Employment-based immigration

Form I-485: Everything You Need to Know

Form I-485, known as the "Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status," is the form you need to apply for a green card if you’re already in the United States. In this guide, we'll walk you through what the I-485 form is used for, who is eligible, what evidence you'll need to include, and more.

Chelsea Spinos, Writer
Simon Craven, Manifest Immigration Lawyer

By:

Chelsea Spinos

Chelsea Spinos is a contributing writer for Manifest Law. She covers all topics related to U.S. visas and green cards. She is passionate about helping people navigate their immigration journey with clarity and confidence.

Reviewer:

Simon Craven, Esq.

Simon Craven is an immigration attorney with 11+ years of experience working on thousands of successful immigration cases. Simon is passionate about US immigration and helping people.

9 min read • June 7, 2024

Form I-485
Form I-485
Form I-485

Key takeaways

If you're already in the United States and want to apply for a green card, you'll need to fill out Form I-485, also known as the "Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status."

To file Form I-485, you need to meet these requirements: 1) You must be physically present in the U.S., 2) You must have lawfully entered the U.S., and 3) You must have an immigrant visa immediately available.

With the I-485 form, you will need to include supporting documents, known as "initial evidence," to verify your eligibility.

The processing time for Form I-485 is between 10-20 months — there isn’t expedited processing available for this form.

At Manifest Law, we can file your I-485 form for a fixed fee and help you avoid mistakes and delays.

Obtaining a green card and becoming a permanent resident is a major goal for many immigrants in the United States. One of the key forms in this process is Form I-485, the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.


This guide covers everything you need to know about Form I-485 — what it is used for, eligibility requirements, instructions for completing it, required supporting documents, where to file, processing times, fees, and answers to frequently asked questions.


Whether you are applying based on family ties, employment, or another eligible category, properly filing the I-485 form is critical for adjusting your immigration status. We'll walk through each section step-by-step so you can submit an accurate and complete application, avoiding potential delays or denials.

United States Green Card
United States Green Card
United States Green Card

What is Form I-485?

What is Form I-485?

Form I-485, known as the "Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status," is the form you need to apply for a green card if you’re already in the United States. This form is part of the process to adjust your status to that of a lawful permanent resident (green card holder), allowing you to live and work in the U.S. permanently.

What is Form I-485 used for?

What is Form I-485 used for?

The I-485 form is a critical component in the process of obtaining a green card, which grants you the right to live and work in the U.S. This form can be used for a few different types of visa applications/categories, including:

The I-485 form is a critical component in the process of obtaining a green card, which grants you the right to live and work in the U.S. This form can be used for a few different types of visa applications/categories, including:

If you have been asked to assess the work of other people in your field, this might help you qualify for one of the O1 visa criteria. Judging can be in a competitive setting, such as a contest, awards panel, or grants committee. Or, it can be an evaluation of someone’s work, like a scientific paper or presentation, or even a grant application.


The key here is that some organization thought you were the go-to person with ample expertise to assess the work of others. This shows USCIS that you are seen as someone who stands out from others in your work.


If you think you can meet the “judge of others” criteria and at least two other criteria on the list of O1 visa evidence, you could be ready to apply! Reach out to Manifest Law and we can help you put your best case forward.

Family-Based Applications

Employment-Based Applications

Refugees and Asylees

Special Categories

If you’re a close relative of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you can use Form I-485 to apply for a green card.

If you have a job offer or are working in the U.S. in a qualifying position, you can adjust your status to permanent resident.

Refugees and asylees in the U.S. can use Form I-485 to apply for a green card after one year of being admitted

Certain individuals, such as those under special immigrant categories, diversity lottery winners, and certain non-immigrant visa holders, may also use Form I-485.

Manifest Law©️. Learn more on www.manifestlaw.com

Who can file Form I-485?

Who can file Form I-485?

To file form I-485, you will need to meet three key eligibility requirements. 


  1. Be physically present in the U.S. — You must be inside the U.S. when filing the adjustment of status application and complete the process within the country.

  2. Have made a lawful entry into the U.S. — Lawful entry means you were admitted or paroled into the U.S. This typically involves entering the U.S. with valid documentation and making face-to-face contact with a U.S. immigration officer who acknowledged your entry. 

  3. Have an immigrant visa immediately available — Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens (spouses, parents, and unmarried children under 21) can file Form I-485 together with the I-130 petition, as visas are always available for this category. For other family preference categories, you must ensure a visa is available and your category is "current" according to the visa bulletin before filing Form I-485.


You can check out the latest visa bulletin 2024 updates on our blog here.


Do you meet all of these requirements? If so, then you may be eligible to adjust your status and apply for a green card from within the U.S.

To file form I-485, you will need to meet three key eligibility requirements. 


  1. Be physically present in the U.S. — You must be inside the U.S. when filing the adjustment of status application and complete the process within the country.

  2. Have made a lawful entry into the U.S. — Lawful entry means you were admitted or paroled into the U.S. This typically involves entering the U.S. with valid documentation and making face-to-face contact with a U.S. immigration officer who acknowledged your entry. 

