i485 Adjustment of Status Documents Checklist (Employment-Based)

List of documents for filing employment based i485 adjustment of status green card application in USA. FBI clearance, Hindu, islamic marriage certificates, passport.

Anil Gupta
  By Anil Gupta    Updated  10 Oct, 20


Are you ready to file an i485 application for a green card?

I hope you have kept all your immigration documents protected and easily accessible.

Documents Required

Forms

#1 Form I-485 – for Green card

This form is called ‘adjustment of status’ because you are asking USCIS to change your status from current visa like H1B or L to a permanent resident (Green card)

#2 Form I-765 – for Employment Authorization

You are eligible to file i-485 EAD along with your green card application.

This is the same form as you may have used for filing H4 EAD.

#3 Form I-131 – for Advance Parole

AP or Advance parole is used to return to the US instead of your H1B or L work visa while your i-485 is pending.

#4 Form I-693 (Medical Report)

This form is required to be filled by your doctor (should be accredited by USCIS) to certify your health.

Here is the complete step by step process, costs, and issues for the USA green card medical test.

They will check your TB (tuberculosis) and other such communicable disease presence and your Green card can be denied if you have a medical issue.

You can find a doctor in your area using USCIS doctor search facility.

Doctor will issue the report in a sealed envelope and it should be submitted to USCIS as it is (without opening). If you open it to see your results, your report will not be acceptable by USCIS.

#5 Form I-944 (Public Charge Rule)

This form is to certify that you will not depend on government money to live in the USA.

Your green card can be denied if you have used any of the government benefits that can be counted as a public charge.

Green card public charge rule
Green card public charge rule

#6 I-140

You will need to submit your approved i-140 i-797 copy.

If you are waiting for your i140 approval, you can upgrade it to premium to save time.



Sample i140 approval notice - i797
Sample i140 approval notice – i797

I140 can be filed concurrently with i485 too after your PERM approval.

#7 Supplement J

Confirmation of job offer (on Form I-485 Supplement J) if you have changed the job after filing i485.

#8 Form I-864

Affidavit of Support form is required for all dependents in your family that you will support with your income.

Personal Documents

Personal documents are required for each member of the family separately.

#1 Birth Certificate

You will need your birth certificate in English.

It should have been issued by the relevant government authority from your country of birth.

What to do if Birth Certificate is not available?

Sample Indian Birth Certificate for USA Green Card, Australia or Canada PR
Sample Indian Birth Certificate for USA Green Card, Australia or Canada PR

You will need to get it translated to English and notarize if it is in other languages like Chinese, Hindi, Gujrati, etc.

The name field is blank on my birth certificate?

You can write the name on the birth certificate by hand. This usually happens in countries like India where the electronic computer-generated certificates are being issued these days and they have no record of the name from past.

You can write the name by hand on the computer generated birth certificate.

If unavailable or does not exist, provide other evidence of birth such as

  • church certificate
  • school (like Class X mark sheet in India), or
  • medical records, and
  • proof of unavailability or nonexistence, if applicable – get a letter from your home country authorized government agency that birth certificate cannot be issued.

#2 Passport

Your most recent valid passport copies (all pages including blank) are required.

  • Your old expired passport copies are required only if they had any US Visa stamps. Blanks pages for old expired passport are not required.
  • Copies of any lost or stolen passport are required too if you have them.
  • Copy of your passport that was used to enter the USA anytime in the past.

I always recommend to keep a scanner at home and scan and save everything for that rainy day.

#3 All prior i-94 copies, i-797 approvals, I-20, EAD card, Passport

Collect all prior i94 copies.

Get i94 from CBP website
Get i94 from CBP website
  • Online i94: Most i94 copies can be downloaded from CBP i94 website. If you ever entered USA though a land border in Mexico or Canada, then you may have paper i94 too. This is generally updated online on CBP website.
  • Paper i94 copies may not be available online. You will find them attached to your i797 approvals.
H1B i797 with attached i94
H1B i797 with attached i94

#4 Six (6) passport-style photographs

RN Law Group recommends submitting 6 Passport size photos clicked within the last 30 days as per US size (2×2 inch).

  • 2 Photo for i-485 (Green Card)
  • 2 Photo for i-765 (EAD)
  • 2 Photo for i-131 (Advance parole)

You can reduce the number of pictures if you are not applying EAD and AP with your i485.

This is same as you would have got for US visa application.

Your photos and fingerprints will also be taken at USCIS ASC Biometric center.

You can get these pictures clicked at Sams Club, Costco, Walmart, CVS or Walgreens.

Passport photos online would be a cheaper option as compared to a retail store.

#5 Driver License

Copy of current valid driver license.

#6 Health Insurance Coverage

If you are currently employed, then you probably will have health insurance coverage from employer’s preferred provider like United HealthInsurance, BCBS, CVS Atena etc.

You can use your health insurance card generally issued around Dec every year to prove you and your family are enrolled in it.

#7 IRS Tax Transcripts

You can download IRS tax transcripts free of cost from the IRS website online. You only need the most recent tax year’s ‘return transcript’ to send with your i485 application.

