You can use Form I-485 when you decide to obtain the permanent resident status (in other words, to get a green card) in the United States after you moved to the country. Form I-485 is also known as Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status or simply as an adjustment application.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services provides this form so you can avoid the consular processing. Because of consular processing, you would have to return to your country to obtain your visa. But with Form I-485, it is much simpler to get the green card when adjustment of status is used instead of consular processing.
Form I-485 instructions
USCIS specifies that not every immigrant in the U.S. is eligible to adjust their status. One of the main eligibility requirements is that you must be located on the U.S. territory. But there are many more tips on how to fill out Form I-485 as explained below:
- Determine whether you are a principal applicant or a derivative applicant.
If you file the adjustment application on your own, then you are a principal applicant. And if you are a spouse or a child of the person who files Form I-485, then you are a derivative applicant. You must check the appropriate checkbox on your application form in Part 2 to notify that you are a principal or derivative applicant.
- Gather your evidence and file your application with it.
You need to provide a birth or marriage certificate (primary evidence), any kind of records from your school or church (secondary evidence), or at least two affidavits from trusted people to support your request (ternary evidence).
If you attempt to file Form N-485 without any supporting evidence, USCIS will reject your application (although in many cases a USCIS office will request evidence from you instead of just rejecting or denying your application).
Note that if you are filing evidence of the lower category, you must also explain in a letter why you do not possess evidence of the higher category. For instance, you would have to explain why you do not possess a birth certificate (primary evidence) if you provided a record from your school.
- Provide all the requested information.
As with any other form you file with USCIS, failing to provide all the data that the U.S. government wants will lead to one result. That is, USCIS will reject your application. One more point is worth noting: USCIS does not require you to file Form G-325-A and send it with Form I-485 any more. Instead, just fill out the parts 1 and 3 in your Form I-485 application.
Form I-485 fee
The filing fee for Form I-485 varies depending on how old you are. USCIS may also require you to pay the biometrics services fee.
Here are the amounts that you need to pay:
- $1,140 for adults. Also, if you are 13 years of age or younger and you are going to file Form I-485 without your parent’s Form I-485, you must pay $1,140 because USCIS considers you as a principal applicant.
- $750 for children. If you are 13 years of age or younger and you are filing Form I-485 with your parent's Form I-485, then you need to pay only $750. USCIS considers you as a beneficiary, or derivative applicant, in this case.
You do not need to pay the biometrics fee in these two cases. However, if you are older than 13 and younger than 79, you will have to pay $85 for biometric services.
Note that you can ask for a fee waiver if you are not able to pay for processing Form I-485. You need to file Form I-912 to request a fee waiver. Finally, it is very important that you pay the exact amounts because otherwise USCIS may reject your application and will not refund the payment.
If you are...
|Form fee||Biometrics fee||Total|
|Under 14 and filing with the I-485 application of at least one parent||$750||$0||$750|
|Under 14 and not filing with the I-485 application of at least one parent||$1,140||$0||$1,140|
Age 14 – 78
Age 79 or older
|Filing Form I-485 based on having been admitted to the United States as a refugee||$0||$0||$0|
Form I-485 processing time
USCIS does its best in order to reduce the processing times for different forms. Currently, the U.S. government changes the processing procedure for four forms – N-400, I-90, I-485, and I-751. However, it can still take several months – typically, between 6 and 12 months – before your adjustment application will be processed.
To ensure that USCIS will process your application as fast as possible, you should provide all the required documents. Also, avoid leaving the country after you filed your form I-485.
If, for example, USCIS designates a date for biometrics appointment and you fail to visit a USCIS office that day, your application may be rejected.
Where to send Form I-485
USCIS requires that Form I-485 applicants file their adjustments application to different addresses depending on their eligibility category. Consult this page: https://www.uscis.gov/i-485-addresses
Form I-485 PDF
Do you need a free Form I-485 application? Download it for free from our website.
January 8, 2020