You can expect the total I-485 processing time to be at least 8 to 14 months.
It may take two or three weeks for USCIS to accept your application and send you a confirmation receipt.
You then will receive notice of your biometrics appointment, which you must attend.
Next, you will have an interview at a local USCIS office.
The length of time that it takes for you to have an adjustment of status interview scheduled depends on several factors, including:
- The type of category in which you are applying,
- What dates and times are available for interviews, and
- How busy the office is at that point in time.
In many cases, it can take at least 7-12 months to get an interview scheduled, but you may have a longer wait depending on your situation.
What is Form I-485 (Adjustment of Status)?
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-485 is for people who are living in the U.S. and want to apply for lawful permanent residence – a green card.
USCIS refers to this process as “Adjustment of Status.”
If USCIS approves your Form I-485, you can become a legal permanent resident.
This immigration status allows you to permanently live and work in the U.S.
When you submit Form I-485, you are providing USCIS with basic identifying information and documentation of your legal grounds for applying for a green card.
USCIS also will check to see if you are inadmissible for any reason.
Who Can File Form I-485?
You can apply for adjustment of status using Form I-485 if you entered the U.S. lawfully and meet some requirements.
For example, if you are in the U.S. in a lawful nonimmigrant status (such as a student or tourist visa), you might be able to apply for adjustment of status.
You must be physically present in the U.S. when you file Form I-485.
If you are eligible, you can get a green card without going back to your native country.
You must meet all the requirements of a particular immigrant category to qualify for Adjustment of Status.
These categories include:
- Marriage-based green card
- Family based green card
- Employment based green card
- Asylum or refugee status
- Victim of abuse, crime, or human trafficking
You also might qualify to apply for adjustment of status if you meet the requirements in a few other categories, such as if you are a Cuban native or citizen or have special immigrant status as a religious worker.
Who Cannot File Form I-485?
Some people do not qualify to file Form I-485. These people include:
- Foreign immigrant applicants who are not present in the U.S.
- Those who entered the U.S. on C/D visas
- Those who entered the U.S. on their way to another country (stowaways)
- Those whom the U.S. admitted as witnesses or informants
- Persons who are deportable due to involvement in terrorist groups or activities
Some people also are inadmissible, which means that they cannot get a green card, even if they meet the other requirements.
Some situations that might disqualify you from getting a green card are:
- You have a communicable disease or mental health condition
- You have been convicted of certain crimes
- You are a threat to U.S. national security
- You have broken U.S. immigration laws in the past
- You are likely to become a public charge, or dependent on U.S. benefits
A few other situations also can bar you from getting a green card.
In some cases, you might be able to get a waiver that still allows you to get a green card.
Form I-485 Checklist
Attention: All applicants are required to submit a new Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency in addition to their Form I-485 Adjustment of Status package filed after February 24, 2020.
The documents that USCIS requires you to submit depend on the immigrant category that you are using to file your I-485.
However, some documents are required for all applicants filing Form I-485, such as:
- Two recent identical color passport-style pictures of yourself
- A picture ID issued by a government to confirm your identity, like a passport, driver’s license, or military ID card
- Birth certificate, or if one is not available, other records that confirm your date and place of birth, such as church, school, or hospital records, or written statements from relatives
- Copies of documents showing that you were lawfully admitted to the U.S., such as a passport page with stamp or an arrival-departure record I-94
- Documents showing that you qualify for the immigrant category that you are using to file your petition, such as your immigrant petition that you are filing at the same time as your Form I-485 or your approval notice for a previously filed petition
There are some exceptions to these requirements if you are applying through some immigrant categories.
Specific categories also require additional documents.
Some immigrant categories, such as the foreign spouse of a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident require you to provide a copy of marriage certificate.
Immediate Family Members of U.S. citizens
Immediate family members of U.S. citizens who are lawfully in the U.S. can apply for adjustment of status using Form I-485.
These family members include spouses, unmarried children under age 21, children adopted by U.S. citizens abroad or in the U.S., and parents of U.S. citizens who are age 21 or older.