Attorneys also recommend sharing the last 3 years W2 and IRS tax return (1040) too to prove that you have been paying income tax on time but it is optional if you are sending tax transcripts.

Spouse & Dependent Documents

You need to provide all personal documents as mentioned above for your spouse and each kid separately.

Additional documents required for dependents:

#1 Marriage Certificate

A copy of your marriage certificate is required for spouse.

Check what all proofs can be used for Indian marriage (Hindu, Islamic style etc.).

Hindu marriage act certificate
Hindu marriage act certificate

#2 Child Relationship Proof

Proof of relationship as a child to the principal applicant is required.

  • A child’s BIRTH certificate can act as proof of the family unit if it has a father and mother name.
  • Child’s passport, if mentions that parent (applicant) name can be used as evidence of the family unit.

#3 Divorce Certificate (if Any)

Free divorce Consultation by lawyers.com if you are thinking of separating before getting a green card!

Optional Documents

You should talk to your attorney to know if these are required for your case. There is no harm in adding them to make your case stronger.

#1 Credit Report (recommended)

Since the advent of the public charge rule, many attorneys have also started to include credit history report also to prove that you have financial stability.

You can get your credit history report showing your most recent (last 12 months) from any one of the primary agency through annualcreditreport.com:

  • Experian
  • Equifax
  • TransUnion
  • You can get a credit history report from Credit Karma for free.

How to get a free credit history report?

If you have recently applied for an auto loan, mortgage, rental apartment, an internet connection, or any service that has used your SSN to make a hard inquiry on your credit history, you are eligible to get a FREE credit history report within 60 days of that inquiry.

You will receive a postal mail as per law which will tell you how to claim that free report. Note that the Fair Credit Reporting Act allows only 1 report per year.

#2 Bank Statements (recommended)

Get your checking and saving bank statements officially from the bank with a stamp and not the ones generated online.

You can also request a Bank account verification letter which is normally used for visa stamping. This should work if you are not comfortable sharing the detailed transaction statements.

  • Savings/Checking bank statement
  • Home Ownership Documents
  • LLC documents (if you opened any) or used earlier
  • Foreign bank account details (owned and operated on your name in the home country or others)

It is suggested that you also include your stocks and real estate ownership (US or home country) documents to prove your financial worth.

#3 FBI clearance report (optional)

You can apply for an FBI clearance report online using this step by step process.

You would need to fill form FD-258 for fingerprints and send it to FBI.

#4 State Police Clearance (optional)

Each state in the USA has its own process to issue a police clearance certificate.

We have listed process for two states here as example:

#5 Police clearance from home country (Optional)

If any court case pending or police investigation pending.

Examples:

  1. Apply Indian PCC from Indian Embassy in the USA (for people living in the USA) – takes about 4-6 weeks.
  2. Apply Indian PCC with Passport office in India – 1 day if the current address is the same as printed on the passport.

Traffic Tickets

Should I mention my traffic tickets on the i-485 application is a common question and here is the answer.

Unless the traffic incident was alcohol or drug-related, do not include incidents where you were not arrested and the only penalty was a fine of less than $500 and/or points on your license.

Traffic CitationInclude on i-485
Drug/Alcohol-related (DUI)YES
I was arrestedYES
Speeding, Red Light, other tickets MORE than $500YES
Speeding, Red Light, other tickets LESS than $500 and/or pointsNO

Another important detail required on i-485 form is about arrests.

Have you ever been arrested or detained by any law enforcement officer for any reason?

  • What was the reason for the arrest or detention?
  • What law enforcement agency performed the arrest or detention?
  • When did the incident occur and how old were you at the time?
  • Were charges filed against you? If so,
    • What was your plea?
    • What was the disposition of the case?
    • When was the final order entered?
    • Please provide all documents in your possession.

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i485 Processing Time

Check your current i485 application processing time (time to get green card approval) if you file today:



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FAQ

Do I need a police clearance certificate even if I never had any police case in the USA or home country?

A police clearance certificate or FBI clearance is completely optional.

Talk to your attorney to know if they think your specific case needs it or not.

Do I need State Police clearance certificate if I have got FBI clearance?

The state police clearance is a separate document than FBI clearance.

You should talk to your attorney to find out if state police clearance should be sent with your application package or not.

We recommend sending it to make your i485 case stronger but it is your choice.

Can I file i485 if I am currently outside USA and my date is current in ‘Date of filing’ chart?

You cannot file i485 from outside the USA.

You should be physically present in the US to file an i485 adjustment of status application.

The ‘Date of filing’ chart can be used only if you are in the USA.

How can I get green card if my PD date is current in ‘Final Action’ chart and I am currently outside the USA?

You can file a DS260 immigrant visa application at the US embassy if your employment-based PD date is current in the ‘Final action’ date chart.

I already filed i485 and have EAD, my PD is current in the current bulletin, Do I have to get the police certificate?

You should have already filed the clearance certificates earlier.

If USCIS needs new certificates, they will send an RFE.

In most cases, USCIS sends RFE to submit a new medical clearance certificate.

