Instructions for USCIS Form I-485 "Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status"

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Instructions for Application to Register
Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
USCIS
Form I-485
Department of Homeland Security
OMB No. 1615-0023
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Expires 03/31/2023
Table of Contents
Form I-485 Main Instructions
Page
What Is the Purpose of Form I-485?
2
Who May File Form I-485?
2
3
Who May Not Be Eligible to Adjust Status?
When Should I File Form I-485?
4
General Instructions
4
9
What Evidence Must You Submit with Form I-485?
What Is the Filing Fee?
15
Where To File?
16
Address Change
17
17
Processing Information
Individuals With Disabilities and/or Impairments
18
USCIS Forms and Information
19
19
Penalties
USCIS Compliance Review and Monitoring
19
USCIS Privacy Act Statement
19
Paperwork Reduction Act
20
20
Checklist
Additional Instructions
Additional Instructions
21
21
Additional Instructions for Family-Based Applicants
Additional Instructions for Employment-Based Applicants
23
Additional Instructions for Special Immigrants
24
25
Additional Instructions for Human Trafficking Victims and Crime Victims
Additional Instructions for Asylees and Refugees
31
Additional Instructions for Applicants Filing Under Special Adjustment Programs
32
Additional Categories
39
Form I-485 Instructions 03/29/21
Page 1 of 43
Instructions for Application to Register
Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
USCIS
Form I-485
Department of Homeland Security
OMB No. 1615-0023
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Expires 03/31/2023
Table of Contents
Form I-485 Main Instructions
Page
What Is the Purpose of Form I-485?
2
Who May File Form I-485?
2
3
Who May Not Be Eligible to Adjust Status?
When Should I File Form I-485?
4
General Instructions
4
9
What Evidence Must You Submit with Form I-485?
What Is the Filing Fee?
15
Where To File?
16
Address Change
17
17
Processing Information
Individuals With Disabilities and/or Impairments
18
USCIS Forms and Information
19
19
Penalties
USCIS Compliance Review and Monitoring
19
USCIS Privacy Act Statement
19
Paperwork Reduction Act
20
20
Checklist
Additional Instructions
Additional Instructions
21
21
Additional Instructions for Family-Based Applicants
Additional Instructions for Employment-Based Applicants
23
Additional Instructions for Special Immigrants
24
25
Additional Instructions for Human Trafficking Victims and Crime Victims
Additional Instructions for Asylees and Refugees
31
Additional Instructions for Applicants Filing Under Special Adjustment Programs
32
Additional Categories
39
Form I-485 Instructions 03/29/21
Page 1 of 43
What Is the Purpose of Form I-485?
Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, is used by a person in the United States to
apply for lawful permanent resident status. Throughout these Instructions, we will sometimes refer to Form I-485 as an
application for adjustment of status or as an adjustment application.
Who May File Form I-485?
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and certain other Federal laws provide many different ways to adjust status to
that of a lawful permanent resident. This is often informally referred to as applying for a “green card.”
The eligibility requirements for adjustment of status may vary depending on the immigrant category you are applying
under. For more information on adjustment of status eligibility and discretion, go to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
Services (USCIS) website at www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-processes-and-procedures/adjustment-status.
Furthermore, you must be physically present in the United States to file this application.
You may apply as the person who directly qualifies for an immigrant category (“principal applicant”) or, in some cases, as
a family member of the principal applicant (“derivative applicant”). Whether you are a principal or derivative applicant,
you must file your own Form I-485.
1. Principal Applicant
The principal applicant is usually the individual named as the beneficiary of an immigrant petition or who is otherwise
qualified to adjust status. A principal applicant must designate which immigrant category he or she is applying under
by selecting the appropriate box listed on Form I-485, Part 2. Application Type or Filing Category, Item Numbers
1.a. - 1.g.
Each category has specific requirements for adjustment of status. In addition to these Instructions, read the Additional
Instructions (found after the Form I-485 Main Instructions) for your immigrant category to determine
if any additional requirements apply to you.
2. Derivative Applicant (files based on a principal applicant)
A principal applicant’s spouse and children, who are not beneficiaries of their own immigrant petition, may be eligible
to apply for adjustment under the same immigrant category as the principal applicant. These family members are
called “derivative applicants.” A derivative applicant must designate which immigrant category he or she is applying
under by selecting the appropriate box listed on Form I-485, Part 2. Application Type or Filing Category, Item
Numbers 1.a. - 1.g.
Some immigrant categories do not allow for derivative applicants, while a few categories allow additional family
members to apply as derivative applicants. See the Additional Instructions for more details.
Under U.S. immigration law, you are a “child” if you are unmarried, under 21 years of age, and meet the definition of
“child” found in the INA and USCIS policy guidance. Visit
www.uscis.gov/tools/glossary
for more information on
the definition of “child.” You may still be considered a child for immigration purposes even after turning 21 years of
age if you qualify under the provisions of the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA). For more information on CSPA,
www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-processes-and-procedures/child-status-protection-act/child-status-
see
protection-act-cspa.
3. Other Immigrant Categories
If you are filing for adjustment of status based on an immigrant category not listed in Part 2., Item Numbers
1.a. - 1.g., select the “Other Eligibility” box in Item Number 1.g. and type or print the immigrant category you are
applying under. These immigrant categories include, but are not limited to:
A. Special immigrants not listed in Part 2., Item Number 1.c. (for example, certain U.S. armed forces members,
Panama Canal Zone employees, and physicians);
Form I-485 Instructions 03/29/21
Page 2 of 43
B. Polish or Hungarian parolee;
C. Private immigration bill signed into law; and
D. Registration of lawful permanent residence status based on a presumption of lawful admission.
If you would like more information on how to file under any of these categories, call the National Customer Service
Center at 1-800-375-5283. For TTY (deaf or hard of hearing) call: 1-800-767-1833 or visit
www.uscis.gov/green-card/
other-ways-get-green-card.
Who May Not Be Eligible to Adjust Status?
Bars to Adjustment of Status
You are generally ineligible for adjustment of status if one or more adjustment bars in INA sections 245(a), (c), (d),
and/or (e) apply to you. However, adjustment bars do not apply to every type of immigrant category and your category
might exempt you from certain adjustment bars. For example, certain adjustment bars do not apply to immediate relatives
of U.S. citizens, Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)-based applicants, or certain special immigrants. In addition, some
employment-based applicants might be eligible for an exemption to some adjustment bars. For more information, visit
https://www.uscis.gov/forms/explore-my-options/green-card-eligibility.
Exception Under INA section 245(i)
You may be able to adjust status under INA section 245(i) even if you are subject to one or more adjustment bars and are
therefore ineligible for adjustment of status under INA section 245(a). See separate instructions for adjusting status under
INA section 245(i), titled “Instructions for Supplement A to Form I-485, Adjustment of Status Under Section 245(i).”
INA section 245(i) is not an immigrant category by itself. In order to adjust status using INA section 245(i), you must be
eligible for an immigrant visa under a family-based, employment-based, special immigrant, or Diversity Visa category.
You must select one of the immigrant categories listed in Part 2., Item Numbers 1.a. - 1.g. as the basis for your
application for adjustment of status. See the Additional Instructions for more information on your specific immigrant
category.
Grounds of Inadmissibility
Immigration laws specify acts, conditions, and conduct that can make foreign nationals ineligible for lawful permanent
resident status. These acts, conditions, and conduct are outlined in INA section 212(a) and are called grounds of
inadmissibility. For more information, visit https://www.uscis.gov/forms/explore-my-options/green-card-eligibility.
You are inadmissible to the United States and may not adjust status to a lawful permanent resident if you fall under one
or more of the grounds of inadmissibility that apply to your immigrant category. Depending on your immigrant category,
some grounds may not apply to you.
If you are inadmissible, you may be eligible for a waiver of the ground of inadmissibility or another form of relief. If your
waiver application or other form of relief is granted, your application to adjust status may be approved.
Exchange Visitors
If you are or were a J-1 or J-2 nonimmigrant exchange visitor and are subject to the 2-year foreign residence requirement
of INA section 212(e), you may not apply to adjust status unless you have complied with the foreign residence
requirement, have been granted a waiver of that requirement, or were issued a favorable waiver recommendation letter
from U.S. Department of State (DOS).
Form I-485 Instructions 03/29/21
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Certain A, G, and E Nonimmigrants
If you have A, G, or E nonimmigrant status, or an occupation that would entitle you to such status, and as a result hold
certain diplomatic rights, privileges, exemptions, and immunities, you are ineligible for adjustment of status unless you
submit a waiver of those rights, privileges, exemptions, and immunities.
When Should I File Form I-485?
This section provides general information on when you should file Form I-485.
Principal Applicant
In general, if you are filing as a beneficiary of an immigrant visa petition (such as Form I-130, Form I-140, or Form
I-360), you may file an adjustment application only after USCIS has approved your petition and an immigrant visa
number is immediately available. There are, however, some immigrant categories that allow you to file Form I-485 before
USCIS approves your petition (this is known as “concurrent filing”), provided that approval of the petition would make
a visa number immediately available and you meet all other filing requirements. See the Additional Instructions for
category-specific information on when you may file Form I-485.
Visit the USCIS website at
www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-processes-and-procedures/visa-availability-
priority-dates
for information on visa availability and priority dates, and the DOS website at
www.travel.state.gov/
content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin.html
to view the Visa Bulletin.
More information about concurrent filing is available at www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-processes-and-procedures/
concurrent-filing and in the instructions for Forms I-130, I-140, and I-360.
Derivative Adjustment Applicant
With the exception of U nonimmigrants, asylees, and refugees, USCIS cannot approve your Form I-485 as a derivative
applicant until the principal applicant has been granted lawful permanent resident status.
If you are currently the spouse or child (unmarried and under 21 years of age) of a principal applicant, you may file Form
I-485 if an immigrant visa is immediately available to you and you meet all the filing requirements. You may file at any of
the following times:
1. At the same time the principal applicant files Form I-485;
2. After the principal applicant filed a Form I-485 that remains pending a final decision by USCIS;
3. After USCIS approves the principal applicant’s Form I-485, if the principal applicant is still a lawful permanent
resident and if, at the time of the principal applicant’s Form I-485 approval, you were the principal applicant’s spouse
or child; or
4. After the principal applicant obtained an immigrant visa and entered the United States as a lawful permanent resident
if the principal applicant is still a lawful permanent resident and, at the time of the principal applicant’s entry, you
were the principal applicant’s spouse or child.
General Instructions
USCIS provides forms free of charge through the USCIS website. In order to view, print, or fill out our forms, you should
use the latest version of Adobe Reader, which you can download for free at http://get.adobe.com/reader/. If you do not
have Internet access, you may call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 and ask that we mail
a form to you. For TTY (deaf or hard of hearing) call: 1-800-767-1833.
Form I-485 Instructions 03/29/21
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Form G-325A, Biographic Information. Form G-325A is no longer required. You do not need to submit a separate
Form G-325A with this Form I-485. Parts 1. and 3. of this Form I-485 meet the requirements of 8 CFR 245.2(a)(3)(i) by
collecting the biographical information formerly required on Form G-325A
Signature. Each application must be properly signed and filed. For all signatures on this application, USCIS will
not accept a stamped or typewritten name in place of a signature. If you are under 14 years of age, your parent or
legal guardian may sign the application on your behalf. (See the Additional Instructions that relates to Individuals
Born Under Diplomatic Status in the United States, for one exception.) A legal guardian may also sign for a mentally
incompetent person.
Filing Fee. Each application must be accompanied by the appropriate filing fee and biometric services fee (if applicable).
(See the What Is the Filing Fee section of these Instructions.) If you file this application with an agency other than
USCIS, check with that agency to determine if and when you must submit biometric services fees.
Evidence. At the time of filing, you must submit all evidence and supporting documentation listed in the What Evidence
Must You Submit with Form I-485 section of these Instructions. Evidence requirements may vary depending on the
immigrant category you are applying under. See the Additional Instructions for information on whether any general
evidence requirements do not apply to you, or if you have other evidence requirements specific to your immigrant
category.
Biometric Services Appointment. USCIS may require that you appear for an interview or provide fingerprints,
photograph, and/or signature at any time to verify your identity, obtain additional information, and conduct background
and security checks, including a check of criminal history records maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation
(FBI), before making a decision on your application, petition, or request. After USCIS receives your application and
ensures it is complete, we will inform you in writing if you need to attend a biometric services appointment. If an
appointment is necessary, the notice will provide you the location of your local or designated USCIS Application Support
Center (ASC) and the date and time of your appointment. If you are an applicant (principal or derivative) filing Form
I-485 with an immigration judge, you are required to comply with instructions you will receive during proceedings for
submitting Form I-485 to USCIS with all relevant fees and for providing biometric and biographic information to USCIS.
If you are required to provide biometrics, at your appointment you must sign an oath reaffirming that:
1. You provided or authorized all information in the application;
2. You reviewed and understood all of the information contained in, and submitted with, your application; and
3. All of this information was complete, true, and correct at the time of filing.
If you fail to attend your biometric services appointment, USCIS may deny your application. For applicants and
derivatives who appear before an immigration judge, failure to attend a biometric services appointment, without good
cause, may result in the immigration judge finding that your application was abandoned, and USCIS may also deny any
other application, petition, or request you filed with USCIS.
Copies. You should submit legible photocopies of documents requested, unless the Instructions specifically state that you
must submit an original document. USCIS may request an original document at the time of filing or at any time during
processing of an application, petition, or request. If USCIS requests an original document from you, it will be returned to
you after USCIS determines it no longer needs your original.
NOTE: If you submit original documents when not required or requested by USCIS or the Immigration Court, your
original documents may remain a part of the record, USCIS or the Immigration Court will not automatically return them
to you, and your original documents may be immediately destroyed upon receipt.
Form I-485 Instructions 03/29/21
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