General Application Process

Adjustment of Status (“AOS”) is the process by which a foreign national applies to become a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. (“LPR”). The “Green Card” or “GC” serves as evidence of LPR status.

There are typically three routes to the Green Card:

  1. Family
  2. Employment
  3. Humanitarian

While each petition type has unique considerations and requirements, the actual adjustment of status application is similar across each type.

General Application Process 

Below we have set forth the typical forms and documents. As all cases are unique, be sure to discuss your case with one of our attorneys to ensure you have the right set of documents for your case.

A.  Forms – File the following forms with USCIS

  1. Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence
  2. Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record
  3. Form I-131, Application for Travel Document (optional, but advisable)
  4. Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (optional, but advisable)

B.  Additional Forms – Depending upon the eligibility category for adjustment of status

  1. Form I-864, Affidavit of Support
    This is typically required for family sponsored petitions. However, it is not generally required for humanitarian or employment based petitions.
  2. Form I-485 J Supplement, Confirmation of Bona Fide Job Offer or Request for Job Portability Under INA Section 204(j)
    This is required for an employment-based immigrant visa category that requires a job offer. 

C.  Supporting Documents

See our Document Checklist tab for the general documents required. Please note that additional documents may be required depending upon the petitioning category. Further, alternative documents may be used if the primary documents are not available. MPLG can help identify the supporting documents.

D.  Interview

An interview at a local USCIS field office may be required before the Adjustment of Status may be granted. USCIS has up to 120 days after an interview within which it is supposed to make a decision on the case.

Interim Benefits: Advance Parole and Employment Authorization

When applying to adjust status, an applicant may concurrently seek two interim benefits while the application is pending:

  1. Employment Authorization (Form I-765, EAD)

The EAD allows an applicant to work while their adjustment of status application is pending.

  1. Advance Parole (Form I-131, AP)

Advance Parole allows an applicant to exit the U.S. and return while the adjustment of status application is pending without abandoning the application. Foreign nationals who are in either an H or L status may leave the U.S. without advance parole and will still not abandon their adjustment of status application. However, all others who leave during the pendency of their application, will abandon their application.

If Form I-765 and I-131 are filed together, the applicant will receive a combo card with both the EAD and AP benefits issued on the same card.