  3. Have an immigrant visa immediately available — Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens (spouses, parents, and unmarried children under 21) can file Form I-485 together with the I-130 petition, as visas are always available for this category. For other family preference categories, you must ensure a visa is available and your category is "current" according to the visa bulletin before filing Form I-485.


You can check out the latest visa bulletin 2024 updates on our blog here.


Do you meet all of these requirements? If so, then you may be eligible to adjust your status and apply for a green card from within the U.S.

If you have been asked to assess the work of other people in your field, this might help you qualify for one of the O1 visa criteria. Judging can be in a competitive setting, such as a contest, awards panel, or grants committee. Or, it can be an evaluation of someone’s work, like a scientific paper or presentation, or even a grant application.


The key here is that some organization thought you were the go-to person with ample expertise to assess the work of others. This shows USCIS that you are seen as someone who stands out from others in your work.


If you think you can meet the “judge of others” criteria and at least two other criteria on the list of O1 visa evidence, you could be ready to apply! Reach out to Manifest Law and we can help you put your best case forward.

Note: Even if your visa has expired since you first entered the U.S., your entry is considered lawful if it was valid at the time of entry.

Immigration forms, SSN, Green Card
Immigration forms, SSN, Green Card
Immigration forms, SSN, Green Card

Who can’t file Form I-485?

Who can’t file Form I-485?

There are certain situations where filing Form I-485 isn't an option. These include:


  1. Relatives or spouses who are not physically present in the United States cannot file the I-485.

  2. Even if you're physically present in the U.S., there are eligibility exclusions that may prevent you from filing an I-485 application. These include:

    • Entering the United States as a crewman.

    • Entering the United States for transit purposes, such as being on your way to another country.

    • Being admitted to the United States as a witness or informant.

    • Being "deportable" due to involvement in terrorist activity or association with a terrorist group.


Additionally, there are "inadmissibility" grounds that may disqualify you from filing an I-485. These include health-related, criminal, security, immigration law or procedure violations, public charge, and other miscellaneous grounds. 


However, depending on your family relationship or green card category, waivers may be available to address some of these disqualifications. If you're unsure about your eligibility, reach out to an immigration attorney at Manifest Law.

There are certain situations where filing Form I-485 isn't an option. These include:


  1. Relatives or spouses who are not physically present in the United States cannot file the I-485.

  2. Even if you're physically present in the U.S., there are eligibility exclusions that may prevent you from filing an I-485 application. These include:

    • Entering the United States as a crewman.

    • Entering the United States for transit purposes, such as being on your way to another country.

    • Being admitted to the United States as a witness or informant.

    • Being "deportable" due to involvement in terrorist activity or association with a terrorist group.


Additionally, there are "inadmissibility" grounds that may disqualify you from filing an I-485. These include health-related, criminal, security, immigration law or procedure violations, public charge, and other miscellaneous grounds. 


However, depending on your family relationship or green card category, waivers may be available to address some of these disqualifications. If you're unsure about your eligibility, reach out to an immigration attorney at Manifest Law.

If you have been asked to assess the work of other people in your field, this might help you qualify for one of the O1 visa criteria. Judging can be in a competitive setting, such as a contest, awards panel, or grants committee. Or, it can be an evaluation of someone’s work, like a scientific paper or presentation, or even a grant application.


The key here is that some organization thought you were the go-to person with ample expertise to assess the work of others. This shows USCIS that you are seen as someone who stands out from others in your work.


If you think you can meet the “judge of others” criteria and at least two other criteria on the list of O1 visa evidence, you could be ready to apply! Reach out to Manifest Law and we can help you put your best case forward.

Filing I-765 form
Filing I-765 form
Filing I-765 form

I-485 form instructions

I-485 form instructions

Check out the video below where Simon Craven, an immigration attorney here at Manifest Law, walks you through Form I-485.

Check out the video below where Simon Craven, an immigration attorney here at Manifest Law, walks you through Form I-485.

If you have been asked to assess the work of other people in your field, this might help you qualify for one of the O1 visa criteria. Judging can be in a competitive setting, such as a contest, awards panel, or grants committee. Or, it can be an evaluation of someone’s work, like a scientific paper or presentation, or even a grant application.


The key here is that some organization thought you were the go-to person with ample expertise to assess the work of others. This shows USCIS that you are seen as someone who stands out from others in your work.


If you think you can meet the “judge of others” criteria and at least two other criteria on the list of O1 visa evidence, you could be ready to apply! Reach out to Manifest Law and we can help you put your best case forward.

Part 1

  • Names: Use your current legal name. If you married in the U.S., your marriage certificate usually serves as a legal name change document. Include any previous names, like your maiden name.

  • Other Information About You: Only list an alien registration number or USCIS online account number if you have one.

  • Mailing Address: Provide an address where you can safely receive mail. USCIS will send notices and appointment information to this address.

