Skip to content

Documentation to apply for adjustment of status

Documentation to apply for adjustment of status

Documentation to apply for adjustment of status

The documents vary according to the category of the foreigner who adjusts their status. To apply for an adjustment of status, you must have a series of documents sent along with the petition. Before processing the adjustment, make sure you have all the requested documentation for all types of applicants and the specific one for the category within which each foreigner who asks to become a permanent resident through this immigration benefit falls.

Note that adjustment of status allows a migrant already present in the United States to change their immigration status and acquire the status of permanent resident and, therefore, the holder of a residence card, known as a green card. But it is essential to know who can request it and who cannot enjoy this benefit.

Documentation to apply for adjustment of status

The process of adjusting status in the United States involves submitting specific forms and supporting documentation to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The adjustment of status is typically applicable to individuals who are already in the U.S. and are eligible to apply for lawful permanent resident status (green card). Here are the general steps and documentation required:

1. Determine Eligibility:

  • Ensure that you are eligible to apply for an adjustment of status. Common categories include family-sponsored immigrants, employment-based immigrants, refugees, and asylees.

2. Obtain the Required Forms:

  • The main form for adjustment of status is Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Download and fill out this form.

3. Collect supporting documents:

  • Identity and Civil Documents:
    • A copy of a government-issued photo identification (passport, driver’s license).
    • Birth certificate.
    • Marriage certificate (if applicable).
    • Divorce or death certificates of previous spouses (if applicable).
  • Immigration Documents:
    • Copies of visas, I-94 Arrival/Departure records, and previous approval notices.
    • Copy of Form I-797, Notice of Action, if applicable.
  • Financial Documents:
    • If your petition is based on a family member’s sponsorship, provide an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864).
    • If employment-based, provide evidence of current employment and income.
  • Medical Examination:
    • A completed and signed Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record. This must be conducted by an authorized civil surgeon.
  • Passport Photos:
    • Provide passport-sized photos following the USCIS photo requirements.
  • Fee Payment:
    • Pay the required filing fee. Check the USCIS website for the current fee schedule.
  • Additional Supporting Evidence:
    • Any additional evidence related to eligibility, such as proof of relationship for family-sponsored cases or employment-related documents for employment-based cases.

4. Submit the Application Package:

  • Organize the forms and supporting documents into a complete application package.
  • Mail the package to the appropriate USCIS address. Check the USCIS website for the most current address.

5. Attend Biometrics Appointment:

  • After USCIS receives your application, you will likely be scheduled for a biometrics appointment to provide fingerprints, photographs, and a signature.

6. Attend Interview (if required):

  • USCIS may schedule an interview to further assess your eligibility. Be prepared to answer questions about your application and provide additional documentation if requested.

Important Notes:

  • Check for Updates:
    • Regularly check the USCIS website for updates to forms, fees, and procedures.
  • Seek Legal Advice:
    • If you have complex circumstances or are unsure about the process, consider consulting with an immigration attorney for guidance.

It’s crucial to follow the USCIS instructions carefully and provide accurate and complete information in your application. The requirements and procedures may change, so always refer to the most recent USCIS guidelines and forms.

This article reports on:

  • The documents to be submitted by all applicants
  • documents that are only presented according to the case of each one
  • documents that must be presented if specific categories request the adjustment of status
  • what to do with the documents related to possible misdemeanors and crimes

What documents must be attached with the petition for adjustment of status?

The petition for adjustment of status must be accompanied by supporting paperwork. Documentation to apply for adjustment of status.

There are some standard requirements for all types of adjustment requests: the following. Also, read at the end of the article the specific ones for the situation of each migrant since it is not the same to request the adjustment by, for example, submission of a husband who is a citizen to request it for asylum. 

petition form

To request the adjustment of status, the form to complete is the I-485. It can find for free on the Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). Always use the latest version, that is, the one on that page just when the request is made. 


Check for payment should be made payable to the Department of Homeland Security. The actual cost varies depending on the circumstances of each applicant. A) Yes:

  1. Minors under 14 years of age are applying for adjustment of status with at least one of their parents: $635.
  2. Minors under 14 years of age who do not apply with their parents: $985.
  3. Between 14 and 78 years old: $985 plus $85 for biometrics. Total: $1070
  4. 79 or older: $985.
  5. Refugees: nothing, since it is free.
  6. Individuals seeking adjustment of status for themselves in a VAWA domestic violence application may apply for a waiver of the application fee if they meet several requirements.

