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Form I-485

If you're on the path to becoming a lawful permanent resident in the U.S., Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, is your ticket to getting a green card. This form is used to apply for a change of status to permanent resident while you're already in the U.S. It's a crucial part of the immigration process for those who want to make the U.S. their permanent home. Whether you're here on a visa or have another temporary status, filing Form I-485 is the step you take to transition to a more stable and permanent situation. It's a big deal, so let's break it down!

What is the I-485 form for?

Form I-485 is used to apply for a green card (lawful permanent residence) while you are in the U.S. It allows you to adjust your status from a non-immigrant or other temporary status to a permanent resident.

How long does it take to get a green card from I-485?

The processing time for Form I-485 can vary, but it generally takes between 8 to 14 months. The exact time depends on various factors, including the USCIS service center handling your application and your specific situation.

What is the difference between I-130 and I-485?

Form I-130 is the Petition for Alien Relative, filed by a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to establish a qualifying relationship with a relative who wants to immigrate. Form I-485, on the other hand, is the application to adjust status to permanent resident. Essentially, I-130 establishes the relationship, while I-485 is the application to get the green card.

What is the difference between a green card and I-485?

The green card is the actual physical card that proves you are a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. Form I-485 is the application you file to obtain that green card. So, the I-485 is the process, and the green card is the end result.

Does I-485 approval mean a green card?

Yes, approval of your I-485 application means you are granted lawful permanent resident status and will receive your green card. Once approved, you'll receive the physical green card in the mail.

Who qualifies for I-485?

To qualify for Form I-485, you must meet certain eligibility requirements, such as having an approved immigrant petition (like an I-130 or I-140), being physically present in the U.S., and having a lawful entry. Specific categories include family-sponsored immigrants, employment-based immigrants, refugees, asylees, and others.

Can I stay in the US after filing I-485?

Yes, once you file Form I-485, you can stay in the U.S. while your application is being processed. You will receive a receipt notice from USCIS, which allows you to remain in the country legally during the processing period.

Can I-485 be approved without an interview?

In some cases, USCIS may approve Form I-485 without an interview, especially if the evidence submitted is strong and convincing. However, interviews are common, and USCIS reserves the right to call you in for one if they need more information or have any concerns.

Can I work while I-485 is pending?

Yes, you can work while your I-485 is pending if you apply for and receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). You can request an EAD by filing Form I-765 along with your I-485 application. This allows you to legally work in the U.S. while waiting for your green card.

Hopefully this helps clarify things! Filing Form I-485 is a significant step towards securing your permanent residency in the U.S. If you have more questions or need further assistance, feel free to reach out. Good luck with your application!

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