To qualify for this category of Adjustment of Status applicant, you must also have an approved Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, which you can file before or at the same time as Form I-485.
You also will need certified copies of all criminal records, including criminal charges, arrests, and convictions (if you have any).
Other forms also may be necessary, based on your situation.
Employment based green cards
In some cases, employers may sponsor certain highly qualified natives of other countries to remain in the U.S. as their employees.
Employers must submit Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, along with approved labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor, either before or at the same time as Form I-485.
In addition to the documents that all green card applicants must submit, employment-based applicants also must provide USCIS with:
- Evidence of continuous lawful status while in the U.S.
- Written confirmation of their job offers
- If self-petitioning, signed statements of intent to work in the specified occupational field
- Form I-864, Affidavit of Support
- Certified copies of all criminal records
In some cases, applicants seeking green cards through their employment may need to submit additional forms.
K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa Applicants
One basis for seeking a green card is marriage to a U.S. citizen.
The foreign fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens can come to the U.S. on K-1 visas after the U.S. citizens have filed a Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e).
These visas allow you to lawfully enter the U.S. if you marry your U.S. citizen fiancé(e) within 90 days after your arrival.
K-1 visa holders who want to apply for a green card must submit Form I-485 like everyone else.
However, they also must submit the following documents:
- Form I-864, Affidavit of Support from the U.S. citizen sponsor
- Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency (This is a new form that is required effective February 24, 2020.)
- Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record
Other optional documents may include Form I-131, Application for Travel Document and Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
Asylee or Refugee Status
If you have been living in the U.S. for at least one year after receiving asylum, you can seek a green card if you have maintained your status and still qualify as an asylee.
The only additional document that you must submit with your Form I-485 is a document showing that you were granted asylum, such as a USCIS approval notice or an immigration judge order.
Likewise, if you were admitted to the U.S. as a refugee, you can apply for a green card one year after receiving refugee status, if you have maintained your status.
You must submit documents showing that you were granted refugee status, such as a Form I-94 or Form I-571, Refugee Travel Document.
Victims of Human Trafficking
If you are a victim of human trafficking, you must have T nonimmigrant status and documentation that you have resided in the U.S. for at least three years or throughout the investigation and prosecution of the human trafficking crimes.
You also must provide proof that adjustment of status is warranted as a matter of discretion and that you have good moral character.
Finally, you must have documents showing that either you assisted in the investigation or prosecution of human traffickers, were under the age of 18 at the time the crimes occurred, or would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if removed from the U.S.
Crime and Abuse Victims
If you are a victim of some crimes or abusive situations and hold U nonimmigrant status, you can apply for a green card if you have documentation that you have been living in the U.S. consistently for at least three years.
Like victims of human trafficking, you also must show proof that you assisted law enforcement agencies in the investigation and prosecution of these crimes.
Finally, you also must prove that adjustment of status is warranted as a matter of discretion in your cases.
Form I-485 Fees
Form I-485 application fee is $1,140 (as of February 2020).
If you are between the ages of 14 and 79, you must also pay a $85 biometrics fee.
Total fees: $1225.
There are some exemptions to paying this fee for some categories of immigrants.
For example, the fee for a child under age 14 to file a Form I-485 with his or her parent’s form is $750 total.
