adjustment of status filing procedure

Adjustment of Status (AOS) is the process which allows certain individuals in the United States in certain legal status, to apply for lawful permanent resident status. You can apply for Adjustment of Status using Form I-485, Application for Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. To apply for permanent resident status through adjustment of status, the applicant is not required to go back to their home country to get an immigrant visa.

If you are already in the U.S., in a non-immigrant status, you may be eligible to apply for adjustment of status. You can apply for AOS through a family member in the U.S., job offer, asylum or refugee status, etc.


Filing Procedure for AOS

An application for AOS can be filed if a visa number is available. You must apply for an adjustment of status by filing the Form I-485, along with the right filing fee and the supporting documents, with the USCIS.

You must attach the following documents and photographs as per the USCIS guidelines, along with your I-485 application:

  • Copies of your birth certificate.
  • Photocopy of your passport with a nonimmigrant visa.
  • Employment offer letter stating your permanent job offer in the United Sates (if applying based on employment).
  • Form I-693, Medical Examination for Aliens seeking AOS. (Must be completed by an authorized physician.)
  • Form I-131, Application for Travel Document (if you want to travel while your AOS application is pending).
  • Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (if you want to work while your AOS application is pending).
  • Copies of marriage or divorce documents (if applying based on marriage).
  • Evidence supporting the family relationship must be enclosed with the application (if applying based on family ties in the United States).

After Filing a Petition for Adjustment of Status

On filing a petition for adjustment of status, the petitioners are normally called for an interview. At times, the USCIS requests for more evidence or supporting documents. If the requested evidence and information is not provided, the USCIS will deny such applications. An applicant who is applying based on marriage will be interviewed. Interviews are not very common in job-related cases. Interviews are conducted to clarify any changes and to confirm that all the attached documents are correct. After all the paperwork processes, interviews and security checks, the USCIS will notify you about their decision in writing.

You are likely to be called for an interview on the approval of your application. The USCIS will stamp your passport, indicating that you are a lawful permanent resident in the United States. If you are not called for an interview, then you can get your passport stamped by taking it to the local USCIS office. You will then receive your Green Card after a few months.

You can also include your spouse and children less than 21 years of age, while filing I-485, petition for adjustment of status. In that case you must submit all the documents needed for adjustment of status for each dependent separately. You must also file Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, for each dependent.

If you want to travel or work while your application for adjustment of status is pending, you must file certain other forms at the same time, while filing the application to adjust status. You must always file the applications along with the right filing fee and supporting documents as required by the USCIS.