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Form I-485 (adjustment of status)

Form I-485 is used to adjust your status to permanent residency (green card holder), but you must meet eligibility requirements to apply in the United States.

What is Form I-485

Form I-485 is the legal document you use to apply for permanent residence while living in the US if the 2 following situations apply to you. To file this form, you meet the eligibility requirements to apply for a green card.

Who should use form I-485

Here are some of the most common reasons you may need to file form I-485

  • When you arrived in the US, you had a temporary visa, but later married a US citizen.
  • You came to the US on a work visa, and your employer decided to help you get a green card.
  • You were granted asylum in the US.
  • You first came to the US on a fiancé visa, and your wedding took place before your visa expired.

Who should not use this form

If you are still unsure about whether I-485 is the right form for you to fill out, consider that if any of the following situations apply to you, you should not use form I-485:

  • You are in the US because you stayed here longer than your temporary visa allowed. You also do not have any immediate relatives who are US citizens.
  • You entered the US without inspection. This means that no immigration officer met you when you first arrived.
  • There are other legal issues that may stop you from being granted a green card.

If you are not eligible to fill out the I-485 form, this does not mean that you have no way to get permanent residence status. You may be eligible to apply for a green card after returning to your home country.

Where to file

To properly adjust your I-485 status, you will have to know where you should file the form. There are different categories of immigrants, and which category you fall into will determine where you file your I-485 form. For example, if you are filing the form because you recently married a US citizen, you would file it in a different place than if you were a special immigrant religious worker.

Because the proper place for filing I-485 may change from time to time, it is important that you check the latest USCIS guidelines before you file your form.

Filing fees

The amount it costs to file the I-485 form depends on a few factors, including your age and the reason for your immigration.

  • If you came to the US as a refugee, fleeing your home country, you may file I-485 at no charge.
  • Immigrants who are under 14 years of age and are filing with one of their parents will have to pay $635.
  • People aged 14 to 79 must pay $985. For this group of people, there is an additional $85 fee for biometric services. Biometric services refer to the process that the government uses to record your fingerprints.
  • For elderly people who are over the age of 79, the $985 fee still applies. However, there is no biometric services charge.

Since most people who file I-485 are between 14 and 79, you can expect to pay a total of $1,070 when you submit your form.

Other forms you may need to file

Depending on your situation, there may be other paperwork that you are required to file around the time you submit your I-485.

Either before or at the time you file, someone else will have to file a petition on your behalf. If you are immigrating to be with your family, they will have to file form I-130. On the other hand, if you are moving to the US for work, your employer must file form I-140.