Form I-485 Processing Time
Family-Based Form I-485 Processing Time
|Application center||Processing time|
|Agana GU||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Albany NY||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Albuquerque NM||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Anchorage AK||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Atlanta GA||9 Months to 29 Months|
|Baltimore MD||13.5 Months to 38.5 Months|
|Boise ID||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Boston MA||7 Months to 21.5 Months|
|Brooklyn NY||12.5 Months to 31.5 Months|
|Buffalo NY||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Charleston SC||10 Months to 31 Months|
|Charlotte Amalie VI||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Charlotte NC||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Chicago IL||6 Months to 28.5 Months|
|Christiansted VI||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Cincinnati OH||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Cleveland OH||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Columbus OH||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Dallas TX||8 Months to 23 Months|
|Denver CO||7.5 Months to 23 Months|
|Des Moines IA||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Detroit MI||6.5 Months to 12.5 Months|
|El Paso TX||5.5 Months to 11.5 Months|
|Fort Myers FL||8.5 Months to 27 Months|
|Fort Smith AR||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Fresno CA||6 Months to 10.5 Months|
|Greer SC||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Harlingen TX||6.5 Months to 16 Months|
|Hartford CT||10.5 Months to 22.5 Months|
|Helena MT||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Hialeah FL||8.5 Months to 23 Months|
|Honolulu HI||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Houston TX||12.5 Months to 31.5 Months|
|Imperial CA||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Indianapolis IN||9 Months to 27.5 Months|
|Jacksonville FL||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Kansas City MO||6.5 Months to 23.5 Months|
|Kendall FL||10 Months to 31.5 Months|
|Las Vegas NV||8 Months to 22.5 Months|
|Lawrence MA||7.5 Months to 29 Months|
|Long Island NY||7.5 Months to 27 Months|
|Los Angeles CA||7 Months to 23 Months|
|Los Angeles County CA||8.5 Months to 23 Months|
|Louisville KY||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Manchester NH||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Memphis TN||6 Months to 11 Months|
|Miami FL||21.5 Months to 40.5 Months|
|Milwaukee WI||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Minneapolis-St. Paul MN||8 Months to 21.5 Months|
|Montgomery AL||7 Months to 17.5 Months|
|Mount Laurel NJ||8 Months to 22 Months|
|Nashville TN||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Newark NJ||11 Months to 22.5 Months|
|New Orleans LA||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|New York City NY||12.5 Months to 32 Months|
|Norfolk VA||7 Months to 18.5 Months|
|Oakland Park FL||12.5 Months to 34 Months|
|Oklahoma City OK||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Omaha NE||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Orlando FL||9.5 Months to 23 Months|
|Philadelphia PA||8 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Phoenix AZ||9 Months to 29 Months|
|Pittsburgh PA||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Portland ME||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Portland OR||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Providence RI||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Queens NY||10 Months to 26.5 Months|
|Raleigh NC||7 Months to 27 Months|
|Reno NV||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Sacramento CA||11.5 Months to 22.5 Months|
|Saint Albans VT||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Saint Louis MO||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Salt Lake City UT||8.5 Months to 21 Months|
|San Antonio TX||7.5 Months to 15 Months|
|San Bernardino CA||6 Months to 14 Months|
|San Diego CA||7 Months to 15.5 Months|
|San Fernando Valley CA||7 Months to 19 Months|
|San Francisco CA||11 Months to 25 Months|
|San Jose CA||11.5 Months to 21 Months|
|San Juan PR||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Santa Ana CA||9.5 Months to 20.5 Months|
|Seattle WA||17.5 Months to 26.5 Months|
|Spokane WA||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Tampa FL||8 Months to 19 Months|
|Tucson AZ||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Washington DC||12 Months to 21.5 Months|
|West Palm Beach FL||10 Months to 32 Months|
|Wichita KS||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
|Yakima WA||8.5 Months to 25.5 Months|
Employment-Based Form I-485 Processing Time
|Application center||Processing time|
|All application centers||8.5 Months to 27.5 Months|
Asylum-Based Form I-485 Processing Time
|Application center||Processing time|
|Nebraska Service Center||7 Months to 31 Months|
|Texas Service Center||7 Months to 31 Months|
Refugee-Based Form I-485 Processing Times
|Application center||Processing time|
|Nebraska Service Center||9.5 Months to 13.5 Months|
Under HRIFA, Indochinese Adjustment Act, Legal Immigration and Family Equity Act, or NACARA Form I-485 Processing Times
|Application center||Processing time|
|Nebraska Service Center||14.5 Months to 64 Months|
Based on an approved T Visa Form I-485 Processing Times
|Application center||Processing time|
|Vermont Service Center||16.5 Months to 20 Months|
|Vermont Service Center||10 Months to 20.5 Months|
Filing Form I-485 After Visa Overstay
If you stay in the U.S. past the time that you are legally authorized to do so (“visa overstay”), you might still be able to seek an adjustment of status.