  • Social Security Card: Indicate if you’ve ever had a Social Security number. If not, this form can help you get one.

  • Recent Immigration History: Include details about your most recent entry to the U.S. This information must match your documents. Even if you have a new passport, use the information from the passport used for your most recent entry. You can submit photocopies of both passports.

  • Names: Use your current legal name. If you married in the U.S., your marriage certificate usually serves as a legal name change document. Include any previous names, like your maiden name.

  • Other Information About You: Only list an alien registration number or USCIS online account number if you have one.

  • Mailing Address: Provide an address where you can safely receive mail. USCIS will send notices and appointment information to this address.

  • Social Security Card: Indicate if you’ve ever had a Social Security number. If not, this form can help you get one.

  • Recent Immigration History: Include details about your most recent entry to the U.S. This information must match your documents. Even if you have a new passport, use the information from the passport used for your most recent entry. You can submit photocopies of both passports.

If you have been asked to assess the work of other people in your field, this might help you qualify for one of the O1 visa criteria. Judging can be in a competitive setting, such as a contest, awards panel, or grants committee. Or, it can be an evaluation of someone’s work, like a scientific paper or presentation, or even a grant application.


The key here is that some organization thought you were the go-to person with ample expertise to assess the work of others. This shows USCIS that you are seen as someone who stands out from others in your work.


If you think you can meet the “judge of others” criteria and at least two other criteria on the list of O1 visa evidence, you could be ready to apply! Reach out to Manifest Law and we can help you put your best case forward.

Part 2

  • Application Type: Indicate your basis for eligibility. Select one immigrant category.

  • Information About Your Immigrant Category: Provide details from the underlying petition if applicable, such as Form I-130, I-129F, or I-140. If filing concurrently, this information is not needed.

If you have been asked to assess the work of other people in your field, this might help you qualify for one of the O1 visa criteria. Judging can be in a competitive setting, such as a contest, awards panel, or grants committee. Or, it can be an evaluation of someone’s work, like a scientific paper or presentation, or even a grant application.


The key here is that some organization thought you were the go-to person with ample expertise to assess the work of others. This shows USCIS that you are seen as someone who stands out from others in your work.


If you think you can meet the “judge of others” criteria and at least two other criteria on the list of O1 visa evidence, you could be ready to apply! Reach out to Manifest Law and we can help you put your best case forward.

Part 3

  • Additional Information About You: Include details if you’ve ever applied for an immigrant visa abroad. If it was denied, note the reason and understand how it may affect your current application. Seek legal counsel if necessary.

  • Address History: List all addresses where you’ve lived in the past five years. Temporary trips don’t count. If you need more space, attach a separate sheet.

  • Employment History: List all employers from the past five years, including self-employment and military service. Use a separate sheet if necessary.

  • Additional Information About You: Include details if you’ve ever applied for an immigrant visa abroad. If it was denied, note the reason and understand how it may affect your current application. Seek legal counsel if necessary.

  • Address History: List all addresses where you’ve lived in the past five years. Temporary trips don’t count. If you need more space, attach a separate sheet.

  • Employment History: List all employers from the past five years, including self-employment and military service. Use a separate sheet if necessary.

If you have been asked to assess the work of other people in your field, this might help you qualify for one of the O1 visa criteria. Judging can be in a competitive setting, such as a contest, awards panel, or grants committee. Or, it can be an evaluation of someone’s work, like a scientific paper or presentation, or even a grant application.


The key here is that some organization thought you were the go-to person with ample expertise to assess the work of others. This shows USCIS that you are seen as someone who stands out from others in your work.


If you think you can meet the “judge of others” criteria and at least two other criteria on the list of O1 visa evidence, you could be ready to apply! Reach out to Manifest Law and we can help you put your best case forward.

Parts 4, 5, 6, and 7

  • Information About Your Parents: Provide details as requested. If a parent is deceased, write "Deceased" in the residence space.

  • Marital History: Enter all relevant information, especially if your category is based on marriage. Include dates when previous marriages ended.

  • Information About Your Children: Provide details for all your children, regardless of age.

  • Biographic Information: Indicate your race, ethnicity, height, weight, eye color, and hair color.

  • Information About Your Parents: Provide details as requested. If a parent is deceased, write "Deceased" in the residence space.

  • Marital History: Enter all relevant information, especially if your category is based on marriage. Include dates when previous marriages ended.

  • Information About Your Children: Provide details for all your children, regardless of age.

  • Biographic Information: Indicate your race, ethnicity, height, weight, eye color, and hair color.

If you have been asked to assess the work of other people in your field, this might help you qualify for one of the O1 visa criteria. Judging can be in a competitive setting, such as a contest, awards panel, or grants committee. Or, it can be an evaluation of someone’s work, like a scientific paper or presentation, or even a grant application.


The key here is that some organization thought you were the go-to person with ample expertise to assess the work of others. This shows USCIS that you are seen as someone who stands out from others in your work.


