The Comprehensive Guide to Adjustment of Status Checklist

The Adjustment of Status checklist may come in handy when you are filing your green card application to become a permanent resident. Though you do not submit the checklist with your Form I-485, it is helpful for ensuring you include all the necessary information.

Author: Massiel Silva Tadeo, Founder, Tadeo & Silva

Attorney Massiel Silva Tadeo is a partner and owner at The Tadeo & Silva Law Firm. She specializes in removal (deportation) defense, family immigration, and hardship waivers. Published on: February 03, 2020, Last updated on: June 30, 2024.

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Adjustment of Status Checklist: Form I-485

Many individuals and families wish to relocate to the United States, and following an accurate adjustment of status can improve the likelihood of ultimately obtaining citizenship. Although there are a few direct methods, the easiest way is to apply for a change of status once you have been admitted. Adjustment of Status is the term the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services USCIS uses when you move from visa status to lawful status and get a green card.

Since individual cases vary, an attorney from Tadeo & Silva Immigration Attorneys can be instrumental in deciding what option is best for your case when you submit a petition for a permit through immigration services.

If you are currently in the U.S. under a nonimmigrant visa status (e.g., H-1B, E-2, L-1, and so on), then you have the ability to submit an adjustment of status application to alter this nonimmigrant visa validity period status to immigrant status (permit). This is called “changing your status,” and an adjustment of the status can help.


Checklist of Documents Needed for Adjustment of Status Application

Multiple docs and forms are needed to adjust status when obtaining permanent resident status in the United States. To change your nonimmigrant status, you must submit a form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status to USCIS (the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) and up-to-date and accurate supplementary documentation.

Since this terminology is used in the Adjustment of Status application, you must also determine whether you are a principal or derivative applicant. A principal applicant is the primary intending immigrant named on an immigrant petition.

The forms and additional docs required can be complex. It can also be easy to overlook or misunderstand some of the requirements. Hiring a qualified attorney is the simplest way to ensure that your application for adjustment of status contains all the necessary materials and information.

Adjustment of Status section

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How to Apply for Status Adjustment?

The process of submitting the petition for status adjustment depends on four significant steps. The overall process typically takes six months to complete. Here are the steps to apply for adjustment of status.

  1. Submit an application along with Form I-485, with relevant documents, fees, and photos.
  2. Attend the biometrics appointment.
  3. Appear in the interview conducted by USCIS professionals.
  4. Receive your green card.


When Do You Need an Adjustment of Status Interview Checklist?

Adjusting the status interview checklist includes all the requirements to move your status from a temporary visa by filling out a permanent green card application form. This differs from a visa transfer or a change from TN to H-1B status. It can help ensure you are prepared for your adjustment of status or green card interview at the USCIS office.

AOS Checklist USCIS

In addition to having a thorough AOS USCIS, an immigration attorney familiar with USCIS in Atlanta can provide valuable additional information. Developing a relationship with a reputable law firm early in the process can help you answer the questions.

Adjustment of Status Interview Checklist

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What Is Included With an Adjustment of Status Checklist?

What documents are needed when completing an adjustment of status or AOS checklist? Like any immigration process, it helps to be prepared before submitting any forms.

Below is a list of documents you will likely require, but be sure to follow the most up-to-date instructions from USCIS or your immigration attorney.

  • Form I-485
  • Two photos of yourself (passport-style photographs) that adhere to the photo guidelines
  • Your green card petition approval notice
  • Copy of your birth certificate
  • Your I-94 arrival/departure card
  • The I-797 approval notice from your previous status
  • Medical examination results, if required (applicants may have to pass a medical examination conducted by a USCIS-approved doctor)
  • Appropriate filing fee

A copy of your government-issued identity document may also be necessary.

If you must undergo a medical examination to obtain lawful permanent resident status, you’ll also include a copy of Form I-693 (Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record). A medical exam is essential because, if you pass it, it shows you are not inadmissible to the U.S. on public health grounds.

Ensure you have included the required documents and correctly fill out all relevant forms. Also, if some of your original documents are in a foreign language, don’t forget to provide copies that an accredited translator translates.

