaneously.

2. Employment-Based Green Card Applicants

The applicants in this category qualify for a green card because their U.S. employer is willing and qualified to sponsor their immigration.

Like family-based applications, the sponsoring employer must have filed an immigrant petition (Form I-140) and obtained approval before Form I-485 can be filed. Concurrent filing of forms I-140 and I-485 may be permitted if an immigrant visa number is available in the applicant’s green card category at the time of filing.

3. Other Green Card Applicants

Individuals and their dependents who qualify for green cards through the various Immigration Options for Victims of Domestic Violence or humanitarian intervention programs such as asylum may apply for adjustment of status using Form I-485. 

Cuban natives who qualify for green cards under the Cuban Adjustment Act are also included in this category.

Usually, those who qualify for green cards in this category are allowed to self-petition. That means they do not need a sponsor to file an immigrant petition on their behalf. They may also be eligible for concurrent filing, depending on the circumstances.

Eligibility Requirements for Form I-485

Beyond qualifying for a green card, you’ll need to meet certain requirements before you can file Form I-485. The specific criteria may vary depending on your green card category, but they generally include the following;

  • You must be physically present in the U.S.
  • Your entry into the U.S. must have been lawful.
  • You must not be disqualified by any ground of inadmissibility (such as having a serious criminal history or being guilty of prior immigration law violations). However, it’s important to keep in mind that some grounds of inadmissibility can be cured through a waiver application.

Required Documentation

Your Form I-485 must be submitted with certain documents, including copies of your:

  • Birth certificate or other documentation of birth.
  • Government-issued ID (with photograph).
  • Inspection, admission, or parole documentation proving your lawful entry into the U.S.
  • Form I-693, Report of Immigration Medical Examination and Vaccination Record.

At The Law Office of Tatiane M. Silva, we recognize that submitting all the required documents with your I-485 is necessary to avoid processing delays or a denial of your application. We can help you identify the specific documents needed for your category to ensure you meet the legal

    The I-485 Application Process

    Completing Form I-485

    Completing your Form I-485 accurately demands attention to detail. You’ll need to include the appropriate information in each section of the form and sign according to USCIS’ filing instructions. 

    If you fail to sign the form, USCIS will reject the application.

    Furthermore, USCIS sometimes updates and redesigns the official forms for green card applicants. So, you must ensure you have the correct version of Form I-485 before you begin.

    Filing the I-485 Form

    The amount to be paid varies with each applicant. Since paying the wrong amount could delay your application, you must confirm the specific amount due in your case to avoid any mistakes. 

    USCIS has specific filing addresses for the I-485 form, depending on the applicant’s green card category. You’ll need to confirm the correct address for your category and mail your form (with all the required documents) there to avoid processing delays.

    After Filing the I-485 Form 

    You will receive a receipt notice once USCIS receives your application.

    Subsequently, you’ll be scheduled for a biometrics services appointment at an Application Support Center. You may also be required to attend an in-person interview with a USCIS official.

    After the interview, USCIS will continue processing your application and will notify you once they reach a decision. If your application is successful, you’ll receive your green card in the mail. Otherwise, USCIS will explain why your application was denied and whether you can appeal the decision.

    Adjustment of status decisions are generally unappealable. However, there are other legal options you can explore to get the authorities to review your case. You can trust us to guide and represent you as you explore your options in the event of such denials.

    Dealing With RFEs (Requests for Evidence) 

    Sometimes, USCIS could request additional documents or evidence after Form I-485 has been filed. This usually happens when the applicant does not submit the required supporting documents or USCIS needs to clarify some of the details included in the application form. 

    If you receive a request for evidence, a prompt and accurate response is crucial if you hope to make progress on your case. You’ll need to:

    • Review the RFE notice and identify the specific evidence needed.
    • Compile the requested documents according to the specifications of USCIS.
    • Submit the response within the specified timeline to avoid complications.

    RFEs can delay your application, so beyond providing an appropriate response, it is important that you do all you can to avoid receiving one in the first place. You can achieve this by completing your form accurately, supplying the required evidence when you file your form, and seeking professional help when necessary. 

      Why Choose The Law Office of Tatiane M. Silva, P.A.?

      At The Law Office of Tatiane M. Silva, P.A., we understand what the adjustment of status process and obtaining a green card means for immigrants and their families. That is why we are deeply committed to guiding our clients through the complexities of the process and working tirelessly to make their dreams a reality.

      Our dedication to providing individualized attention ensures that your case is not just another file on our desks. We value your background, and you can trust us to offer solutions that are tailored to your unique situation.

      Communication is easy with our competent multilingual team, who can ensure you receive clear guidance throughout the immigration process.

      You are welcome to contact us if you’d like our help with your I-485 application. Let us lend our integrity, experience, and history of positive results to your journey toward securing a green card.

      Get in Touch With The Law Office of Tatiane M. Silva, P.A. Today

      Form I-485 is an important document for certain immigrants in their journey to attaining lawful permanent resident status. If you need to apply for a green card using this form, your success and how quickly your application is processed depend on its accurate completion and filing.

      At The Law Office of Tatiane M. Silva, P.A., we can relieve your burden and complete and file this form on your behalf according to the specifications of USCIS. If you’ve already started the process but encountered an issue, we can help you find creative solutions so your application can move forward.

      Contact us today to schedule a consultation and get started. Let us take the next steps toward your permanent residence together.

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