If you think you can meet the “judge of others” criteria and at least two other criteria on the list of O1 visa evidence, you could be ready to apply! Reach out to Manifest Law and we can help you put your best case forward.

Part 8

  • General Eligibility and Inadmissibility Grounds: Carefully answer each question. List all organizations you’ve been associated with, such as religious, professional, political, and social groups. USCIS may evaluate your affiliations with certain organizations.

  • Criminal Acts and Violations: Some crimes affect your application, others don’t. If you answer "Yes" to any question, consult an immigration attorney.

  • Illegal Entries and Other Immigration Violations: Be honest about past violations. If you answer "Yes" to any question, understand its impact. Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens are generally not affected by current overstays, but other categories might face issues.

If you have been asked to assess the work of other people in your field, this might help you qualify for one of the O1 visa criteria. Judging can be in a competitive setting, such as a contest, awards panel, or grants committee. Or, it can be an evaluation of someone’s work, like a scientific paper or presentation, or even a grant application.


The key here is that some organization thought you were the go-to person with ample expertise to assess the work of others. This shows USCIS that you are seen as someone who stands out from others in your work.


If you think you can meet the “judge of others” criteria and at least two other criteria on the list of O1 visa evidence, you could be ready to apply! Reach out to Manifest Law and we can help you put your best case forward.

Parts 9, 10, 11, and 12

  • Accommodations: Indicate any disabilities or impairments for which you need USCIS accommodations during your biometrics screening and other appointments.

  • Applicant's Statement: Provide your contact information and sign your application in black ink. Many rejections occur because applicants forget to sign or sign in the wrong place.

  • Interpreter and Preparer: If you prepared your Form I-485, sign as the "applicant." If someone else helped, ensure Parts 11 and 12 are filled out and signed.

If you have been asked to assess the work of other people in your field, this might help you qualify for one of the O1 visa criteria. Judging can be in a competitive setting, such as a contest, awards panel, or grants committee. Or, it can be an evaluation of someone’s work, like a scientific paper or presentation, or even a grant application.


The key here is that some organization thought you were the go-to person with ample expertise to assess the work of others. This shows USCIS that you are seen as someone who stands out from others in your work.


If you think you can meet the “judge of others” criteria and at least two other criteria on the list of O1 visa evidence, you could be ready to apply! Reach out to Manifest Law and we can help you put your best case forward.

For more comprehensive I-485 instructions, you can download them from the USCIS website here


If you need assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to an immigration lawyer from Manifest law. They can help prepare your Form I-485 application accurately to help avoid any delays or a denial.

If you have been asked to assess the work of other people in your field, this might help you qualify for one of the O1 visa criteria. Judging can be in a competitive setting, such as a contest, awards panel, or grants committee. Or, it can be an evaluation of someone’s work, like a scientific paper or presentation, or even a grant application.


The key here is that some organization thought you were the go-to person with ample expertise to assess the work of others. This shows USCIS that you are seen as someone who stands out from others in your work.


If you think you can meet the “judge of others” criteria and at least two other criteria on the list of O1 visa evidence, you could be ready to apply! Reach out to Manifest Law and we can help you put your best case forward.

I-485 form PDF

I-485 form PDF

You can download the I-485 form on the USCIS website, or below.

You can download the I-485 form on the USCIS website, or below.

If you have been asked to assess the work of other people in your field, this might help you qualify for one of the O1 visa criteria. Judging can be in a competitive setting, such as a contest, awards panel, or grants committee. Or, it can be an evaluation of someone’s work, like a scientific paper or presentation, or even a grant application.


The key here is that some organization thought you were the go-to person with ample expertise to assess the work of others. This shows USCIS that you are seen as someone who stands out from others in your work.


If you think you can meet the “judge of others” criteria and at least two other criteria on the list of O1 visa evidence, you could be ready to apply! Reach out to Manifest Law and we can help you put your best case forward.

Woman smiling holding form
Woman smiling holding form
Woman smiling holding form

Initial evidence for your Form I-485

Initial evidence for your Form I-485

When you're applying for a green card with Form I-485, it's important to include all the necessary supporting documents to prove your eligibility. These documents, called "initial evidence," help USCIS understand your situation and verify that you meet all the requirements. Providing the right initial evidence will help ensure your application is processed smoothly and efficiently.


Here’s a checklist of the key documents you’ll need to include:

If you have been asked to assess the work of other people in your field, this might help you qualify for one of the O1 visa criteria. Judging can be in a competitive setting, such as a contest, awards panel, or grants committee. Or, it can be an evaluation of someone’s work, like a scientific paper or presentation, or even a grant application.


The key here is that some organization thought you were the go-to person with ample expertise to assess the work of others. This shows USCIS that you are seen as someone who stands out from others in your work.


If you think you can meet the “judge of others” criteria and at least two other criteria on the list of O1 visa evidence, you could be ready to apply! Reach out to Manifest Law and we can help you put your best case forward.