It also applies to applicants for the T Visa for human trafficking, the U visa for violence, the registry, or the Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) program.

Birth certificate

A legible copy of it is enough, but it must have the seal of the issuing authority and meet a series of requirements. If it is in a language other than English, it must be translated and accompanied by a letter certifying the translation.


Two identical passport-style photos were taken within 30 days of applying. Write with a pencil on the back the name of the beneficiary and if it has an alien registration number, include it.

nonimmigrant visas

In cases in which a US Embassy or consulate has issued a nonimmigrant visa to the foreigner in the 365 days before applying adjustment of status, including in the documentation a legible photocopy of the page on which the visa is stamped.

Biographical information

If you are between 14 and 79 years old, complete and attach form G-325 A

Medical records and vaccinations

To do this, you must use the I-693 form. These are the rules that govern the medical examination to obtain permanent residence.

Although there are exceptions to the obligation to undergo a medical examination, first of all, for refugees, for whom, in most cases, it is sufficient to complete the portion of the form dedicated to vaccinations.

Likewise, the fiancés of American citizens and their descendants who have passed a medical examination in the last year before traveling to the United States when applying for a K visa do not have to present another one. It will suffice to prove the vaccinations.

Finally, people living in the United States since January 1972 and adjusting their status by what is known as the registry should not undergo a medical exam.

Evidence of immigration status in the United States

Submit a legible copy of the document known as I-94, arrival and departure record. The manuscript must be on both sides. 

If you have entered the United States with a crossing card, also known as a laser visa, send a copy of it also on both sides.

Finally, if you do not have that check-in and check-out record, it is time to talk to a lawyer since on many occasions, although not all, this can be the source of significant problems with the Immigration authorities. 

Notification that the package has been received 

If desired, it is possible to ask the USCIS to confirm that the petition for adjustment of status has been received by SMS or email. To do this, complete the form known as G-1145.

Documents to accompany the petition for adjustment of status, according to the category

Depending on why the applicant may apply for adjustment of status, more documents must include in the same application package. Here are the different cases.

People who adjust their status at the request of a family member

Citizens and permanent residents can petition relatives who fall within certain degrees of relationship. But not everyone can adjust their status, which is a fundamental point that must consider before sending the papers to Immigration.

Also, if you are in a category subject to annually approved case limits, check the most recent visa bulletin to make sure you can already apply for the adjustment.

If all requirements are met, an affidavit of support, also known as a statement of support, must be included with the adjustment of the status petition. To do this, you must complete form I-864.

Also, if it is a petition made by a US citizen for their spouse, parents, or unmarried child under 21 years of ageinclude the I-130 form or, if previously submitted. Please include a copy of the letter received from the USCIS with the name of the I-797 Notice of Action, where it is confirmed that the I-130 has been approved.

In all other cases, by request of a relative, send a copy of the I-797 that the I-130 presented is approved and make sure that the priority date is current in the category that applies to the requested person. It is done by consulting the latest visa bulletin.

People who seek adjustment by labor petition

Attach an official letter from the employer stating, among other things. The salary paid and confirming that the job for which the foreign worker is requested continues to exist. The letter must write on official company paper.

Copy of the letter received by USCIS confirming that the petition for a foreign worker requested through form I-140 has been approved. If the priority date in the category to which the requested immigrant belongs is current, then it is possible to submit the I-140 together with the adjustment of the status petition.

Likewise, suppose the company requesting a foreign employee is owned by five percent or more of the requesting family. In that case, it will be necessary to complete form I-864, which is an affidavit of support.

If the person for whom adjustment of status is sought is in the United States on an H-1B or L-1 visa, submit proof of quality.

Finally, copies of recent salary payments of study certificates are necessary, when they are necessary and that the Department of Labor has approved the Labor Certificate


Copy of the letter or I-94 stating that status has been granted.

Derivative adjustment

For spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age, another person who requests the adjustment can also request it derivatively by their family relationship.

