You can use the Form I-485 to become a permanent resident in the US. That is, if you qualify for permanent residentship, you can file this form to obtain the right to live and work in the US for 10 years.
Form I-485 is often referred to as the Green Card form or the application for adjustment of status.
Form I-485 instructions/checklist
Follow the next recommendations to filing the Form I-485:
- Verify that you’re eligible for green card.
You need to be located on the US territory to apply for green card. If you’re outside the US, you cannot file Form I-485, and you must apply for permanent residentship through consular processing.
During the application process, you might also need to attend a biometrics appointment. You must not miss this appointment because USCIS might deny your application. During the appointment, you will need to confirm that the information your provided on the application form is correct.
You also have to mail documentation to prove your eligibility for permanent resident status. You don’t have to provide originals unless USCIS expressly requests you to file them. Typically, it’s enough to file the copies of your documents.
You need to clearly understand the eligibility grounds. For example, you can receive permanent residentship through a family member who has naturalized or is a permanent resident. You can also apply if you were hired by a US company or if you are an asylum seeker and lived in the country for a year.
- Fill out the asylum application properly.
Your application for residentship must be properly filled out and signed. You must not omit any information on the form, even accidentally. If you don’t provide all the required data, USCIS might ask you update the form or even reject it. The filing and biometrics fees will not be returned if your application is rejected.
If there’s not enough space on the form to provide your information, you can add a sheet of paper. This additional sheet of paper should be properly marked: mention your Alien Number, full name, and the Form I-485 section, item, and page to which this sheet of paper refers.
- Provide only true information.
Although this advice is quite obvious, we still need to emphasize that you must not provide any false information on your application form. Similarly, do not include a fake document to prove your eligibility for green card. If you do willfully give incorrect information, not only your application will be rejected, but also you might be prosecuted.
Form I-485 fee/pricing
Filing Form I-485 is not free. You need to pay at least $1,140 for form processing. Additionally, if you are between 14 and 78 years of age, you need to pay the biometrics fee. If you are under 14 or older than 78, you don’t need to pay the biometrics fee.
The fee for Form I-485 is reduced only if you’re under 14 years of age and you’re filing the form with your parent. In this case, the fee is only $750.
You can only file Form I-485 free of charge if you’re a refugee.
Form I-485 processing time
USCIS doesn’t set a strict deadline when they fully process the application form and take a decision. In most cases, it takes between 6 and 12 months for USCIS to decide on a Form I-485 application. The Form I-485 processing time depends on the grounds you’re applying for form, whether you filled out the form correctly the first time, and other reasons.
Form I-485 mail address/where to send
Depending on the grounds why you’re filing for green card, you need to file the asylum application to different USCIS offices. Consult the next table.
|Grounds for filing Form I-485||Mailbox|
|You are:Spouse, parent, unmarried son/daughter under age 21 of a US citizen with either an approved Form I-130 or you are filing Form I-485 together with Form I-130.Beneficiary of an approved Form I-130 filed by a qualifying relative.Spouse or child of an immigrant who has applied for adjustment of status or has been granted lawful permanent residence through a family sponsored visa category that allows derivative status for spouses and children.K-1 fiancé(e) (and K-2 dependents) whose Form I-485 is based on an approved Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e).Beneficiary of an accepted, approved, or concurrently filed Form I-360, Petitioner for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, classified as an Amerasian, a widow(er) of a U.S. citizen who died within the past two (2) years, a Special Immigrant Juvenile, or a Special Immigrant Armed Forces memberApplicant, including the spouse or child of a qualifying Cuban principal applicant, who is eligible under the Cuban Adjustment Act of November 2, 1966 (Mark the first box labeled “The Cuban Adjustment Act” under 1.f. Special Programs Based on Certain Public Laws in Part 2 of Form I-485. Do not mark the second box labeled “The Cuban Adjustment Act for battered spouses and children” unless you are an abused spouse or abused child.)Registry applicant filing Form I-485 based on continuous residence in the US since before January 1, 1972.Diversity lottery winner eligible to file Form I-485.Public interest parolee from certain former Soviet and Southeast Asian countries filing Form I-485 under Public Law 101-167 (the “Lautenberg Amendment”).Registry applicant filing Form I-485 based on birth in the U.S. to a foreign diplomat officer.Former diplomat filing Form I-485 under Section 13 of the Immigration Act of 1957.Applicant who is a beneficiary of a private bill.||USCIS Chicago Lockbox|
For USPSUSCISPO Box 805887Chicago, IL 60680-4120
For FedEx, UPS, and DHLUSCISAttn: FBAS131 South Dearborn – 3rd FloorChicago, IL 60603-5517
|You are a U-based nonimmigrant.|
Note that you have to include copies of your Form I-797C, Form I-94, and a copy of all pages of your passport with a U nonimmigrant visa.