Proof of Identity and Status

Proof of Lawful Entry

Proof of Current Status

Two Passport-Style Photos

Birth Certificate

Marriage Certificate (if applicable)

Affidavit of Support (Form I-864)

Medical Examination (Form I-693)

Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

Proof of Relationship (if applicable)

Criminal Records (if applicable)

Other Supporting Documents

Passport: Include a copy of the page with your photo and personal details.

Visa: A copy of the visa you used to enter the U.S.


I-94 Arrival/Departure Record: This document shows when and how you entered the U.S.

Entry Stamp: A copy of the stamp in your passport from your most recent entry into the U.S.

Nonimmigrant Status: Copies of any documents that show your current and previous nonimmigrant status, like the I-20 for F-1 students or the DS-2019 for J-1 exchange visitors.

These photos should be 2x2 inches, with a white background, and taken within the last 30 days.

Provide a copy of your birth certificate with a certified English translation if it's not in English.

If you are applying based on marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, include a copy of your marriage certificate. Make sure to include a certified English translation if needed.

If you're being sponsored by a family member, include a completed Form I-864 from your sponsor to show they can support you financially.

Have a USCIS-authorized civil surgeon complete Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, and provide it in a sealed envelope.

If you have an EAD, include a copy of it.

If you’re applying based on marriage, provide evidence like joint bank accounts, leases, and other documents that show you share a life together.

If you've ever been arrested or convicted, include copies of any court records.

Include any other documents required for your specific category, such as an approved Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) or Form I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker).

Manifest Law©️. Learn more on www.manifestlaw.com

💡 Manifest Tip: If any of your documents are not in English, include a certified translation. 

Woman handing completed forms over
Woman handing completed forms over
Woman handing completed forms over

Secondary evidence to include

Secondary evidence to include

Sometimes, you might not be able to get a required document for your Form I-485 application. In these cases, you need to provide alternative documents, known as "secondary evidence," so USCIS can still make a decision on your application.

Here are examples of secondary evidence:

If you have been asked to assess the work of other people in your field, this might help you qualify for one of the O1 visa criteria. Judging can be in a competitive setting, such as a contest, awards panel, or grants committee. Or, it can be an evaluation of someone’s work, like a scientific paper or presentation, or even a grant application.


The key here is that some organization thought you were the go-to person with ample expertise to assess the work of others. This shows USCIS that you are seen as someone who stands out from others in your work.


If you think you can meet the “judge of others” criteria and at least two other criteria on the list of O1 visa evidence, you could be ready to apply! Reach out to Manifest Law and we can help you put your best case forward.

If your birth certificate is unavailable…

If your marriage certificate is unavailable…

If your proof of entry is unavailable…

If your proof of legal status is unavailable…

If your criminal records are unavailable…

If your proof of relationship is unavailable…

Provide a statement from the government agency in your home country responsible for issuing birth certificates, certifying its unavailability. Then, submit alternative documents such as:

  • Baptism records

  • School records showing your date and place of birth

  • Census records indicating your date of birth, place of birth, and your parents’ names.

Provide alternative documents like:

  • Affidavits from witnesses who attended the wedding

  • Church or temple records

  • School records showing your marital status.

Provide alternative evidence such as:

  • Affidavits from people who were with you at the time of entry

  • Your own detailed statement describing your entry.

Consider alternative evidence like:

  • Affidavits from employers or landlords attesting to your legal status

  • School or medical records indicating your presence in the U.S.

Provide alternative evidence like:

  • Court records or police reports from the relevant jurisdiction

  • Affidavits from individuals with knowledge of the incident.

Consider alternative evidence such as:

  • Affidavits from relatives or friends confirming your relationship

  • Photos or letters showing your relationship over time.

Manifest Law©️. Learn more on www.manifestlaw.com

Remember, secondary evidence should only be used when you genuinely can't get the primary documents. Providing clear and comprehensive documentation strengthens your application and boosts the chances of success. 


If you're unsure about which documents to submit or need help with your application, reach out to us at Manifest Law.

If you have been asked to assess the work of other people in your field, this might help you qualify for one of the O1 visa criteria. Judging can be in a competitive setting, such as a contest, awards panel, or grants committee. Or, it can be an evaluation of someone’s work, like a scientific paper or presentation, or even a grant application.


The key here is that some organization thought you were the go-to person with ample expertise to assess the work of others. This shows USCIS that you are seen as someone who stands out from others in your work.


If you think you can meet the “judge of others” criteria and at least two other criteria on the list of O1 visa evidence, you could be ready to apply! Reach out to Manifest Law and we can help you put your best case forward.

I-485 form checklist

I-485 form checklist

Get the PDF checklist that lists the initial evidence needed for Form I-485, along with any additional secondary evidence if required.

If you have been asked to assess the work of other people in your field, this might help you qualify for one of the O1 visa criteria. Judging can be in a competitive setting, such as a contest, awards panel, or grants committee. Or, it can be an evaluation of someone’s work, like a scientific paper or presentation, or even a grant application.


