APPLICATION FOR ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS (AOS)
After you got married to your petitioner or fiance within the 90 days period, it is a must to apply for adjustment of status and process your papers for your permanent residency. This is the process called “Green Card Application” where after you have submitted all the requirements and supporting documents and gets approved, you will receive your 2-year residency card (green card) or possibly a 10-year residency card if you file after 2 years of marriage.
You can also apply for Employment Authorization (EAD) to obtain a work permit here in U.S and Advance Parole or Travel document (AP) if you want to travel outside the U.S while still processing with your adjustment of status. You can file all these 3 applications together with single filing fee. But in my case, I only applied for two and those were the AOS and EAD.
One week after our marriage in the county, March 2017, we received our Marriage Certificate. We started our application for adjustment of status after we completed each and every single requirement of the Form I-485 Adjustment of Status.
Filling up Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
This has a total of 18 pages where you need to complete all necessary documentation including important details needed in the application form. Make sure that the forms you are filing are the updated ones and don’t forget to sign all your application forms before filing them with the correct filing fee.
(EVIDENCE & SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION )
1. 2 pcs. 2×2 recent photographs
2. Photocopy of Government Issued I.d with your photo typically passport and copy of the visa
3. Photocopy of Birth Certificate
4. Inspection & admission evidence such as Form I-94 Arrival-Departure Record or passport page with admission stamp.
5. Photocopy of Marriage certificate
6. Form I-944: Declaration of Self Sufficiency
This is a new form implemented by USCIS for filers after Feb. 24, 2020. It has 18 pages that require initial evidence as well.
7. Form I-864: Affidavit of Support
This form has 10 pages with supporting documents such as income tax returns, w-2 or 1099s, form 2555, etc., copy of your sponsor birth certificate, passport, or certificate of naturalization or citizenship.
REMEMBER: Failure to submit these 2 new forms will result in denial of your I-485 application for adjustment of status.
8. Copy of Vaccination Record
This was given to you when you completed your med. exam in St.lukes back in the Philippines.
9. Copy of your I-797C, Notice of Action/Approval Notice
10. Index page stating the breakdown of pages of your documents or a COVER LETTER with signature.
APPLICATION FOR EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION DOCUMENT (EAD)
Filling up Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization
While you apply for your permanent residency, it’s also essential to file for Employment Authorization.
This will allow you to have a working permit in the United States even though you’re still considered an alien or an immigrant.
This application has the same required documentation as the I-485 Form so you don’t need to provide another copy of requirements, just that you have to complete its separate forms and it’s about 7 pages.
But if you’ll be filing only EAD separately you have to pay $410 as filing fee and provide supporting documents or initial evidence such as:
- Evidence of your admission (for example, a copy of your Form I-94, passport, or other travel documents)
- Copy of your K visa
APPLICATION FOR TRAVEL DOCUMENT/ADVANCE PAROLE (AP)
Filling up FORM I-131 Application for Travel Document
If you’re planning to travel out of U.S while you are processing your adjustment of status, you can also file for I-131, Application for Travel Document (5 pages) as your re-entry permit.
But this I do not recommend, it’s better to travel once you already have your green card.
Most K1 visa holders include this application in emergency purposes just in case there will be an emergency to travel out of the United States you are sure to come back easily if you have your re-entry permit.
FILING I-485 AOS, I-765 EAD & I-131 AP
FILING FEE: $1,140
BIOMETRICS SERVICE FEE: $85
- I-485, I-765, I-131 Filing Fee (2020) : $1,140 + biometric services fee of $85= Total of $1,225 made in single check
- KIDS 13 yrs. and under filing with a parent in form I-485: $750
- Kids filing separately: $1,140 (no biometric service fee)
WHERE TO FILE: USCIS Chicago Lockbox
For U.S. Postal Service (USPS):
PO Box 805887
Chicago, IL 60680-4120
For FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
131 South Dearborn – 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60603-5517
Or you can call the National Customer Service Center FOR MORE CURRENT INFORMATION.
I hope this guides you throughout all the necessary documentation you need in filing your Adjustment of Status here in U.S. Now, I will share with you my timeline during our application to give an idea about the process and the letters or notice that you will receive from USCIS after you send all of these applications.
Before that, I want to illiterate that I only filed for AOS and EAD without AP so unlike most of the K1 visa filers I didn’t receive a combo card. If you filed all these 3 applications together then that’s when you receive a combo card but not in my case I received each document separately in different periods of time.
MY K-1 AOS TIMELINE
APRIL 13,2017: Receipt of I-485 & I-765 Notice from USCIS
- The letter states the next step which is to wait for Biometric Appointment Schedule Notice.
MAY 5,2017: Receipt of ASC Appointment Notice
- Stating Place of the Biometric Center
- Date and Time of Appointment
- Things to Bring on the Day of Appointment:
- ASC Appointment Notice
- Photo I.D such as passport, state-issued I.d, driver’s license, etc.
MAY 23,2017: Biometric Appointment Day
- More or less 10-20 minutes
- After you’re done with biometrics, the officer will put a Biometric Processing Stamp on your ASC Appointment Notice
JULY 29,2017:Receipt of Approval Notice for I-765 Employment Authorization
- The letter states that USCIS will send my EAD card (Employment Authorization Document) in a separate mail.
AUGUST 2017: Receipt of EAD Card
- Finally got my EAD card.
- Reminder: Check all your information in the card, if there’s some mistake request to USCIS to change what needs to be corrected as soon as possible to avoid future problems.
- Your EAD card has only 1-year expiry.
- So you have to have your green card already after your EAD expires.
AUGUST 10,2017: Application for SSN Valid for Work Only
If you’re already working here in the U.S, it is a must that you have your social security number. You should apply for your social security valid for work besides your EAD card.
AUGUST 21,2017: Receipt of SSN Card
DECEMBER 19,2017: Receipt of Request for I-485 AOS Initial Interview Notice
- A letter stating the Schedule of Interview with complete information such as Date, Time & Location
- Things to Bring on Interview as per notice:
- Both you and your petitioner which is already your (husband/wife) should be present during the interview
- This Interview Notice
- Government-issued photo I.d
- Documentation establishing eligibility for permanent resident status
- Employment Authorization (EAD) Card or Advance Parole (if any)
- Travel documents such as passport, I-94 (Arrival/Departure Document) and or you Advance Parol document (if any)
- Birth Certificates
- Husband’s/Petitioner’s Birth Certificate
- Husband’s/Petitioner’s Proof of Citizenship
- If you have kids, bring their birth certificates too
- Copy of Marriage Certificate
- Divorce decrees/death certificates prior to marriage/former spouse (if applicable)
- Relationship supporting documents such as joint bank statements, insurance documents, and other joint liabilities.
JANUARY 23,2018: Initial Interview Day
REMINDER: Arrive earlier than your scheduled time. Since before you get in at the main office there will be a security check and if there are a lot of people it will consume a lot of time.
Once your there, here are the steps you might experience during your’s too.
- Show interview notice
- Check-in and register then wait for your turn to be called.
- Once called, both you and your spouse will go in a private office with the interviewer.
- Asked for passports
- How’s your married life?
- How did you meet each other?
- When and where did you get married?
- How many kids do you have?
- Asked for birth certificate of each petitioner & you
- Asked for the birth certificate of baby
- Are you both employed?
Be prepared for every document that you have, make sure to take it with you just in case your interviewer will ask for it.
Right after the interview the officer or the interviewer will hand down to you a letter which is the NOTICE OF INTERVIEW RESULTS which states that my case is being held for review and that my I-485 is complete and approvable.
My case will be transferred to TSC (Texas Service Center).
And also to allow no less than 120 days before making a status inquiry.
END OF JANUARY 2018: Receipt of Approval Notice for Permanent Resident Card
- The notice states that the application or petition has been approved and might be asked for biometrics again within 90 days. But fortunately, I didn’t have to re-do my biometrics before.
END OF JANUARY 2018: Receipt of Green Card/Permanent Resident Card
- Finally, I got my green card on-hand. Make sure to check all your information on the card and if there’s any error call USCIS immediately so they correct it as soon and issue you a new card with corrected information.
- This green card has 2 years expiry so I was advised to file removal of condition of my green card 90 days before my green card expires.
These are the steps I’ve gone through when I applied for mine. Just a disclaimer, I’m not a lawyer nor a professional immigration officer, every information I share here are all based on my experience and search on the official website of USCIS.
Each case is different so you really have to do your self-research about your case, I would recommend going through the website of USCIS. If you’re a k1 applicant then I hope I give you some information that you need for your Adjustment of Status.
Please do read my other blogs about my K-1 visa journey here:
- Application of Tourist Visa
- K1 visa application guide
- Next Steps After Visa Approval
- Report of Marriage
- Report of Birth