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Form I-485 Application to Adjust Status Best Practices

I-485 Application Summarized

  • Application makes it possible to change from nonimmigrant status to conditional permanent resident status.
  • Application is typically filed with the assistance of an immigration attorney along with a fee of $1,140 and a biometrics fee of $85.
  • The form is available at the USCIS website

I-485 Application Basics

EB-5 immigrant investors who are already in the United States can apply to have their immigration status changed. Approval of Form I-526 allows the applicant and each dependent to file a Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status to become conditional permanent residents in the U.S. Those living abroad must first file Form DS-260 and be processed through a U.S. consulate or embassy in their home nation.

Biographical information must be recorded on Form I-485 so the USCIS can determine the eligibility of the applicant. Approval of the application allows applicants to adjust their visa status or apply for permanent residency. The assistance of an immigration attorney is often required.

I-485 Requirements

To have Form I-485 accepted by the USCIS, the following requirements must be met:

  1. Proof of eligibility: The applicant received Form I-797C when their I-526 petition was approved. A copy of this form should be submitted with Form I-485.
  1. Personal records: The applicant must include copies of his or her birth certificate and any marriage and divorce certificates.
  1. Photos: The applicant must submit two identical color photographs taken within the previous 30 days.
  1. Passport and nonimmigration visas: Copies of all immigration-related documents and complete passport must be included.
  1. Criminal history records: The applicant must include written evidence of criminal history, if any.
  1. Medical records: Copies of medical exam results and vaccination records must be included.
  1. Biographic information: A completed Form I-130A must be submitted for applicants between age 14 and 79.
  1. Biometrics: After submission of Form I-485, the USCIS will notify applicants where to go for their biometrics services, which will include fingerprinting.

I-485 Application Process

Form I-485 is submitted by mail or courier service to the relevant USCIS direct filing address.

when the applicant’s I-526 petition is accepted, the I-485 application can be filed immediately by the applicant’s immigration attorney. A filing fee of $1,140 and a biometric fee of $85 must accompany the application. Applicants age 79 or older are not required to pay the $85 biometrics fee.

Processing times for I-485 applications vary. The USCIS notifies applicants by email or physical mail when their applications have been processed.

EB-5 applicants can file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, which allows them to work while their I-485 application is being processed. They can also travel during the processing time by submitting Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. EB-5 applicants are granted two-year conditional permanent residency upon approval of their I-485 application.

Following the two years of conditional permanent residency, the applicant may file an I-829 petition to remove conditions. Upon approval of the I-829 by the USCIS, the EB-5 investor obtains full permanent residency. The investor, their spouse, and unmarried children under age 21 may then live and work in the United States permanently.