|Applicable states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, or Wyoming|
USCIS Nebraska Service Center
For USPSUSCISPO Box 87526Lincoln, NE 68501-7526
For FedEx, UPS, and DHLUSCISAttn: 485U VAWA850 S StreetLincoln, NE 68508-1225
Applicable states:Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, U.S. Virgin Islands, West Virginia, or Wisconsin
USCIS Vermont Service Center
USCISVermont Service Center75 Lower Welden StreetSt. Albans, VT 05479-0001
|You are:The beneficiary of an approved Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, based on the eligibility category “Battered Spouse/Children,” and you are filing for adjustment of status.A T-based nonimmigrant. You have to include copies of your Form I-797C, Form I-94, and a copy of all pages of your passport with a T nonimmigrant visa.Abused spouse or abused child of a qualifying Cuban Adjustment Act of November 2, 1966 (CAA), Section 1 (Mark the second box labeled “The Cuban Adjustment Act for battered spouses and children” under 1.f. Special Programs Based on Certain Public Laws in Part 2 of Form I-485. If you are not an abused spouse or abused child but are eligible under the CAA as a spouse or child, mark the first box labeled “The Cuban Adjustment Act.”)||USCIS Vermont Service Center|
USCISVermont Service CenterAttn: CRU75 Lower Welden StreetSt. Albans, VT 05479-0001
|You are filing based on:A pending or approved Form I-360 for an international organization employee or family memberNote that you have to include a copy of the Form I-797 showing that your Form I-360 was accepted or approved.An approved Form I-360 for a:Special immigrant religious workerPanama Canal Company employmentUS Government in Canal Zone employmentSpecial immigrant physicianInternational broadcastersNote that you have to include a copy of the Form I-797C, Notice of Approval, showing that your Form I-360 was approved.Asylum statusRefugee statusStatus under HRIFA as a dependentA pending or approved Form I-140Note that you have to include a copy of the Form I-797 showing that your Form I-140 was accepted or approved.An approved Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur. (Note: You cannot file Forms I-526 and I-485 concurrently. You must include a copy of the Form I-797C, Notice of Approval showing that your Form I-526 was approved.)Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness.||Applicable states:Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands|
USCIS Phoenix Lockbox
For USPS:USCISPO Box 21281Phoenix, AZ 85036
For FedEx, UPS, and DHL:USCISAttn: NFB AOS1820 E. Skyharbor Circle SSuite 100Phoenix, AZ 85034
Applicable states:Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, U.S. Virgin Islands, or West Virginia
USCIS Dallas Lockbox
For USPS:USCISPO Box 660867Dallas, TX 75266
For FedEx, UPS, and DHL:USCISAttn: NFB AOS2501 S. State Hwy, 121 BusinessSuite 400Lewisville, TX 75067
|You are filing as an Afghan or Iraqi translator.|
Note that if you are filing Form I-485 based on an approved Form I-360 for Afghan or Iraqi translators, you must include a copy of the Form I-797C, Notice of Action, showing that your Form I-360 was approved.(Note: You may not concurrently file Forms I-360 and Form I-485 for this classification.)
|USCISNebraska Service CenterPO Box 87485Lincoln, NE 68501-7485|
|You are currently in exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings||The Immigration Court, and send a complete copy of the application to the appropriate Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Chief Counsel.|
Additionally, send a copy of the application and filing fees to USCIS at the following address:
USCIS Texas Service CenterP.O. Box 852463Mesquite, Texas 75185-2463