The key here is that some organization thought you were the go-to person with ample expertise to assess the work of others. This shows USCIS that you are seen as someone who stands out from others in your work.


If you think you can meet the “judge of others” criteria and at least two other criteria on the list of O1 visa evidence, you could be ready to apply! Reach out to Manifest Law and we can help you put your best case forward.

Completing application form on laptop
Completing application form on laptop
Completing application form on laptop

Where to file Form I-485

Where to file Form I-485

To send in your Form I-485 application, you'll need to mail it to USCIS — they don't accept applications in person at their offices, and you cannot file online.

USCIS has different mailing addresses for Form I-485, depending on factors like why you're applying and where you live in the U.S. 


For the most accurate address, check the USCIS website here.


Keep in mind that even though you'll mail your application to these addresses, USCIS will process it elsewhere. If you have an interview, it'll usually be at a USCIS field office closest to your home address.

If you have been asked to assess the work of other people in your field, this might help you qualify for one of the O1 visa criteria. Judging can be in a competitive setting, such as a contest, awards panel, or grants committee. Or, it can be an evaluation of someone’s work, like a scientific paper or presentation, or even a grant application.


The key here is that some organization thought you were the go-to person with ample expertise to assess the work of others. This shows USCIS that you are seen as someone who stands out from others in your work.


If you think you can meet the “judge of others” criteria and at least two other criteria on the list of O1 visa evidence, you could be ready to apply! Reach out to Manifest Law and we can help you put your best case forward.

💡 Manifest Tip: Before you send in your application, always double-check the mailing address and any specific instructions to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Processing time for Form I-485

Processing time for Form I-485

The processing time for Form I-485 for family-based applications is currently 10–23 months and 14-20 months for employment-based applications.


It’s important to keep in mind that USCIS receives many applications, and how quickly they can review yours may vary based on factors like the type of adjustment you're applying for, the USCIS office handling your case, and the accuracy of your application. 


Other things, like background checks, interviews, and requests for additional information, can also affect processing times. Changes in immigration policy or backlogs in processing can cause delays too. 


While USCIS provides estimated processing times on their website, it's essential to be patient and prepared for your application to take some time to process.

If you have been asked to assess the work of other people in your field, this might help you qualify for one of the O1 visa criteria. Judging can be in a competitive setting, such as a contest, awards panel, or grants committee. Or, it can be an evaluation of someone’s work, like a scientific paper or presentation, or even a grant application.


The key here is that some organization thought you were the go-to person with ample expertise to assess the work of others. This shows USCIS that you are seen as someone who stands out from others in your work.


If you think you can meet the “judge of others” criteria and at least two other criteria on the list of O1 visa evidence, you could be ready to apply! Reach out to Manifest Law and we can help you put your best case forward.

Man and woman looking at laptop screen
Man and woman looking at laptop screen
Man and woman looking at laptop screen

Expedited processing for Form I-485

Expedited processing for Form I-485

Unfortunately, premium processing isn't an option for Form I-485 applications. Premium processing is a service offered by USCIS for certain employment-related immigration petitions, but it doesn't apply to Form I-485, which is used to adjust your status to a permanent resident. 

So, you won't be able to pay extra for faster processing of your Form I-485 application.

If you have been asked to assess the work of other people in your field, this might help you qualify for one of the O1 visa criteria. Judging can be in a competitive setting, such as a contest, awards panel, or grants committee. Or, it can be an evaluation of someone’s work, like a scientific paper or presentation, or even a grant application.


The key here is that some organization thought you were the go-to person with ample expertise to assess the work of others. This shows USCIS that you are seen as someone who stands out from others in your work.


If you think you can meet the “judge of others” criteria and at least two other criteria on the list of O1 visa evidence, you could be ready to apply! Reach out to Manifest Law and we can help you put your best case forward.

How much is Form I-485?

How much is Form I-485?

Filing Form I-485 costs $1,440, or $950 if the applicant is under 14 years old.


Remember, USCIS fees can change, so it's crucial to double-check the latest fee schedule on the USCIS website or speak with an immigration attorney to make sure you have the right information before submitting your application.

If you have been asked to assess the work of other people in your field, this might help you qualify for one of the O1 visa criteria. Judging can be in a competitive setting, such as a contest, awards panel, or grants committee. Or, it can be an evaluation of someone’s work, like a scientific paper or presentation, or even a grant application.


The key here is that some organization thought you were the go-to person with ample expertise to assess the work of others. This shows USCIS that you are seen as someone who stands out from others in your work.


If you think you can meet the “judge of others” criteria and at least two other criteria on the list of O1 visa evidence, you could be ready to apply! Reach out to Manifest Law and we can help you put your best case forward.

USCIS website
USCIS website
USCIS website

How to check the status of your I-485 form

How to check the status of your I-485 form

To check the status of your Form I-485, you can use the USCIS online case status tool called "Check Case Status." Here's how to do it:


Step 1: Visit the USCIS website 

Go to the USCIS Case Status Online page.

