Green Card

If you’re legally residing in the United States, you could be eligible to apply for a change of status using Form I-485. Once submitted, the journey toward your final interview involves several crucial steps, including keeping copies of all submissions, specifically I-797 notices, and promptly responding to all USCIS communications. This comprehensive guide simplifies the status adjustment journey and helps you know what to expect.

Understanding USCIS Form I-485 Adjustment of Status

The Adjustment of Status procedure signifies the transition from a nonimmigrant visa to securing a Green Card or US permanent resident status while residing within the United States. This protocol allows you to stay in the US and obtain a Green Card without the necessity to return to your home country.

Eligibility Criteria for Form I-485

To secure a Green Card via status adjustment, there are various paths to follow. Eligibility for status adjustment depends on the immigrant category you apply under. Before filing Form I-485, ensure you fit into one of these specific immigrant categories:

  1. Family-based Green Card
  2. Employment-based Green Card

Post-submission Process of Form I-485 Adjustment of Status

After you’ve filed Form I-485 with USCIS, a Form I-797 Receipt Notice will be issued to confirm the start of case processing. This notice contains your USCIS receipt number, essential for tracking your case’s progress. Remember to retain all notices from USCIS.

Biometrics Appointment: An Essential Step

Post-filing of your application or benefit request with USCIS, a biometrics appointment is scheduled at a local Application Support Center (ASC). During this appointment, your photograph, signature, and index fingerprint are captured for background and security verification. Your presence is mandatory, or your case may be denied.

Medical Examination by a Designated Civil Surgeon

Should your application lack a medical examination, a deficiency notice will guide you to obtain one from a designated civil surgeon. USCIS accepts only those medical examinations performed by designated civil surgeons.

Dealing with Requests for Additional Evidence (RFE)

USCIS can issue an RFE if they identify a missing document or require more information on your case. It’s crucial to carefully scrutinize any RFEs and respond within the specified timeframe to avoid case denial.

Final USCIS Interview

Some cases need a final interview with a USCIS Officer for approval. Sometimes, the interview might be waived. In any scenario, an I-797 Notice of Action will be sent by USCIS, notifying you of an interview or an interview waiver. Carry all original biographic documents and updated evidence to the interview. Failing to attend may result in case denial.

Keeping your address current with USCIS

During the immigration process, USCIS dispatches notices and requests through US Mail. Thus, it’s imperative to update your address with USCIS to avoid missing vital information or appointments, which could lead to denial. Inform USCIS and USPS about any change of address within ten days.

The immigration procedure can be complex and stressful. Comprehending each step and fulfilling all requirements is key. Any negligence in following the procedure or responding to USCIS requests could result in case denial.

What do the different USCIS Form I797 notices mean?

What should I expect during my USCIS biometrics appointment?

How do I find a doctor to perform my immigration medical exam and what should I expect?

How do I change my address with USCIS?

Additional Outside Resources

We Can Help!

You may have questions regarding the adjustment of the status process. We invite you to reach out to our team at Richards and Jurusik for detailed guidance and assistance. Our goal is to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information to make your immigration process smoother and less stressful. The immigration lawyers at Richards and Jurusik have decades of experience helping people to work and live in the United States. Read some of our hundreds of 5-star client reviews! Contact us today for an assessment of your legal situation.

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