What is the I-485 process and what should you know about it?

Understanding the I-485 process is crucial for those seeking to adjust their status to permanent residency in the United States. What are the key steps and important details you should be aware of?


The I-485 process, also known as the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, is a critical step for individuals looking to become lawful permanent residents of the United States. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate this process:

  1. Eligibility Requirements: Before applying, ensure you meet the eligibility criteria. This typically includes being physically present in the U.S., having an approved immigrant petition (such as an I-130 or I-140), and being admissible to the U.S. as a permanent resident.
  2. Filing the Application: Complete Form I-485 and gather all necessary supporting documents, including your passport, birth certificate, proof of lawful entry, and any other required evidence. Pay the applicable filing fees and submit the application to USCIS.
  3. Receipt Notice: After submission, you will receive a receipt notice (Form I-797C) from USCIS, confirming that your application has been received and is being processed.
  4. Biometrics Appointment: USCIS will schedule a biometrics appointment for you to provide fingerprints, photographs, and a signature. This is an essential part of the background check process.
  5. Employment and Travel Authorization: While your I-485 is pending, you can apply for Employment Authorization (EAD) and Advance Parole (AP) using Forms I-765 and I-131. These documents allow you to work in the U.S. and travel internationally while your application is being processed.
  6. USCIS Interview: In most cases, USCIS will require an interview as part of the adjustment of status process. You will receive an appointment notice detailing the date, time, and location. During the interview, a USCIS officer will review your application and verify the information provided.
  7. Medical Examination: You may need to undergo a medical examination by a USCIS-approved physician and submit Form I-693. This ensures you meet the health-related requirements for permanent residency.
  8. Decision: After the interview and review of your application, USCIS will make a decision. You will receive a notice of their decision. If approved, you will be issued a green card.
  9. Monitoring Case Status: Regularly check the status of your case online using your receipt number. This helps you stay informed of any updates or additional requirements from USCIS.
  10. Legal Assistance: The I-485 process can be complex, and having an experienced immigration attorney can be invaluable. They can help ensure all paperwork is correctly filed, prepare you for the interview, and address any issues that arise.

For detailed guidance and expert legal representation, click here. Having professional support can make a significant difference in successfully navigating the I-485 process and achieving permanent residency.