Form I-698 Application: Simplifying Your Adjustment of Status Process

Form I-698 is an immigration document used by individuals granted temporary resident status under Section 245A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This form serves as an application for these individuals to adjust their status to that of a lawful permanent resident within the United States. It is a critical step for those who have been living in the country under temporary conditions and are seeking to establish a more permanent foundation for their residency.

The eligibility to use Form I-698 extends to persons who initially obtained temporary residence through specific amnesty programs effected by the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986. Applicants must adhere to the form’s instructions and provide substantial evidence of their eligibility for the transition.

I-698

For instance, to fulfil the requirements, a detailed history of continuous residency in the United States and compliance with all necessary immigration procedures is mandatory. Through the successful completion and submission of this form, applicants embark on the final phase of obtaining a green card, which signifies permanent resident status.

Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria for Form I-698 necessitates that applicants meet specific familial, residency, and application guidelines set forth by immigration law.

Qualifying Family Relationships

  • Applicants must be a part of the amnesty program under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA).
  • They should have initially obtained temporary residence based on a qualifying family relationship or as a special agricultural worker.

Residence Requirements

  • They must have resided continuously in the United States since receiving temporary resident status.
  • Continuous residence implies the applicant has not left the country for a prolonged period that may disrupt the accrual of residency.

Application Requirements

  • Applicants must submit Form I-698 within the eligible time frame, typically within one year after the end date of their temporary resident status.
  • They are required to provide their full legal name and any evidence of a legal name change due to marriage, divorce, or other reasons.

Form I-698 Process

The process for Form I-698, Application to Adjust Status from Temporary to Permanent Resident, involves a sequence of steps applicants must follow carefully. Completion and submission of this form are critical for individuals seeking permanent residency under certain provisions of U.S. immigration law.

Application Steps

  1. Completion of Form I-698: Applicants must accurately complete the form, ensuring all information is current and correct. Typing or printing in black ink is required.
  2. Payment of Fees: As part of the application process, applicants are required to pay the appropriate filing fees unless they are eligible for a fee waiver.
  3. Submission: The completed form, along with the fee, must be submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as directed in the form instructions.

Supporting Documents

  • Evidence of Eligibility: Documentation that verifies the applicant’s temporary resident status under section 245A of the INA.
  • Identity Documentation: A government-issued identification such as a passport or national ID card.
  • Employment Authorization: A copy of the applicant’s Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766), if applicable.

Interview and Adjudication

  • Interview: Depending on the case, the applicant may be required to attend an interview at a USCIS office.
  • Adjudication: Following the interview, USCIS will make a decision on the application based on all the information provided. Applicants will receive notification of the decision.

Fees and Payment

Applicants must ensure the payment covers both the filing fee for Form I-698 and any applicable biometric fees. These costs are non-refundable and subject to change.

Fee Structure

  • Filing Fee: The exact amount can vary and should be confirmed from the latest USCIS fee schedule.
  • Biometric Fee: An additional fee is required for biometric services.

Payment Methods

  • Online: Applicants may pay online through the USCIS Electronic Immigration System.
  • By Mail: Payment may include a check or money order payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
  • Credit Card: USCIS allows credit card payments using Form G-1450, with certain daily transaction limits.

Post-Submission Procedures

After an applicant submits Form I-698, they enter the post-submission phase, which includes a series of steps involving communication from USCIS, potential requests for additional information, and the ultimate decision on the application.

Notice of Action

Once Form I-698 is received, USCIS issues a Notice of Action, also known as Form I-797, to acknowledge receipt. The applicant should carefully review this document as it contains important information such as their receipt number, which is necessary for tracking the application’s progress.

Requests for Further Evidence

If USCIS requires more information or documentation, they will send a Request for Further Evidence (RFE). Applicants must respond to an RFE within the timeframe specified in the notice, usually 60-90 days, by submitting all requested documents to ensure the continuation of their application processing.

Decision and Appeals

The final decision will be communicated through another Notice of Action. If the application is approved, the applicant will be granted permanent resident status. In case of denial, USCIS will provide the reasons for the refusal, and the applicant may file an appeal or a motion to reopen or reconsider the decision within 30 days of the denial.

Rights and Protections

When an individual applies for permanent residency using Form I-698, it is crucial to understand the specific rights and protections that come into play. This includes their privacy rights and the legal rights and protections afforded to them during the process.

Privacy Rights

Personal Information: An applicant’s personal information is protected under the Privacy Act of 1974. USCIS policies mandate that the information provided by applicants on Form I-698 is used exclusively for processing the application.

  • Access and Amendment: Applicants have the right to access their records and request amendment of their records if they believe there is an error.
  • Disclosure: USCIS generally may not disclose an individual’s information without their consent, unless required by law or for a legitimate government purpose.

Legal Rights and Protections

Non-Discrimination: All applicants are entitled to equal treatment under the law. USCIS’s decisions on Form I-698 are to be made without discrimination based on race, gender, religious creed, sexual orientation, or national origin.

  • Appeal Process: If an application is denied, the applicant has the right to be informed of the reasons for the denial and may have the right to appeal the decision, subject to specific grounds and procedures.

Representation: Applicants may be represented by an attorney or accredited representative who can provide guidance and ensure that their legal rights are upheld throughout the adjustment of status process.

  • Assistance: Legal aid organizations may offer assistance to those who may not be able to afford such representation, ensuring they too can navigate the immigration process with knowledgeable support.

Renewal and Replacement

The availability of renewal for Form I-698 is not typically applicable, as it is an adjustment from temporary to permanent resident status. However, applicants may need to replace their Form I-698 if it is lost or stolen.

Renewal Process

There is no standard renewal process for Form I-698 because once an applicant adjusts status from a temporary to a permanent resident, the need for renewing the temporary form ceases. The status granted upon approval is permanent, and the individual then follows the guidelines for permanent residency.

Replacement of Lost or Stolen Form I-698

  • Report the loss or theft: The applicant should report the loss or theft of Form I-698 to the police to obtain a report.
  • File Form I-90: To replace a lost or stolen Form I-698, the applicant must file Form I-90, “Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card.”
  • Required Documentation: Applicants must supply evidence of their permanent resident status along with the replacement fee. Supporting documents may include a copy of the police report and identification documents.
  • USCIS Submission: Send the completed Form I-90 along with the required documentation to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) according to the filing instructions.

Additional Resources

When applying for permanent resident status through Form I-698, applicants may need additional guidance and information. There are specific online resources and customer service options designed to assist in this process.

Information Websites

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): The USCIS official website provides comprehensive resources including the latest version of Form I-698 and its instructions.

  • USCIS Form I-698 Page: Applicants can download the form and find detailed filing instructions.
  • USCIS Policy Manual: For in-depth guidance on eligibility and legal requirements.

Customer Service

USCIS Contact Center: Applicants can receive personal assistance through various contact methods offered by USCIS.

  • Phone Service: Individuals can call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 for direct support.
  • Live Assistance: The Information Services Modernization Program allows users to schedule in-person appointments for complicated issues.