The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released an updated application to register for permanent residence or adjust status (Form I-485). This form now lets applicants apply for or replace their social security card, in addition to applying for an adjustment of status.

Do you have any questions about the new Form I-485 and how it will impact you or any other immigration-related questions? Attorney Eric Price is here for you. Our firm is devoted to changing the lives of all immigrants in the United States by uniting families across the nation. We are bringing dignity to hardworking people whose lives, culture, and labor are strengthening America. Call us now to learn more.

What Is Form I-485?

Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, has several purposes for immigrants and their families, by providing them a pathway to:

  • Become a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) through a job offer
  • Become a lawful permanent resident through asylum
  • Become a lawful permanent resident through refugee status
  • Make you eligible for a green card
  • Help give preference to your relative(s) to become a lawful permanent resident

Form I-485 Eligibility Requirements

Applicants for Form I-485 must be a relative or husband or wife getting their green card and can fill the form based on seven major categories:

  1. Family-based
  2. Employment-based
  3. Special immigrant
  4. Asylum or refugee
  5. Human trafficking or crime victim
  6. Special programs
  7. Other categories

For a marriage-based green card, only foreign spouses who are physically present in the U.S. can file Form I-485 to apply for their green card. What’s more, the spouse is required to have entered the United States on a valid visa, and there must be an immigrant visa that is “immediately available” for the spouse, meaning Form I-130 must have already been approved, or the I-130 and I-485 must be filed concurrently.

How Has Form I-485 Changed?

Among the most obvious changes to Form I-485 is its length — the form has tripled in length from six pages to 18. The form instructions have also increased to 42 pages, and the re-design of the application form, instructions, and supplementary information incorporates several notable changes. There are also new questions, reworded and expanded questions.

How To Fill Out The New Form I-485

The new form is quite lengthy and can be overwhelming. Here are some best practices for filling out the new I-485:

Step 1: Information About You

Use your current legal name — unless you have changed it. If you have gotten married, you’ll need to submit a copy of your marriage certificate. Always use a mailing address where you can reliably receive mail. You’ll also need to indicate your last place of arrival into the U.S. — generally the port of entry where you were inspected by customs, such as an airport, seaport, or land border crossing.

Step 2: Application Type or Filing Category

You will need to check one box indicating your application type or category. Determine if you are an immediate relative or what your family-based preference category is. Most people are principal applicants.

Step 3: Additional Information About You

Now you will have to indicate whether you have previously applied for an immigrant visa to obtain permanent status at a U.S. embassy or consulate.

You must also provide five years of your address and employment history — inside and outside the u.s.

Step 4: Information About Your Parents

Provide some background on your parents. If your parent(s) are deceased or you don’t have any information, indicate that.

Step 5: Marital History

The importance of this section is elevated if you are applying for permanent residence based on marriage. You’ll need to provide accurate information about your past and current spouses, as well as evidence that the past marriages have ended.

Step 6: Information About Your Kids

Provide details about all of your children, no matter how old they are, including your biological children, stepchildren, and adopted children, even if your children will not be immigrating with you.

Step 7: Biographic Information

USCIS will use this information for identification and statistical information and will be focused on your ethnicity, race, and origins.

Step 8: General Eligibility and Inadmissibility Grounds

There are a number of ways that render an applicant “inadmissible.” In part eight, you will need to answer questions about your current or past affiliations with political groups and social clubs.
It’s crucial that you answer every question honestly and accurately. If you are nervous about a truthful answer and how it could impact your application status, contact an immigration attorney before you file Form I-485.

Step 9: Accommodations for People With Disabilities and/or Impairments

USCIS will provide reasonable accommodations for all qualified individuals with disabilities and impairments that are needed to help them fully participate in USCIS programs and benefits. These accommodations vary based on each person’s unique needs and disability/impairment.

Step 10: Applicant Statement, Contact Info, Certification, Declaration, and Signature

Now it’s time to finalize your form! First, indicate whether you prepared the form independently or whether an attorney and/or interpreter helped you — make sure you include the signature, certification, and contact info of the interpreter or anyone else who helped you with the application.

Step 11: Signature at Interview

Do not fill in the section asking you to “sign now.” You will be required to sign this at your interview with USCIS later on in the process.

What To Do If You Do Not Receive Your SSN Card?

In most cases, once USCIS approves your Form I-485, it will electronically transmit your information to the Social Security Administration and they will automatically assign you an SSN. If, for some reason, you do not hear from the Social Security Administration with these details, it’s important to contact them to find out what happened.

How To Locate A Social Security Office

If you’re looking for a social security office in your area, use this tool.

How Much Does Filing Form I-485 Cost?

Filing Form I-485 costs $1,140. The biometrics required for applicants ages 14-78 costs an additional $85.

There is a reduced fee of $750 for kids ages 13 and under when they file with at least one parent.

People applying as refugees under section 209(a) can file Form I-485 free of charge.

How Long Does The Application Process Take?

After you file Form I-485, you can expect to wait anywhere from 8 to 14 months for processing to finish and to receive your social security card.

Next Steps

If you’re eager to get the application process started, it’s important to find a trusted and experienced immigration attorney who can walk you through each step, ensure you don’t omit any important information, and help you get your SSN ASAP.

Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!

Attorney Eric Price is the best immigration attorney in Los Angeles. He has dedicated his life to fighting for his clients to claim their rightful piece of the American Dream. Our firm is committed to changing the lives of immigrants across the United States and reuniting families across the nation. We bring dignity to working people whose lives, culture, and effort strengthen our great country. Contact us today for a free case evaluation and to learn more about how we can help you.

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