Are spouses of green card holders living in the US eligible for Adjustment of Status?
Yes, spouses of green card holders who are living in the U.S. are generally eligible to apply for Adjustment of Status (AOS) to become lawful permanent residents themselves. Adjustment of Status is the process through which certain eligible individuals already in the United States can apply for a green card without having to leave the country.
To be eligible for Adjustment of Status as the spouse of a green card holder, the following general requirements must be met:
- Qualifying Relationship: You must be legally married to a green card holder. Common-law marriages may also be eligible, provided they are recognized under state law.
- Inspection and Admission or Parole: You must have entered the U.S. legally (with inspection) or qualify for a limited set of exceptions to the inspection requirement.
- Immediate Visa Availability: You must have a visa number immediately available in the Family-Based Second Preference (F2A) category based on the visa bulletin issued by the U.S. Department of State. The availability of visa numbers depends on your country of birth and the visa category.
- Continuous Presence in the U.S.: You must have continuously maintained lawful status or have been “paroled” into the U.S. since your last entry, and you must not have engaged in any unauthorized employment or other immigration violations.
- Admissibility: You must be admissible to the United States. This means you must not be subject to any grounds of inadmissibility, such as certain criminal convictions or other immigration violations.
- Form I-130 Approval: Your green card holder spouse must have filed and received approval for a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on your behalf.
If you meet the above requirements, you can apply for Adjustment of Status by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). As part of the process, you may also need to submit other supporting documents, attend a biometrics appointment, and possibly an interview with USCIS.
Please note that while spouses of green card holders are generally eligible for Adjustment of Status, the specific eligibility criteria and requirements can vary based on individual circumstances. It’s essential to review the USCIS guidelines and instructions or consult with an immigration attorney or accredited representative to ensure you meet all the eligibility criteria and successfully navigate the Adjustment of Status process.
What documents are required for Adjustment of Status application of spouses of green card holders living in the U.S.?
When applying for Adjustment of Status (AOS) as the spouse of a green card holder (lawful permanent resident) living in the U.S., you will need to submit a comprehensive set of documents to support your application. These documents are used to establish your eligibility for a green card based on your qualifying relationship with the green card holder spouse. Here are some of the common documents typically required for the Adjustment of Status application:
- Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status: This is the main form you will need to file to apply for a green card through Adjustment of Status.
- Form I-130 Approval Notice: A copy of the I-130 approval notice, which proves that your green card holder spouse’s Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, has been approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record: A copy of your most recent Form I-94, which shows your current immigration status and authorized period of stay in the U.S.
- Passport Photos: Two passport-style photos that meet the U.S. visa photo requirements.
- Identity and Relationship Documents:
- Copy of your foreign passport with biographical information and any U.S. entry stamps.
- Copy of your birth certificate with certified English translation.
- Copy of your marriage certificate with certified English translation.
- If either you or your green card holder spouse were previously married, you will need to provide divorce or death certificates for any previous marriages.
- Form I-864, Affidavit of Support: This form is filed by your green card holder spouse to demonstrate that they have sufficient financial resources to support you.
- Evidence of Financial Support: Documents that support the Form I-864, such as your green card holder spouse’s federal income tax returns (and any W-2 forms), pay stubs, and employment verification letter.
- Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record: A completed and sealed medical examination report conducted by a designated USCIS civil surgeon to demonstrate that you meet the health requirements for immigration.
- Proof of Continuous Presence in the U.S.: Documents to demonstrate that you have continuously maintained lawful status or have been “paroled” into the U.S. since your last entry.
- Additional Supporting Documents: Depending on your specific situation, you may need to submit additional documents, such as police clearance certificates from your home country, affidavits of support from friends or family, or other evidence to demonstrate the bona fide nature of your marriage.
It’s crucial to carefully follow the USCIS instructions for each form and include all required supporting documents to avoid delays or potential denials. Additionally, USCIS may request additional documents or evidence as needed during the adjudication process.
As immigration laws and requirements can change, it’s advisable to check the latest USCIS guidelines and forms instructions or consult with an immigration attorney or accredited representative for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding your specific case.
What are the filing fees of Adjustment of Status application of a spouse of a green card holder living in the U.S.?
The filing fees for the Adjustment of Status (AOS) application of a spouse of a green card holder living in the U.S. include several components. Please note that USCIS fees are subject to change, so it’s essential to check the latest fee schedule on the official USCIS website at the time of filing. As of September 2021, the filing fees were as follows:
- Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status: The filing fee for Form I-485 was $1,225 for applicants aged 14 and older. This fee includes the biometrics fee, which covers the cost of the required fingerprinting and background check.
- Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative: The filing fee for Form I-130, filed by the green card holder spouse to establish the qualifying relationship, was $535.
Please note that the fees mentioned above are for the filing of the forms only and do not include any additional fees that may be required for other components of the Adjustment of Status process, such as medical examination fees, translations of documents, or other supporting documents.
If you are experiencing financial hardship and cannot afford the USCIS filing fees, you may be eligible for a fee waiver. Fee waiver eligibility is based on income and other specific criteria. If you believe you may qualify for a fee waiver, it’s essential to review the USCIS guidelines and instructions on the fee waiver process.
Additionally, payment methods and fee requirements may change over time, so it’s essential to verify the current fees and payment options on the official USCIS website or consult with an immigration attorney or accredited representative for the most up-to-date information.
As always, it’s crucial to follow the USCIS instructions for each form, submit the correct fees, and include all required supporting documents to ensure a complete and successful Adjustment of Status application.