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Adjustment of Status is a process used to petition for permanent residency (also known as a Green Card petition) when you are already inside the United States. This means that you are able to petition a Green Card without the need to return to your home country to finish your petition.

If you are outside the United States or you entered without inspection, you must petition a Green Card outside the U.S. through a process called Counselor Processing.

Adjustment of Status Process:

The United States’ Immigration laws allow a person various paths to petition for a Green Card while inside the country. The requirements and eligibility for an adjustment various from case to case, the status of the petitioner and the category that the immigrant is applying under. The first step is to determine if the petitioner qualifies under one of these special categories for an adjustment of status.

Most people applying for a Green Card will need to complete at least two forms – immigrant petition and Adjustment of Status (Form I-485). Usually someone else must file the petition on your behalf, although in some cases you maybe eligible to file the petition yourself. 

Generally, you cannot file your Form I-485 until a visa is available in your category. For information on visa availability, see the Visa Availability and Priority Dates page, the Adjustment of Status Filing Tables, and the Visa Bulletin on the Department of State page. 

Not all immigrant categories require a visa to be available to apply for a Green Card. Check your immigrant category for more information. 

If you are in the United states and eligible to adjust your status, you can file a Form I-485. If you are applying to adjust your status to permanent resident under Section 245(i) of the Immigration and nationality Act, you must complete both Form I-485 and Supplement A of Form I-485, Adjustment of Status Under the Section 245(i).

After you submit your Form I-485, you will receive an appointment for biometric services at an Application Assistance Center (ASC) to provide your fingerprints, a photograph, and/or your signature. The notification will indicate the date, time and place of the appointment. USCIS will use your biometrics to verify your identity and perform background and security checks. 

USCIS officers will evaluate your case to determine if an interview is necessary. If an interview is scheduled for you, you will need to attend the interview to answer questions to a USCIS officer under oath, or make a statement related to your Form I-485. They will send you a notification indicating the date, time and place of the interview. 

USCIS may send you a request for additional evide if:

  • You did not submit all the required evidence;
  • The evidence you submitted is no longer valid;
  • The officer needs more information to determine your eligibility. 

When USCIS makes the decision on your application, they will send you a written decision notice. 

If your application is approved, you will first receive an approval notification and a little later you will receive your Permanent Resident Card (Green Card). 

If your request is denied, the decision notice will tell you the reason(s) why your request was denied and whether you can appeal the decision.