These people must send in their petition copies of the documents that prove the relationship between the primary beneficiary and the derivative, such as marriage certificates, birth certificates, adoption, etc.

Also, include evidence that the principal beneficiary’s adjustment of status petition has been submitted to USCIS or has been approved.

Adjustment of status by the registry

Provide all the documentation to prove the case and demonstrate presence in the country since January 1, 1972.

Persons requesting adjustment for forgiveness 245 (i)

Undocumented migrants who can benefit from the 245 (i) measure must also submit the form known as I-485 Supplement A.

T Visas or U Visas

Migrants applying for adjustment of status because they have a T visa for human trafficking or a U visa for being a victim of certain types of violence must also submit Form I-485 Supplement E and any additional documentation required with their application request that form.

Foreigners in the categories of SIJ or special military immigrants

They must attach the petition for this category, which will automatically make immigrant visas available for them if granted. They must also have a police clearance.

Documentation to be sent depending on the case of each applicant

Work permit application

If you want to have one, you must complete form I-765. Please do not pay the fee for this form because it is already included in the payment for form I-485 for adjustment of status. If you initially do not submit the work permit application and later change your mind and decide to submit the form without payment. But in this case, a letter that has been received from USCIS confirming that there is an available adjustment of the status case must be included.

Application for permission to travel outside the United States and return

It is what is known as advance parole. It is unnecessary to ask for it, but it can do. Regarding the payment of this form, what has been said in the previous paragraph applies to the work permit.


In some cases, it is also necessary to file the I-601 form to ask for a waiver, also known as a pardon. They are particular cases, and this is a delicate issue that should always discuss with a lawyer.

Form G-28

It uses only in cases of having a lawyer who handles this case. The adjustment of the status applicant must also sign it if a lawyer or an accredited representative assists them.

criminal records

On the I-485 form, there are several questions about possible problems with the law, including contact with drugs. And he asks specifically not only about actions committed in the United States but also other countries. The following cases may occur:

First: spotless record. Nothing needs to be done.

Second – Arrested or detained by any law enforcement agency, but no charges have been filed. In these cases, request the original official statement from the arresting police or the competent court stating that no charges were filed.

Third – Arrested or detained when charges have been filed. In this case, present the original or court-certified copy of the arrest and its consequences: dismissal, conviction, or acquittal.

Fourth: Sentenced or sent to a rehabilitation center or community service. An original or court-certified copy of the sentence and having served it or being on parole is required. 

Fifth: Arrested or convicted but whose arrest or conviction has been declared secret or struck from the record. An original or court-certified copy of such fact is required.

Documentation to apply for adjustment of status

You may not know that you have a deportation or arrest warrant issued against you. The best advice is to make sure of the situation before sending documentation to USCIS requesting an immigration benefit. 

As for simple traffic violations, they do not usually cause problems, except in severe cases or a DWI (alcohol or drug) problem.

If there are problems due to crimes or misdemeanors in the past, it is time to talk very seriously with a lawyer. It will be impossible to obtain an adjustment of status approval in some cases, and the green card will not be issued. But in many others, it will be possible to successfully request a waiver (also known as forgiveness or permission).

What should never be done is lying because it is an immigration violation with severe consequences. And keep in mind that USCIS has access to FBI databases on all types of crimes and misdemeanors (including sealed or expunged cases . Not lying about this either).

Recent Posts

Documentation to apply for adjustment of status

Punishments, fine and pardon for entering the United States illegally

How to get a green card by marriage in the US

Does the child have to be present to apply for a US passport?

How to get a child passport with one parent absent

General rules: Documentation to apply for adjustment of status

It is recommended to attach the originals when specifically requested, such as in the case of police and court records. In all other cases, a legible copy is sufficient.

While the paperwork is being processed, the status of the case can check in several waysAnd it is always best not to change your place of residence. But if it is necessary to do so, do not forget the fundamental requirement of notifying the change of address to the USCIS.

Take this quiz – trivia or quiz, depending on the country – on how to get and keep a green cardVerify that essential information is known. And once the residence card is obtained, enjoy it. And consider applying for American citizenship by naturalization when the deadlines to request it are met.

Documentation to apply for adjustment of status

This article is merely informative. It is not legal advice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *