Adjustment of Status Process
The Adjustment of Status process is a critical pathway for nonimmigrants residing within the United States to obtain lawful permanent residency. It involves several key steps, from filing the necessary forms to attending interviews and obtaining work and travel authorization.
Filing Form I-485
To begin the adjustment process, an individual must file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. As of December 23, 2022, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) mandates using its 12/23/22 edition of the form. This document serves to establish eligibility for a Green Card.
After submission, the applicant will receive a notice to attend a biometrics appointment. USCIS collects fingerprints, photographs, and a signature during this appointment to conduct required background and security checks.
USCIS may require an interview with the applicant. Preparing for this step includes gathering all original documents related to the application and prior immigration history, such as passports, employment records, and any criminal records.
Employment Authorization Document
Applicants may apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) by filing Form I-765. This document permits the applicant to work legally in the U.S. while the I-485 is being processed.
Advance Parole Travel Document
To travel internationally without affecting the pending status, applicants may seek an Advance Parole Travel Document. It is important to file Form I-131 and receive this document before leaving the United States.