Various factors determine whether a visa overstay can negatively affect your ability to get a green card.
Overstaying your visa by 180 days or more can result in you being unable to reenter the U.S. for three years.
Overstaying your visa by one year or more can stop you from reentering the U.S. for ten years.
These situations can make it extremely difficult for you to get a green card.
If you are an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, you are more likely to get a green card after an overstay if you have committed no other criminal or immigration violations.
Your U.S. citizen relative can file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on your behalf even if you overstayed your visa.
As an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, you may have the best chance of getting your green card if you have:
- No previous visa overstays
- No visa overstays of 180 days or longer
- A current visa overstay, but you have not left the U.S. since your arrival
Other relatives, however, who fall within the family preference instead of the immediate relative category and who have overstayed their visas are likely to have a hard time getting green cards.
These people include non-immediate relatives, such as children over the age of 21 and siblings of U.S. citizens.
Filing Form I-485 After Unauthorized Employment in the U.S.
If you are legally present in the U.S. as a nonimmigrant, you generally cannot lawfully work while in the U.S. (with some exceptions).
Engaging in unauthorized employment can cause difficulties for you if you later want to get a green card and remain in the U.S.
Even if you have work authorization while in the U.S., if you perform different work or work longer than your work permit allowed, you can have a harder time getting a green card.
Fortunately, there are some exceptions to these general rules.
These bars to getting a green card do not apply to immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and some other immigrant categories.
You still may be able to get a green card if you are a member of any of the following categories:
- Applicants under the Violence Against Women Act
- Some doctors or other advanced-degree holders, as well as their spouses and children
- Some G-4 and NATO-6 employees, along with their family members
- Special immigrant juveniles
- Nationals of Afghanistan or Iraq who worked as translators with the U.S. Armed Forces of for the federal government
Section 245(k) also allows some people to get green cards, even after unauthorized U.S. employment.
If you fall within some specific categories, lawfully entered the U.S., and did not engage in unauthorized employment for a total of 180 days or more, you could qualify for a green card.
These categories of people who may be eligible for adjustment of status under Section 245(k) include religious workers and those who qualify as EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 workers.
You must meet several criteria to qualify as a religious worker, including being a member of a religion that has had a non-profit religious organization in the U.S. for at least two years and coming to work with such an organization in a full-time, compensated position.
You also must have been working in a similar position with that religion for at least two years before applying.
EB-1 workers include aliens of extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and some multinational managers and executives.
EB-2 workers are those who work in professions that require advanced degrees or who have exceptional ability.
Finally, EB-3 workers include skilled workers, professionals, and some other workers.
The New Public Charge Rule: How Does It Affect Form I-485 Applicants?
As of February 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that USCIS could begin implementing the new public charge rule everywhere in the U.S. (except Illinois).
This rule allows USCIS to deny admission to some applicants for adjustment of status.
More specifically, as of February 24, 2020, you will have to report some information about your use of public benefits to USCIS when applying for adjustment of status.
If you file an application for adjustment of status after February 24, 2020, you must prove to USCIS that you are not likely to receive any of nine public benefits for a total of 12 months within a 36-month period.
You also must file a new form, I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency, along with Form I-485.
The previous version of the public charge rule required USCIS to consider an applicant’s receipt of SSI, TANF, and state-provided cash assistance.
The new public charge rule adds five new programs for consideration:
- Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Programs (SNAP)
- Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, and
- Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance, and Public Housing.
Current Form I-485 Applicants and the New Public Charge Rule
If you are a current applicant for adjustment of status, you do not need to report your application for or usage of non-cash public benefits, such as food stamps or SNAP, Medicaid, and public housing that occurred before February 24, 2020.
USCIS also will not consider your prior use of cash benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF).
Some classes of applicants for adjustment of status are not subject to the public charge rule.
These classes include refugees and asylees, people with U and T nonimmigrant status, and some petitioners under Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
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Affidavit of Support, Form I-864 – Complete Guide 
USCIS Case Processing Times