Navigating the Immigration Process: Completing Form I-485

How to fill out Form I-485?

 

Form I-485, officially known as the “Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status,” is used by individuals who are already in the United States and wish to apply for lawful permanent resident status (green card). Here are the general steps on how to fill out Form I-485:

  1. Obtain the Form: You can download Form I-485 from the official website of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Make sure you download the most recent version of the form.
  2. Read the Instructions: Before you start filling out the form, carefully read the accompanying instructions (Form I-485 Instructions). The instructions provide detailed information on how to complete the form and what supporting documents you need to submit.
  3. Gather Required Documents: Collect all the necessary supporting documents, such as passport photos, a copy of your passport, visa, birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable), Form I-94 (if applicable), and any other documents specified in the instructions.
  4. Complete the Form: Fill out the form completely and accurately. Be sure to use black ink and write legibly. If a question does not apply to you, write “N/A” in the space provided.

Form I-485 Checklist of Required Documents

 

Filling out Form I-485 for adjustment of status to a permanent resident (green card) requires various supporting documents to accompany your application. Here’s Form I-485 checklist of the commonly required documents:

  1. Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status: Ensure that you have accurately completed and signed the form. Make a copy for your records.
  2. Filing Fee: Include the appropriate filing fee, as indicated in the form’s instructions. Check the USCIS website for the most up-to-date fee information.
  3. Passport Photos: Provide passport-style photos of yourself. Follow the USCIS photo requirements for size, format, and quality.
  4. Copy of Passport Biographic Page: Include a photocopy of the biographic page of your valid passport, which shows your name, date of birth, photo, and passport expiration date.
  5. Copy of Visa or I-94 Record: If applicable, include copies of your visa stamp or Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, as evidence of your most recent lawful entry into the U.S.
  6. Birth Certificate: Provide a copy of your birth certificate. If the document is not in English, include a certified translation.
  7. Marriage Certificate (if applicable): If you are married, include a copy of your marriage certificate. If it’s not in English, provide a certified translation.
  8. Divorce or Death Certificate (if applicable): If you’ve been previously married and divorced or widowed, include copies of the divorce decrees or death certificates for those marriages.
  9. Evidence of Legal Entry (if applicable): Include supporting documentation if you entered the U.S. with a visa. This could include copies of visa approval notices and I-94 records.
  10. Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record: Have a designated civil surgeon complete this form. It is necessary to demonstrate that you are not a public health risk.
  11. Form I-864, Affidavit of Support (if applicable): If your application is based on family sponsorship, include a completed Form I-864 filed by the sponsoring relative or joint sponsor.
  12. Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Application (if applicable): If you want to apply for work authorization while your I-485 is pending, include Form I-765 and the appropriate fee or a fee waiver request.
  13. Advance Parole Application (if applicable): If you need to travel outside the U.S. while your I-485is pending, include Form I-131 and the appropriate fee or a fee waiver request.
  14. Copies of Prior Immigration Filings (if applicable): Include copies of any previous immigration applications, petitions, or notices of action (approval notices) you have filed.
  15. Certified Translations: If any of your documents are not in English, include certified translations for each document.
  16. Other Supporting Documents: Depending on your specific circumstances, you may need to provide additional documents to support your eligibility. Follow the instructions in the Form I-485 guidance to determine what’s necessary for your case.

 

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