The I-94 Arrival/Departure Record, also known as Form I-94, confirms that a foreign visitor has been lawfully admitted (or paroled) into the United States. It also includes information about the visitor's visa status and permitted duration of stay.
Also known as an A-Number, your Alien Registration Number is an 8 or 9 digit number that can be found on a variety of documents from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or the former INS.
Certain foreign nationals inside the United States use Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to apply for a green card.
Not anybody can file Form I-485 to adjust status to permanent resident (green card holder). Eligibility for Form I-485 depends on several criteria based on the specific eligibility category selected.
To adjust status as a K-1 fiancé, it’s very important that you marry your U.S. citizen fiancé within 90 days of entering the United States and submit a carefully prepared I-485 adjustment of status packet.
The date when you may file Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status, depends on the basis of your application. Here's a partial list of eligibility categories.
The documents to submit with Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status, vary significantly based on the eligibility category selected.
Generally, Adjustment of Status applicants who want to travel before Form I-485 is approved must obtain an advance parole document first. Without advance parole, the applicant may not be able to return to the United States and the I-485 will be abandoned.
When preparing an Adjustment of Status application it's necessary to list children on Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. But each child will need to have a separate I-485 applications if they are immigrating with you.
If your family is filing multiple I-485 applications, you may want to combine them. However, it’s very important to organize them separately so that USCIS doesn't mix up or misplace your paperwork.
The cost to adjust status to permanent resident (green card holder) includes several USCIS forms. Additionally, there may be a medical exam and travel expenses that go beyond the cost of filing Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status.
Virtually everyone who adjusts status to permanent resident (green card holder) must submit Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, as a part of the process.
The golden rules of assembling your adjustment of status package might be: Make it easy. Keep it organized.
In many cases you may have more information than can fit into the standard space provided on Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This is especially common for address history and employment history.
While it's not required, we highly recommend that you include a cover letter with your adjustment of status application. We've created a sample I-485 cover letter that you may customize to your needs.
Generally, when filing Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status, you’ll need to prove that you had a lawful entry to the United States. So what do you do when you have no evidence of a lawful entry?
Evidence of birth is essential for most adjustment of status applications. But official birth certificates may not be issued by some governments or local civil authorities in certain countries. In these cases, it’s still vital to submit alternative evidence of birth for adjustment of status.
If an adjustment of status applicant cannot produce an original or certified copy of a birth certificate, he or she will need to submit alternative evidence of birth such as an affidavit of birth.
There are only a few nonimmigrant visa types which accommodate a preconceived intent to adjust status to permanent resident. Otherwise, entering the U.S. with the preformed intent to file Form I-485 could lead to long-term immigration problems.
Once USCIS accepts your Adjustment of Status Application, you become an “adjustment of status applicant” with the legal right to remain in the United States. You are not required to maintain your previous nonimmigrant status, but there are advantages to keeping in good status.