Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, is the USCIS form you will need to file in order to change your U.S. immigration status to permanent resident status.
If you entered the U.S. as a nonimmigrant and if you meet all the requirements for a green card in one of the following categories, you may be eligible to adjust your status. However, you must have entered the U.S. legally.
- Family relationship (through an approved Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative)
- Employment (through an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker)
- Fiancé(e) visa (K-1 visa) (through an approved Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), after you are married to the sponsoring U.S. citizen)
- Asylum or refugee status
- Cuban citizenship/nationality
You must meet all the requirements for permanent resident status in the U.S. to get a green card through adjustment of status. If you belong to one of the eligible categories, you can request to adjust from your nonimmigrant status to that of permanent resident status by filing Form I-485. The above mentioned categories have specific criteria that needs to be met to file an application for adjustment of status.
The most important benefit of adjustment of status is that you can get your green card while you are in the U.S. without returning to your home country to complete visa processing. All categories of nonimmigrants may not be eligible for a green card through adjustment of status. Click here to know more about the categories of nonimmigrants who are eligible for adjustment of status.
You can complete Form I-485 on your computer or by hand. Completing it on a computer is the best way as this will help you avoid errors.
If you are ineligible for adjustment of status, you will have to go through consular processing. To go through consular processing at an overseas U.S. Embassy or a U.S. Consulate, you must have an approved immigrant petition filed on your behalf. You can apply for an immigrant visa once a visa becomes available in your category.
The filing fee for Form I-485 is $1,140. Read more about the Form I-485 filing fee.