Step 2: Enter Your Receipt Number

Input the receipt number provided to you when you submitted your Form I-485 application. This number is typically found on your application receipt notice (Form I-797C).

Step 3: Click "Check Status":

After entering your receipt number, click on the "Check Status" button.


Step 4: Review Your Status

The website will display the current status of your Form I-485 application. It may indicate that your case is pending, approved, or if any action is required from you.

You can also check the status of your I-485 form over the phone by calling USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.

If you have been asked to assess the work of other people in your field, this might help you qualify for one of the O1 visa criteria. Judging can be in a competitive setting, such as a contest, awards panel, or grants committee. Or, it can be an evaluation of someone’s work, like a scientific paper or presentation, or even a grant application.


The key here is that some organization thought you were the go-to person with ample expertise to assess the work of others. This shows USCIS that you are seen as someone who stands out from others in your work.


If you think you can meet the “judge of others” criteria and at least two other criteria on the list of O1 visa evidence, you could be ready to apply! Reach out to Manifest Law and we can help you put your best case forward.

FAQ
FAQ
FAQ

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

Can I file Form I-485 from outside the U.S.?

No, you can't file Form I-485 from outside the United States. This form is for people who are already in the U.S. and want to become permanent residents. If you're outside the country and want to apply for a green card, you'll usually need to go through a different process at a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country.

If you have been asked to assess the work of other people in your field, this might help you qualify for one of the O1 visa criteria. Judging can be in a competitive setting, such as a contest, awards panel, or grants committee. Or, it can be an evaluation of someone’s work, like a scientific paper or presentation, or even a grant application.


The key here is that some organization thought you were the go-to person with ample expertise to assess the work of others. This shows USCIS that you are seen as someone who stands out from others in your work.


If you think you can meet the “judge of others” criteria and at least two other criteria on the list of O1 visa evidence, you could be ready to apply! Reach out to Manifest Law and we can help you put your best case forward.

Can Form I-485 be filed online?

As of now, Form I-485 cannot be filed online or in-person. You can only mail your I-485 form to a USCIS office.

If you have been asked to assess the work of other people in your field, this might help you qualify for one of the O1 visa criteria. Judging can be in a competitive setting, such as a contest, awards panel, or grants committee. Or, it can be an evaluation of someone’s work, like a scientific paper or presentation, or even a grant application.


The key here is that some organization thought you were the go-to person with ample expertise to assess the work of others. This shows USCIS that you are seen as someone who stands out from others in your work.


If you think you can meet the “judge of others” criteria and at least two other criteria on the list of O1 visa evidence, you could be ready to apply! Reach out to Manifest Law and we can help you put your best case forward.

When should I file the I-485 form?

When to file Form I-485 depends on your situation. If you're seeking a marriage-based green card, you can submit Form I-485 simultaneously with your U.S. citizen spouse's Form I-130. 


This applies if you're an immediate relative of the U.S. citizen, like a parent or unmarried child under 21, and they're filing Form I-130 on your behalf.


However, if you're applying for a family-preference or employment-based green card and a visa isn't immediately available, you'll have to wait. 


After USCIS approves Form I-130, you'll need to track when an immigrant visa number becomes available. You can monitor this through the monthly visa bulletin from the U.S. Department of State, or the Manifest Law blog. Once a visa number is available, you can proceed with filing your Form I-485.

If you have been asked to assess the work of other people in your field, this might help you qualify for one of the O1 visa criteria. Judging can be in a competitive setting, such as a contest, awards panel, or grants committee. Or, it can be an evaluation of someone’s work, like a scientific paper or presentation, or even a grant application.


The key here is that some organization thought you were the go-to person with ample expertise to assess the work of others. This shows USCIS that you are seen as someone who stands out from others in your work.


If you think you can meet the “judge of others” criteria and at least two other criteria on the list of O1 visa evidence, you could be ready to apply! Reach out to Manifest Law and we can help you put your best case forward.

Can I travel while my I-485 form is being processed?

If you're planning to travel outside the United States while your Form I-485 is still in process, it's important to apply for Form I-131, also known as the "Application for Travel Document." 


Sometimes, you can file Form I-131 along with Form I-765, the "Application for Employment Authorization," either together with your Form I-485 or later on. 


USCIS will handle these applications together, providing you with a combined work and travel permit known as an Employment Authorization Document (EAD)-Advanced Parole card. 


With this card, you can travel abroad and work while waiting for your green card application to be processed.

If you have been asked to assess the work of other people in your field, this might help you qualify for one of the O1 visa criteria. Judging can be in a competitive setting, such as a contest, awards panel, or grants committee. Or, it can be an evaluation of someone’s work, like a scientific paper or presentation, or even a grant application.


The key here is that some organization thought you were the go-to person with ample expertise to assess the work of others. This shows USCIS that you are seen as someone who stands out from others in your work.


If you think you can meet the “judge of others” criteria and at least two other criteria on the list of O1 visa evidence, you could be ready to apply! Reach out to Manifest Law and we can help you put your best case forward.