Source: USCIS i485 Checklist




Author

Anil Gupta
  By Anil Gupta           

Recent discussion on forum

  1. rucnbc
    rucnbc

    Thanks very much for the information. Is it possible to get FBI clearance cert, state clearance, and home country clearance certificate within a month?

    So if you get to know if the dates are current and before the next bulletin? Or would you recommend having these ready.

    My other question is that my employer never received the I-140 approval copy.

    Lawyer received a courtesy copy. Lawyer says that is ok to file I-485.

    I wanted to confirm that with you and check if you have heard otherwise. Thanks again for all that you do.


  2. Bill
    Bill

    @Anil.Gupta out of all the forms it seems like we can only complete the #4 Form I-693 - Medical examination on our own. Am I right in assuming this?

    Do we need any kind of USCIS reference number or other details that will not allow us to complete i-693?

    Also for FBI, State Police and Police clearance from home country do we need these to completed for minors also?


  3. Mukesh_Kumar
    Mukesh_Kumar

    what is the chances to get date is current? Is diabetic come under inadmissible?


  4. hemant_srinivas
    hemant_srinivas

    Can you please clarify what specific documents are required for principal applicants vs dependents? I believe there are certain documents only applicable for principal applicants like PPC, FBI background check documents…etc.


  5. anil_am22
    anil_am22

    Hi @hemant_srinivas

    The list on the article is separately mentioned for adults and children.


  6. Rupa_jha
    Rupa_jha

    My spouse vH4 extension is pending while I have H1 Approved. Can I file I485 for my spose as wll ?


  7. Santosh_Naidu
    Santosh_Naidu

    Anil, does it matter if I apply for i485 at the end of Oct 2020? I am not able to find my Birth Certificate so will need some time to get it.


  8. anil_am22
    anil_am22

    Hi @Santosh_Naidu
    You can file as long as the visa bulletin allows you to. Oct 2020 visa bulletin is valid until Oct 31, 2020.


  9. Hari_Krishna_Rao
    Hari_Krishna_Rao

    @anil_am22
    Do we need to fill I944 for dependent also?
    Do we need I864 for primary applicant?
    325A biographic information form was stopped using in 2017, do we still need to submit these?


  10. Ritesh_Patel
    Ritesh_Patel

    Hello Anil,

    I have a question about what information should I enter on the i-485 form on Page 2 where it asks for I-94 arrival/ departure record information:

    If you were issued a Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record Number:
    23.a Arrival / Departure Record Number:
    Question 1: Should this be from the most recent I-797 approval notice or it needs to come from the CBP Electronic I-94 record information (e.g. I last travelled to India in 2018 and had an extension after that. So the electronic I-94 on the CBP website has a date in the past however I have my latest I-797 approval for my H1 extension)
    **Question 2: My spouse and child’s H4 extension are still pending / in process. In this case what information should I enter on their i-485 application form for the same field if I have to use the latest I-797 / I-539 approval notice since I don’t have those notices for them

    Question 3: In terms of supporting documentation, should I include my dependents receipt notice since I don’t have their I-539 approval notices at this point in time in lieu of maintaining continuous stay

    **Question 4:**I have I-140 approvals for both EB3 and EB2 categories from the same employer. My priority date is 06/30/2010. My case was initially filed in EB3 and then upgraded to EB2. I work in the same group within my company with my job responsibilities substantially remaining the same. I started as an engineer and now am a Manager. I am current in both the categories however the “Final Action Date” for EB3 is 3.5 months ahead of EB2. Should I file my i-485 with EB3 or EB2 approval as per your recommendation?

    Question 5: Given that my priority date is 06/30/2010, should I send my i-693 (Medical form) along with the initial submission of 485 or wait for USCIS RFE and submit medicals later. Will submitting medicals later delay the overall timeline?

    Thanks


  11. anil_am22
    anil_am22

    You have to fill most recent i94 number irrespective of the way it was obtained.

    For i797 numbers, you can write the most recent approved numbers unless question asks otherwise.

    Use this app for EB2 to EB3 recommendations.

    Medical is optional to send with i485.


  12. ajaysharmaapjs
    ajaysharmaapjs

    Hi, my visa maxed out recently and I am outside the States now. As per the Oct. Visa Bulletin I am eligible to file the GC in EB1 through Counselor processing.
    I am about to move to Canada on work visa in next 1-3 months. Shall we apply for GC from India right away or wait till I move to Canada and file from there? Would it be faster if we apply from Canada or any other advantages? Thanks.


  13. phxchmdu
    phxchmdu

    Hi Anil, in I-944, if the dependent spouse has no income, should we still need to enter their name in Part 3 - Household Income and enter the wages as “0” as the tax was filed jointly or it’s not necessary to enter the spouse’s name?

    Appreciate your response!
    -Mani


  14. anil_am22
    anil_am22

    Hi @Stanley_Vincent

    Why can’t you submit birth affidavits?


  15. anil_am22
    anil_am22

    Hi @Ramkumar_Kannan

    You can use the spouse’s A# number from H4 EAD on i485 form.


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