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What Documents Do I Need to File Adjustment of Status?

documents for adjustment of status

An adjustment of status (or I-485) is the process of applying for lawful permanent resident status in the United States, this is also known as applying for a Green Card. Applying for adjustment of status requires many different types of documents.  If you’re thinking of applying for adjustment of status, you should consult with an immigration attorney before attempting the application on your own.  If you make a mistake on your application, it could mean loss of money or immigration status.

Applying for an adjustment of status is a complicated process and it is easy to mess up.  An immigration attorney can help the process go smoothly. There are a few different types of applications based on how you’re filing for the adjustment of status. For example, if you marry a United States citizen, you’d opt for the family based adjustment of status. There are also applications for employment, and special immigrant juveniles.

The immigration cases that I take on are primarily for those who are seeking to apply for a family or marriage based adjustment of status.

What Documents Do I Need for Adjustment of Status?

  1. Proof of the US citizen’s status
  2. Proof of identity of the applicant
    • This includes your birth certificate (with translation), immigration paperwork, and other similar documents
  3. Proof of the sponsor’s income and immigration status.  Pay stubs, proof of employment, and tax returns can suffice here
  4. Proof of the bona fide marriage of the applicant and US citizen.  There are a variety of documents that can be used, such as apartment leases, tax returns, photographs, and other official documents.

The documents needed for an adjustment of status application can be varied and complicated.  To see a complete list of the initial required documents for an adjustment of status, visit this link from the USCIS website.  However, you should still consult with or hire an attorney before filing for adjustment of status — it’s critical to get expert assistance because the requirements can vary based on your case and situation.

What are the Steps for Applying for Adjustment of Status?

  1. Determine your eligibility for adjustment of status
  2. File an immigration petition
  3. Check availability of Visa
  4. File your I-485 (adjustment of status)
  5. Attend your biometrics appointment
    • This is just so USCIS can obtain your fingerprints and photo so they can confirm your identity and run the criminal background check
  6. Attend an interview (if necessary)
  7. Present additional evidence (if necessary)

How Long Does the Process Take?

You can check your case status online or call the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 to check the status of your Form I-485. The processing time after you’ve submitted all necessary documents varies case-by-case. The timeline of the decision making process depends on many factors, including: the basis of your adjustment of status (employment, marriages, etc.), your current immigration status, and whether or not USCIS needs additional documentation from you. After you’ve submitted all of the necessary documentation, and gone to any necessary interviews, the process can take anywhere from 8 – 14 months.

If you want to apply for adjustment of status, you should consult with an immigration attorney.  The documents for adjustment of status can be complicated and varied.  The process is fraught with possibilities to make mistakes.  Some of these mistakes can result in denial of your application, forfeiting your application fee, and even removal proceedings.

It’s critical to hire an immigration attorney to help prepare your paperwork for your adjustment of status application.  I get far too many calls from people who have made mistakes on their application, and I cannot help them. Once you have begun the application process for a Green Card, any mistakes you’ve made are tough to correct. Do it right the first time with an experienced immigration attorney.  I have helped many people successfully get their green cards through adjustment of status.


Call or text me today at (617) 295-7500, and let’s get started on your adjustment of status application!



Although I am an attorney, I am not your attorney.  Please do not rely on anything on this page as legal advice because any specific advice would depend on your situation.  Any results posted on this page are not guarantees of outcomes in your case.

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