What if my I-485 form gets denied?

If your Form I-485 is denied, it could be because some required documents were missing. You may be able to appeal the decision or restart your application. 


If your I-485 form is denied, seeking guidance from an immigration attorney is recommended. Our team at Manifest Law is here to help you understand why your application was denied and assist you in taking the right steps forward.

If you have been asked to assess the work of other people in your field, this might help you qualify for one of the O1 visa criteria. Judging can be in a competitive setting, such as a contest, awards panel, or grants committee. Or, it can be an evaluation of someone’s work, like a scientific paper or presentation, or even a grant application.


The key here is that some organization thought you were the go-to person with ample expertise to assess the work of others. This shows USCIS that you are seen as someone who stands out from others in your work.


If you think you can meet the “judge of others” criteria and at least two other criteria on the list of O1 visa evidence, you could be ready to apply! Reach out to Manifest Law and we can help you put your best case forward.

 Manifest Law lawyers
 Manifest Law lawyers
 Manifest Law lawyers

How Manifest Law can help

How Manifest Law can help

At Manifest Law, we can file your I-485 form for a fixed fee and help you avoid mistakes and delays. Our experienced immigration attorneys can ensure you meet the eligibility requirements, and help collect the initial or secondary evidence if needed.

Book a free consultation today to learn how Manifest Law can help you.

If you have been asked to assess the work of other people in your field, this might help you qualify for one of the O1 visa criteria. Judging can be in a competitive setting, such as a contest, awards panel, or grants committee. Or, it can be an evaluation of someone’s work, like a scientific paper or presentation, or even a grant application.


The key here is that some organization thought you were the go-to person with ample expertise to assess the work of others. This shows USCIS that you are seen as someone who stands out from others in your work.


If you think you can meet the “judge of others” criteria and at least two other criteria on the list of O1 visa evidence, you could be ready to apply! Reach out to Manifest Law and we can help you put your best case forward.

Take the First Step:

Schedule your free consultation!

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Review of visa options available for you

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General information about timelines, fees, requirements for various visa options

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Information on Manifest fees, terms and process

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Full clarity and transparency every step along the way

Picture of Avi Goldenburg, principal attorney at Manifest law, smiling in eye glasses and a blue button up shirt in his office.

Avi Goldenberg

Principal attorney at Manifest Law

Take the First Step:

Schedule your free consultation!

Check mark in a circle icon

Review of visa options available for you

Check mark in a circle icon

General information about timelines, fees, requirements for various visa options

Check mark in a circle icon

Information on Manifest fees, terms and process

Check mark in a circle icon

Full clarity and transparency every step along the way

Picture of Avi Goldenburg, principal attorney at Manifest law, smiling in eye glasses and a blue button up shirt in his office.

Avi Goldenberg

Principal attorney at Manifest Law

Take the First Step:

Schedule your free consultation!

Check mark in a circle icon

Review of visa options available for you

Check mark in a circle icon

General information about timelines, fees, requirements for various visa options

Check mark in a circle icon

Information on Manifest fees, terms and process

Check mark in a circle icon

Full clarity and transparency every step along the way

Picture of Avi Goldenburg, principal attorney at Manifest law, smiling in eye glasses and a blue button up shirt in his office.

Avi Goldenberg

Principal attorney at Manifest Law

In this blog article:

What is Form I-485?

What is Form I-485 used for?

Who can file Form I-485?

Who can’t file Form I-485?

I-485 form instructions

I-485 form PDF

Initial evidence for your Form I-485

Secondary evidence to include

I-485 form checklist

Where to file Form I-485

Processing time for Form I-485

Expedited processing for Form I-485

How much is Form I-485?

How to check the status of your I-485 form

Frequently asked questions

How Manifest Law can help

Attorney Advertising. This website is intended for general informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and is no substitute for consulting a licensed attorney. Only an attorney can provide you with legal advice, and only after considering your specific facts and circumstances. You should not act on any information on this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney. manifestlaw.com is a product of Manifest Law PLLC. Manifest Law PLLC is a law firm operating as a New York Professional Corporation. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

2024 Manifest Copyright. All Rights Reserved.

Attorney Advertising. This website is intended for general informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and is no substitute for consulting a licensed attorney. Only an attorney can provide you with legal advice, and only after considering your specific facts and circumstances. You should not act on any information on this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney. manifestlaw.com is a product of Manifest Law PLLC. Manifest Law PLLC is a law firm operating as a New York Professional Corporation. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

2024 Manifest Copyright. All Rights Reserved.

Attorney Advertising. This website is intended for general informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and is no substitute for consulting a licensed attorney. Only an attorney can provide you with legal advice, and only after considering your specific facts and circumstances. You should not act on any information on this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney. manifestlaw.com is a product of Manifest Law PLLC. Manifest Law PLLC is a law firm operating as a New York Professional Corporation. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

2024 Manifest Copyright. All Rights Reserved.