Understanding Form I-485

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Form I-485, the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status is a crucial document in the immigration process for individuals seeking to obtain lawful permanent resident status in the United States. Understanding Form I-485 and its requirements is essential for navigating the path to permanent residency.

Form I-485 serves as the next step in the family-based green card process following the submission of Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. Its primary purpose is to demonstrate the eligibility of the foreign spouse for U.S. permanent residency, enabling them to adjust their status without leaving the country. In this blog, we’ll break down the key aspects of Form I-485 and provide valuable insights to help you successfully complete the application process.

What is Form I-485?

Form I-485 is used by individuals already in the US to apply for adjustment of status and become a lawful permanent resident (LPR). Once they become a legal permanent resident of the US, they will get a green card. The I-485 form will allow eligible applicants to seek permanent residency without having to leave the country.

Who Can File Form I-485?

Generally, individuals eligible to file Form I-485 include:

  • Foreign nationals present in the United States with a valid nonimmigrant visa status
  • Spouses and children of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents
  • Individuals with approved immigrant petitions (such as Form I-130 or Form I-140)
  • Certain refugees and asylees

Key Components of Form I-485

  • Personal Information: Provide details about your identity, including name, date of birth, country of birth, and other biographical information.
  • Immigration History: Disclose your immigration history, including previous visits to the United States, visa statuses, and any prior interactions with immigration authorities.
  • Family Information: List information about your immediate family members, including spouses, children, and parents.
  • Employment History: Document your employment history, including current and previous employers, job titles, and dates of employment.
  • Criminal and Immigration History: Disclose any criminal convictions, immigration violations, or previous immigration-related issues.
  • Medical Examination: Undergo a medical examination by a designated civil surgeon to ensure you meet health-related eligibility requirements for permanent residency.

Supporting Documents for Form I-485

Along with Form I-485, applicants must submit various supporting documents to establish eligibility for adjustment of status. Common supporting documents include:

  • Passport-style photos
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Employment authorization documents
  • Affidavit of support (Form I-864)
  • Medical examination results (Form I-693)
  • Police clearance certificates (if applicable)
  • Copies of immigration documents (such as Form I-94 and prior visas)

I-485 Cost

The filing fee for Form I-485, known as the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, is $1,440 as of the latest update from the USCIS. However, this fee may vary depending on individual circumstances and eligibility criteria. It’s important to stay updated with the latest fee information on the official USCIS website or consult with an immigration attorney to determine the exact costs associated with your application.

Form I-485 Processing Time

The processing time for Form I-485, also known as the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, varies depending on several factors, including the USCIS field office handling the application, the applicant’s immigration category, and the overall workload of the USCIS at the time of submission. On average, the processing time for Form I-485 can range from 10 months to over two years. It’s essential to regularly check the USCIS website for updates on processing times specific to your application type and location.


Navigating the Form I-485 application process can be complex, but with careful attention to detail and thorough preparation, you can increase your chances of a successful outcome. It’s essential to understand the requirements and provide accurate and complete information to avoid delays or potential denials.

Obtaining permanent residency through Form I-485 is a significant milestone on your journey to building a life in the United States. With proper planning and assistance, you can successfully navigate the application process and take the first step toward achieving your immigration goals.

If you have questions or concerns about completing Form I-485 or need assistance with your application, consider consulting with an experienced immigration attorney. An attorney can provide personalized guidance, ensure compliance with immigration laws, and help you navigate any challenges that may arise during the application process. Additionally, with Imagility’s innovative solutions, you can enhance the efficiency and accuracy of your Form I-485 application process. Our advanced tools streamline workflows, ensuring compliance with immigration laws and helping you navigate any challenges that may arise. Contact us today for a free consultation at +1 603 782 4622/+1 617 865 6588.

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