Additional specifics may be required depending on your exact situation. When completing this vital application, don’t hesitate to ask questions and double-check your information.

How Long Does It Take to Get Your I-485 Approved?

If you are wondering how long it takes to get I-485 approved, it can take approximately from 8 months to 14 months or longer. The critical factor, however, is the basis of adjustment of status in question and whether it is a family-based, employment-based green card, or another type of immigration. You can always check your case status online or make a case inquiry.

Review Your AOS Interview Checklist

Since the interview is the final step, you may not require an AOS interview checklist. In fact, USCIS may not even need an interview.

In addition to the aforementioned required documents, you must bring a copy of your appointment notification and the originals of any supporting documents you submitted to USCIS.

It is also wise to hire a translator if you are still learning English, as misunderstandings can result in a denial. You may also want to look for an immigration attorney fluent in your native language. At Tadeo & Silva, our office staff and abogados de migracion en Atlanta are fluent in both English and Spanish.

The more accurate your initial documentation, the more likely the process will go smoothly for you.

Aggressive Help with the AOS Checklist

Tadeo & Silva, immigration attorneys in Atlanta, are an experienced team ready to fight for you and your family.

AOS Checklist

Aggressive Help with the AOS Checklist

Tadeo & Silva, immigration attorneys in Atlanta are an experienced team ready to fight for you and your family.

Medical Examination Process

A crucial step in your adjustment of status application is undergoing a medical examination. This examination must be conducted by a physician approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The purpose is to ensure that you do not have any health conditions that would make you inadmissible to the United States.

It’s essential to time your medical examination correctly. Ideally, you should submit the medical examination report (Form I-693) with your initial application package. However, if that’s not possible, it can also be submitted at the time of your interview or in response to a request for evidence. Keep in mind that the medical examination report is only valid for two years, so plan accordingly to avoid any lapses in validity.

To find an approved USCIS physician, visit the USCIS website and use their “Find a Doctor” tool. This will help you locate a civil surgeon in your area who is authorized to conduct the examination. Remember to bring a government-issued photo ID and vaccination records to your appointment.

By ensuring that your medical examination is completed and submitted timely, you can help avoid delays in your adjustment of status process. For more detailed information, refer to the USCIS medical examination guidelines.

Medical Examination

AOS Checklist Help

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Green Card Interview Documents Checklist

When considering the green card interview documents checklist, it is good to remember the most extended wait during the green card is the wait for the priority date. Following that, the green card processing time usually takes about six months from the date you’ve filed your I-485 checklist.

Premium green card processing is unavailable for Form I-485. Rather, your adjustment of status processing time is at the mercy of the caseload of your service center.


Green Card Application Checklist

Unfortunately, even if you follow a green card application checklist, your status interview may not end with a decision. The USCIS officer may not be able to approve your green card case without additional evidence, such as employment authorization. In those situations, you will receive your decision by mail.

For example, for the employment-based green card, in addition to form I 485, several supporting documents must be submitted to USCIS. You’ll need a job offer letter confirming that the job on which the visa petition is based is available to you.

Also, you may need to apply for a work permit and obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). These and other acceptable evidence will prove the employment relationship and the individual’s eligibility for adjustment of status.

AOS Checklist Help

Dedicated, experienced, and here to help you achieve your immigration goals. Contact our team of trusted immigration attorneys in Atlanta.

Green Card Interview Documents Checklist

AOS Checklist Help

Dedicated, experienced, and here to help you achieve your immigration goals. Contact our team of trusted immigration attorneys in Atlanta.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the travel restrictions during the adjustment of status process?
While your application is pending, you cannot travel outside the U.S. without obtaining Advance Parole. Traveling without it may result in your application being considered abandoned.

What documents are necessary for the adjustment of status application?
You will need to provide several documents including a birth certificate, passport, I-94 form, marriage certificate (if applicable), and proof of financial support. Each document must be translated into English if it is in another language.

