Who can file Form I-485 to adjust status?

Only applicants who are physically present in the United States (after lawful admission or parole) are eligible to file Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485), adjust status and become green card holders.

Except this key requirement, there are other eligibility requirements which may vary for different immigration categories. These categories of immigrants include family members, K-1 visa holders, students, employees, refugees, asylees, certain U.S. armed forces members, Panama Canal Zone employees or physicians, Cuban nationals, Polish or Hungarian parolees.

If an applicant lives abroad and is not physically present in the USA, he/she is not eligible to submit Form I-485. Procedure of “consular processing” may help such applicants adjust status to lawful permanent residents. To do this, they must file for an immigrant visa with a U.S. consulate in their country.

Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485) is considered to be quite complex as it requires submission of additional proving and supporting documents to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. It is better to consult an immigration attorney in case of any doubts in your particular situation.

February 2, 2019

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