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More Information About Filing Form I-485

The second phase of the permanent residency process is where the employee actually files for an adjustment of status by completing Form I-485. The I-485 should also be completed for any of the employee's dependents (spouse and/or children) seeking permanent residency.

Important Notes

The I-485 is the personal part of the permanent residency application so applicants are personally responsible for completing this form and compiling the supporting evidence.  Thus, ISSS is legally unable to advise on it because it is not an employment-based petition.

Basically, the I-485 involves a background check which will require submission of birth and marriage certificate copies, biometrics, a medical evaluation, immigration documents, etc. The requirements are fully explained in the I-485 instructions found on the USCIS website.

Applicants should review instructions very carefully and consult an immigration attorney if they have any questions/concerns on how to answer questions (ISSS can provide a list of such attorneys if needed).

Fees

The filing fee for the I-485 is $1,225 per applicant.  For dependents under 14 years old, a reduced fee of $750 is required. 

The I-485 fees are typically be paid by the employee, although  the hiring department has the option to pay for the employee's I-485, according to the decision of the Department Chair.  I-485 fees for any dependent(s) must be paid by the employee.

Timeline

Often, the applicant files the I-485 after the I-140 application is approved. However, under certain circumstances, OIS will advise the employee to complete Form I-485 and provide supporting documents, to be filed concurrently with the I-140. This is per INS ruling, July 30, 2002, 67 FR 49561.

Following approval of the I-140, the I-485 petition typically takes an additional four months to process. There is no option to premium process the I-485.  Processing times are subject to change; recently, the processing was taking -12 months.

Optional forms to attach to the I-485

The employee should complete one form for himself/herself and one form per family member IF needed

Form I-131 (Advanced Parole)

  • Authorizes travel outside the U.S. while permanent residency petitions are pending at USCIS

Form I-765

  • Must be filed if the employee is in the 6th year of H-1B status.
  • Allows employee to continue to work under Pending Permanent Residency status.
  • Can also be completed for any dependent(s) who seek to work under the Pending Permanent Residency status.
  • In filing this form, the employee (and any dependents) changes from H status to Pending Perm status.

Instructions for both forms are available from the USCIS website.