Aware of Applicant Steps to Adjust Status in the US?

Any applicant with the legal status staying in US can upgrade to green card holder status when the visa is available. U.S. citizen’s immediate relative or one who qualifies into one family-based preference categories need to maintain their relation during the green card application process. The National Visa Center will notify the applicant in the US when the priority date is close to being current and also ask if the applicant wants to adjust status in the U.S. or if he/she will process the immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate.

The National Visa Center will proceed with the appropriate steps. The applicant must be lawfully admitted and present in the U.S. in order to be eligible to adjust status in the U.S. and must maintain a qualifying relationship with the U.S. sponsor, and must have a current priority date.

The Form I-130 and Form I-485  both should be filed simultaneously by the immediate relative who is in US at the National Benefits Center not waiting for the approval of I-130 or for the priority date to become current.

The National Visa Center will make a note if the applicant chooses to adjust status in the US and hold the case until USCIS requests it for processing. The following are the forms needed to be completed by applicant to adjust the status in the US.

Step 1: Complete the forms

•           Form I-485 (Application to Adjust Status)

•           Form G-325A (Biographic Information)

•           Form G-1145 (Electronic Notification of Application Receipt/Approval)

•           Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support) for each applicant, including family members.

While the application is being processed by USCIS an added benefit to adjusting status in the U.S. is the ability to request work and travel authorization. Processing time for adjustment of Status applications can sometimes take more than a year. Legal ability to work and travel in and out of US is beneficial in this case. Form I-765 for Employment Authorization and application travel document Form I-131 for Advance Parole authorization is the optional applications to be filed. Starting July 30, 2007 USCIS charges all adjustment of status applications filing fees includes fees for these optional travel and work authorization applications even if the applicant does not want to file them.

 Step 2: Assembling the Documents

For an adjustment of status application it can take some time to gather supporting documents especially when they may have to come from overseas. To ensure everything is ready and available while submitting the application it’s important to gather all supporting documents as soon as possible. Supporting documents are birth certificates, marriage certificates, financial documents, documentation of lawful presence, photographs and copy of passport.

Step 3: Complete Medical Exam:

The required medical exam by a designated “civil surgeon.” to determine if there is any health-related inadmissibility issue must be completed by every applicant. Government approved physician to administer physical exams for adjustment applicants is a designated civil surgeon.

The applicant’s medical history will be reviewed during the examination and determined if any vaccinations may be required.  A tuberculosis (TB) skin test and/or chest x-ray, as well as a blood test is given to all applicants.

In a sealed envelope the Form I-693 listing the medical exam results will be given to the applicant and it should be included with the rest of the application documents. The results are invalid if the applicant opens the envelope but applicants may wish to ask their physician for a copy of the results. Generally for a 12 months period the medical exams are valid and so should be scheduled close to the date adjustment of status application is being filed to avoid having the results expire.

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