Applicants who are legally in the US can seek permanent residency status if they are approved for an adjustment of their status. Form I-485 is used to file for Adjustment of Status. The core requirements for this form are established by the USCIS as follows:
The eligibility requirements for an adjustment of status vary depending on which immigration category (such as EB-1A, EB-1B, or EB-1C), you are seeking. Applicants must be physically present in the US to file Form I-485. Otherwise, they typically need to use consular processing.
Principal and Derivative Applicants
Someone who applies as the person “who directly qualifies for an immigrant category” is considered the principal applicant. Family members of the principal applicant are considered derivative applicants.
The principal applicant must indicate which category – such as EB-1 A, B, or C – they are seeking approval for and must comply with all corresponding requirements.
Derivative applicants must apply for an adjustment of status based on the same immigrant category the principal applicant seeks approval for.
When You Should File Form I-485?
Principal applicants, who file Form I-140 (for EB-1) approval, “may file an adjustment application only after USCIS has approved your petition and an immigrant visa number is immediately available,” unless concurrent filing is allowed. Your immigration lawyer can explain if you can file Form I-140 and Form I-485 at the same time. At a minimum, a visa number must be immediately available.
Derivative applicants seeking an adjustment of status cannot seek Form I-485 approval “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:
- “At the same time, the principal applicant files Form I-485
- After the principal applicant filed a Form I-485 that remains pending a final decision by USCIS
- 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
- 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”
What Evidence Must be Submitted with Form I-485?
The evidence may vary depending on your category and other factors. Some of the information you may need to supply includes:
- Photographs. Generally, two “recent identical color passport-style photographs”
- Government-Issued Identity Documents with Photograph. Examples include a passport, a driver’s license, and a military ID
- Birth Certificate. “USCIS will only accept a long-form birth certificate which lists at least one parent.” If the birth certificate isn’t available, then a suitable explanation must be provided.
- Inspection and Admission or Inspection and Parole. “Unless applying under INA section 245(i), most Form I-485 applicants must submit photocopies of documentation showing they were inspected by an immigration officer and either admitted or paroled into the United States. “
- Documentation of Your Immigrant Category. This information will normally include the information on your I-140 Form or approval of your I-I140 request. [I think?]
- Marriage Certificate and Other Proof of Relationship. Derivate applicants who are spouses must attach a proper photocopy of their marriage certificate.
- Evidence of Continuously Maintaining a Lawful Status Since Arrival in the United States – may be required.
- Affidavit of Support/Confirmation of Bona Fide Job Offer or Request for Job Portability Under INA Section – unless a job offer is not required.
- Evidence of Financial Support. “In general, you must demonstrate that you are not likely to become a public charge.”
- Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record (Form I-693). “Form I-485 applicants for adjustment of status are required to have a medical examination to show that they are free from health conditions that would make them inadmissible.”