Adjusting status refers to the process of allowing certain immigrants already present in the United States to apply for lawful permanent resident status, also dubbed a Green Card. Several necessary forms must be properly prepared and submitted along with supporting documents to apply for adjustment of status.

Taking time to understand each form’s purpose and complete them accurately improves your case’s likelihood of being approved.

Form I-485: The Core Adjustment of Status Application

adjustment of status immigration document with penThe most important form is Form I-485, officially called the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Form I-485 allows immigrants physically present in the United States to formally apply for lawful permanent resident status.

To be eligible to file Form I-485, you generally must have a way to adjust status through family relationships, employment, refugee or asylee status, or certain other humanitarian programs and classifications.

Most categories require a visa to be immediately available, though immediate relatives of U.S. citizens are exempt from visa limits. Form I-485 provides extensive questions on identity, immigration history, family relationships, work history, criminal issues, and security matters that must be answered honestly to avoid delays or complications.

Properly completing Form I-485 requires attention to detail, accurate information, and supporting documents. Key areas include establishing lawful presence through copies of current immigration documents and demonstrating eligibility via proof of family ties or a qualifying employer or humanitarian petition.

Applicants must also provide passport photos, undergo biometrics processing, and pass background checks. Keeping Form I-485 up to date by informing USCIS of any address changes is also essential.

Form I-130: Establishing Your Qualifying Relationship

Most family-based adjustment of status applications rely on an approved Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. Form I-130 allows a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident petitioner to establish a qualifying relationship with a beneficiary seeking to immigrate.

Common relationships include spouses, children, parents, and siblings, though more distant relatives may also qualify. The petitioner files Form I-130 to prove they share the claimed relationship with the beneficiary.

This requires submitting identity documents, proof of citizenship or permanent resident status for the petitioner, birth certificates or marriage records depending on the relationship, proof of termination of any prior marriages, joint financial documents, and photos or affidavits from third parties attesting to the legitimacy of the relationship.

USCIS scrutinizes Form I-130 petitions for possible marriage fraud. Evidence must convincingly demonstrate an authentic, ongoing relationship or result in a denial and inability to adjust status. Once approved, Form I-130 establishes eligibility for the related Form I-485 application.

Form I-765: Allowing Legal Employment Authorization

united state of america permanent residentFiling Form I-485 allows for legal presence in the United States but does not authorize employment immediately. Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, enables immigrants with pending adjustment of status applications to obtain temporary work authorization until their Green Card applications are approved.

To qualify for employment authorization while Form I-485 is pending, applicants must properly file Form I-765 according to its instructions. USCIS encourages submitting Form I-765 together with Form I-485 to streamline processing.

Key details include accurately filling in the eligibility category that relates to a pending Form I-485 and paying the associated filing fee. If any questions arise about employment eligibility, USCIS may issue a Request for Evidence, seeking more documentation before approval.

Once Form I-765 is approved, the applicant receives an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card as proof they are legally authorized to work to show employers. Maintaining valid employment authorization is important to keep your job during the adjustment of status process.

Form I-131: Allowing Travel Abroad During Adjustment

Adjusting status applicants who need to travel internationally while Form I-485 is pending may file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. Form I-131 allows USCIS to authorize reentry into the United States through a document known as advance parole.

Advance parole serves as evidence you will retain eligibility to become a lawful permanent resident despite interrupting ongoing adjustment processing. You request advance parole by filing Form I-131, paying the fee, and providing passport photos plus a copy of your current immigration status documents.

Explain the reason for overseas travel, such as family emergencies, employment, or humanitarian grounds. USCIS will review and either approve or deny advance parole based on whether travel seems appropriate, given your pending status.

closeup of girl holding passports and boarding pass at airportIf granted advance parole, avoid staying abroad for extended periods, maintain evidence of pursuing adjustment of status while outside the country, and retain advance parole paperwork to show when reentering to resume your pending Form I-485 case.

As long as the reason for travel aligns with eligibility to adjust status, advance parole allows you to avoid issues later in the process.

Effectively Navigate Adjustment of Status Forms with Pride Immigration

Preparing strong applications when adjusting status requires attention to detail and a methodical approach across all related forms — Form I-485 for adjustment itself, along with Form I-130 to qualify, Form I-765 for work permission, and Form I-131 for travel abilities. Supplying accurate information and documentation at each step streamlines achieving approval of lawful permanent residence.

Partnering with experienced immigration professionals at Pride Immigration equips you to successfully navigate the adjustment of status complexities. Contact us today at (703) 594-4040 or online to begin your adjustment of status journey.

The following two tabs change content below.

Beeraj Patel, Esq.

Partner at KPPB Law
Beeraj Patel's philosophy is simple - make it easy for talented and ambitious individuals to have access to immigration materials so that they can make the choice which is right for them.
Call Now Button