How long does the adjustment of status process take?
Processing times can vary widely. On average, it may take 8 to 14 months from the submission of your application to receive a decision. Checking the USCIS processing times regularly is recommended for the most current estimates.

Can I work while my adjustment of status application is pending?
Yes, you can apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) which allows you to work legally in the U.S. while your application is being processed. The EAD typically takes about 90 days to process.

AOS Checklists for Different Visa Types

The checklists vary for different visa types. Although the general requirements are the same, the additional documentation needed is specific to the immigrant category, which changes the checklist.

The U Visa Adjustment of Status – Includes the Following

The U visa checklist is beneficial for those holding nonimmigrant visas who have the following qualifications:

  • Crime victim

  • Assisted law enforcement for three years

  • Continuously resided in the U.S. during that amount of time

You must include them with your petition to apply for a status change.

  • Filing fee or a waiver request filed on Form I-912

  • Form I-765

  • Form I-130

  • Form I-131

  • Evidence of continuous physical presence in the U.S.

  • Form I-918 Supplement B

Providing supplement evidence showing you have complied with all legal assistance requests is helpful. For this type of visa, you may want to consult with a criminal attorney and an immigration attorney since the areas of law intersect with a U Visa.

Adjustment of Status Checklists for Different Visa Types

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Marriage-based Green Card Checklist

You may qualify for a marriage-based green card if you are a foreign-born married to a United States citizen. However, you first have to make sure you are eligible for a marriage-based green card as well as the adjustment of status. When submitting a form I-485, you have to include supporting documents that will prove that.

To complete a marriage checklist, the petitioner should include the Marriage certificate and the typical requirements. In this case, your spouse must submit a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, then I-864, the Affidavit of Support on Form I-864 for the immigrant, and a copy of your marriage certificate and appropriate USCIS filing fees.

Form I-864 Affidavit of Support is a document usually from the person sponsoring the family member seeking a green card. It means that a person is accepting financial responsibility for that family member and that they meet the income eligibility requirements. Since this is a family-based immigration case, consulting a law firm specializing in family-based immigration is wise.

Do I have to file I-130 and I-485 together?

Filing Form I-485 simultaneously with Form I-130 is possible in certain situations. It is called a one-step adjustment, and it allows some individuals to submit both petitions simultaneously.

Instead of waiting for approval to adjust your status, you can concurrently submit I-485 and I-130 forms. For example, suppose you are already in the United States and meet some eligibility criteria for an adjustment of status application. In that case, you may submit these forms at the same time.

But, if you are not in the United States when you apply for a green card, you must go through consular processing, so the one-step adjustment will not be available for you.


Reviewing a K1 AOS Checklist

A K1 AOS checklist is necessary for fiance visa holders wishing to enter the U.S. on a nonimmigrant visa. A fiance visa provides you with an I-94 entry card valid for 90 days.

If you marry your fiance within 90 days, there are no other legal issues, and you submit your completed application in time, you should be eligible for a change of status. Otherwise, you may be required to leave the country.


VAWA Checklist

In addition to general documentation, a VAWA checklist requires a Form I-360. This documents that you are a foreign-born individual who is married to an abusive U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident. It describes the battery or cruelty you have been subjected to. In this case, you have to document your abuse.

When completing an I-360, you’ll need supporting documentation that covers your abusive marriage. To support specific evidence of physical or mental abuse, it is essential to provide police reports and medical evidence. Also, include documents proving a bona fide marriage (a marriage that exists in good faith).

If the VAWA Self-Petitioner is a parent who has had to leave their children behind outside of the U.S., it is recommended that you include your children as eligible beneficiaries. In most cases, these individuals are considered immediate relatives and will not be placed on a waiting list for a visa.

Contact Tadeo & Silva Immigration Attorneys in Atlanta for Help with Your AOS Checklist

Applying for an adjustment of status can be complicated and time-consuming. For expert assistance in applying to adjust your immigration status, contact the attorneys at Tadeo & Silva. Our experienced immigration lawyers can answer any questions you may have about your specific situation and help you complete all necessary forms and documentation for a successful adjustment of status.

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