The Adjustment of Status (AOS) process is a complex and multi-step procedure for eligible individuals who are already present in the United States and wish to apply for lawful permanent resident status (green card) without leaving the country. Below is an overview of the AOS process:
Step 1: Determine Eligibility: The first step is to determine if you qualify for Adjustment of Status based on your current immigration status, family or employment-based category, or other special immigrant categories. Make sure to review the eligibility criteria for the specific AOS category that applies to your situation.
Step 2: File the Appropriate Forms: Once you have determined your eligibility, you need to file the necessary forms and supporting documents with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The primary form for AOS is Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
Step 3: Pay Fees: You will be required to pay the appropriate filing fees for the AOS application. USCIS updates its fee schedule regularly, so check the latest fees before submitting your application.
Step 4: Biometrics Appointment: After filing your AOS application, you will receive a notice from USCIS for a biometrics appointment. During this appointment, your fingerprints, photograph, and signature will be taken for background checks.
Step 5: Attend an Interview (If Required): In some cases, USCIS may require you to attend an interview at a USCIS field office. The interview is typically conducted to verify the information provided in your application and to assess your eligibility for AOS. If an interview is required, make sure to thoroughly prepare for it.
Step 6: Receive Decision: After completing the necessary steps, USCIS will review your AOS application, along with any supporting documents and the results of background checks and the interview (if applicable). USCIS will then issue a decision on your application celebshaunt.
Step 7: Receive Your Green Card (If Approved): If your AOS application is approved, you will receive your green card by mail. The green card serves as evidence of your lawful permanent resident status in the United States.
It’s important to remember that the AOS process may vary depending on the specific category and individual circumstances. Processing times can also vary, and certain categories may have numerical limitations (quotas), which can impact the availability of green cards. Additionally, some applicants may need to apply for a waiver for certain grounds of inadmissibility or other immigration violations.
To ensure a smooth and successful AOS process, it is highly recommended to seek guidance from an experienced immigration attorney or accredited representative who can help you understand the requirements, navigate the complexities, and address any potential issues that may arise during the process.
How Much Does Adjustment of Status Cost?
The cost of Adjustment of Status (AOS) can vary depending on various factors, including the specific forms you need to file, the category you are applying under, and any additional services or requests you may have. As of my last update in September 2021, here are some of the common fees associated with the AOS process:
- Form I-485 Filing Fee: The primary fee for the AOS application is for Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. As of my last update, this fee ranged from $1,140 to $1,130, depending on the age of the applicant (children under 14 years of age may have a reduced fee).
- Biometrics Fee: A biometrics appointment is typically required as part of the AOS process. The fee for biometrics processing was $85 as of my last update.
- Form I-765 (Optional): If you are eligible and wish to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to work while your AOS application is pending, you will need to file Form I-765. As of my last update, the fee for Form I-765 was $410.
- Form I-131 (Optional): If you want to apply for a Travel Document (Advance Parole) to travel outside the United States while your AOS application is pending, you will need to file Form I-131. As of my last update, the fee for Form I-131 was $575.
Please note that USCIS regularly updates its fee schedule, and these fees might change over time. Therefore, it’s essential to check the latest fee information on the official USCIS website before submitting your application.
Additionally, certain applicants may be eligible for fee waivers based on their financial circumstances. If you believe that paying the fees would cause a financial hardship, you can explore the possibility of obtaining a fee waiver.
As the AOS process can be complex, it is highly advisable to consult with an experienced immigration attorney or accredited representative who can guide you through the process, including the cost considerations, and help ensure that you meet all the necessary requirements for your particular case.
Adjustment of Status Timeline
The timeline for the Adjustment of Status (AOS) process can vary significantly based on individual circumstances, the USCIS workload, and other factors. As of my last update in September 2021, the AOS processing times were subject to change, and it’s essential to check the most recent processing times on the USCIS website or by contacting USCIS directly. Below is a general outline of the typical AOS timeline:
- Application Preparation (1 to 2 months): The time it takes to gather all the necessary documents and information and to properly fill out the forms can vary based on individual circumstances.
- Form Submission (1 to 2 weeks): After completing the application forms and assembling the required documents, you’ll need to submit your AOS application to USCIS.
- Biometrics Appointment (1 to 2 months): After filing your AOS application, you should receive a biometrics appointment notice from USCIS. This appointment is typically scheduled within a few weeks to a couple of months from the submission of your application equalaffection.
- Work Authorization (EAD) and Travel Document (Advance Parole) Processing (2 to 5 months): If you filed Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) and/or Form I-131 (Application for Travel Document), it may take several months for these applications to be processed and for you to receive your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and/or Advance Parole (travel document).
- Interview Scheduling (varies): In some cases, USCIS may require you to attend an interview for your AOS application. The timing of the interview can vary significantly based on USCIS workload and location.
- Interview (1 to 4 months after scheduling): If an interview is required, you will attend the interview at a USCIS field office. The interview aims to verify the information provided in your application and assess your eligibility for AOS.
- Decision (1 to 4 months after the interview): After the interview (if applicable), USCIS will make a decision on your AOS application. In some cases, you may receive a decision on the same day as your interview, while in others, it might take several weeks or months to receive a decision.
- Green Card Issuance (1 to 2 weeks after approval): If your AOS application is approved, you will receive your green card by mail. This serves as evidence of your lawful permanent resident status in the United States.
Please note that these timeframes are approximate and can vary based on individual factors and USCIS processing times. Some cases may experience longer processing times due to various reasons, including backlogs in certain visa categories or USCIS workload.
It’s essential to stay up-to-date with USCIS processing times and consider consulting an experienced immigration attorney or accredited representative to help navigate the AOS process and address any specific concerns related to your case sabwishes.