Form I-485 Instructions, Adjustment of Status – Marriage based Green Card

USCIS Form I-485-Instructions Marriage Based

Purpose: Form I-485 has to be filed by the Green Card Applicant to adjust their status to that of a Permanent Resident of the United States, or simply put – to get a Green Card.

This page contains easy to follow step-by-step USCIS Form I-485 instructions.

  • Who is filing Form I-485: Green Card Applicant
  • Form I-485 filing fee: $1225

    • This includes $85 mandatory biometrics fee
    • If you’re over 79 years of age or older, biometrics fee is waived, and filing fee is $1140
    • Check or Money Order payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”
      • If you live in Guam, then payable to “Treasurer of Guam”
      • If you live in Virgin Islands then payable to “Commissioner of Finance of Virgin Islands”
    • Double check to make sure this is the correct filing fee, as this can change any time

Form I-485 Instructions

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  • 1a. Family-based
    • Check box a. “Immediate relative of a U.S. Citizen, Form I-130”
  • 1b to 1g.
    • Leave blank
  • 2. Are you applying for…(INA) section 245(i)?
    • Select “No”
  • 3. Receipt number of Underlying Petition
    • Write “N/A”
  • 4. Your Priority Date from underlying application
    • Write “N/A”
  • 5. Principal Applicant’s Name
    • Enter your (U.S. Citizen) spouse’s name
  • 6. Principle applicant’s A-number
    • U.S. Born Citizen
      • Write “N/A”
    • Naturalized U.S. Citizens
      • Refer to your Certificate of Naturalization
        • Put down the Alien # here, and not your Certificate #.
          • Alien # starts with A
          • They’re both listed on your certificate, so be careful.
    • Children to U.S. Citizen parents born outside of U.S.
      • Refer to your Certificate of Citizenship
        • Put down the Alien # here, and not your Certificate #.
          • They’re both listed on your certificate and both start with A, so be extra careful
          • The certificate number is one on the top, printed in RED
          • The other is your USCIS Registration Number (Alien Number)
  • 7. Principal Applicant’s Date of Birth
    • Enter your (U.S. Citizen) spouse’s date of birth
  • 8. Receipt number of Principle’s underlying Application
    •  Write “N/A”
  • 9. Priority Date of Principle’s underlying Application
    •  Write “N/A”
  • 1. Have you every applied for…or U.S. Consulate abroad?
    • Check “Yes” if you’ve applied for a Green Card before
    • Check “No”, if you’ve not applied for a Green Card before (common answer)
  • 2 to 4. Location/Decision/Date of Decision
    • If you’ve selected “Yes” on question 1 above, furnish this information
    • If you’ve selected “No” on question 1 above, leave blank
  • 5 to 10 Address History
    • Only include information for the last 5 years
    • If you need additional space, use section 14
      • Instructions provided below
    • This is the same information you’ve provided in form i-130a, part 1, questions 4 to 9
  • 11 to 18. Employment History.
    • Start with your last (most recent) job and go back in order, up to 5 years
    • If you’re currently unemployed, type “Unemployed” in field 1.
    • If you need additional space, use section 14
      • Instructions provided below
    • This is the same information you’ve provided in form i-130a, part 2
  • 19 to 22. Employment outside the United States
    • Provide your last employment outside of United States
    • Leave blank, if this was provided already in question 11 to 18 above
    • If you haven’t worked outside of United States, write “N/A”
    • This is the same information you’ve provided in form i-130a, part 2
  • 1 to 8. Information About Your Parent 1
    • This can be your father or mother
    • For field 2:
      • Remember to provide your mother’s maiden name, if you’re providing her information here
      • If the name hasn’t changed, write “N/A”
  • 9 to 16 Information About Your Parent 2
    • This is the information about your other parent
    • For field 10:
      • Remember to provide your mother’s maiden name, if you’re providing her information here
      • If the name hasn’t changed, write “N/A”
  • 1. Current Marital Status
    • Select “Married”
  • 2. Is your spouse current member of U.S. Armed forces or U.S. Coast Guard
    • Select “Yes” or “No”
  • 3. Self explanatory
  • 4. Current Spouse’s Legal Name
    • Enter your U.S. Citizen spouse’s name as it appears in his/her U.S. Passport or Driver’s license
  • 5. A-Number
    • This is Alien Registration Number
    • U.S. Born Citizen
      • Write “N/A”
    • Naturalized U.S. Citizens
      • Refer to your Certificate of Naturalization
        • Put down the Alien # here, and not your Certificate #.
          • Alien # starts with A
          • They’re both listed on your certificate, so be careful.
    • Children to U.S. Citizen parents born outside of U.S.
      • Refer to your Certificate of Citizenship
        • Put down the Alien # here, and not your Certificate #.
          • They’re both listed on your certificate and both start with A, so be extra careful
          • The certificate number is one on the top, printed in RED
          • The other is your USCIS Registration Number (Alien Number)
  • 6 to 9. Information about your marriage
  • 10. Is your current spouse applying with you?
    • Select “No”
      • FYI, this question is asking – is your current spouse applying for ‘adjustment of status’ with you, which s/he is not
  • 11 to 16. Prior Marriages
    • Write “N/A” if you’ve never been married before
    • Furnish information if you were married before
    • If you need additional space, use section 14
      • Instructions provided below
  • 1. If you have no children, write “None”
  • 2 to 16. Children Information
    • If you have answered none to question 1 above, type “N/A” in all the fields
      • Leave #6, #11, and #16 unchecked
    • If you have children, provide this information
      • For any unused fields e.g. Children 2, Children 3, type “N/A” in corresponding fields
  • 1. Select your Ethnicity
    • Select “Hispanic or Latino”, if you’re Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or of other Spanish culture or origin,
    • If not, select “Not Hispanic or Latino”.
  • 2. Select your Race
    • White, if you’re from Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.
    • Asian, if you’re from Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, thePhilippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.
    • Black or African American, if you’re belong to any of the black racial groups of Africa
    • American Indian or Alaska Native, if you’re from North or South America (including Central America), who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment
    • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, if you’re any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.
  • 3 – 6: Self Explanatory
  • 1. Select “Yes” if this applies to you
    • You only need to list religious organizations, professional associations, political groups and social clubs.
    • No need to include store memberships like ‘Sam’s Club’, ‘Costco’, ‘AAA’ etc.
  • 2 to 13. Organization Information
    • If you selected “No” to question 1, write “N/A”
    • If you selected “Yes” to question 1, provide information accordingly
    • If you need additional space, use section 14
      • Instructions provided below
  • 14 to 80. Self Explanatory
    • NOTE: If you’ve answered “Yes” to any of these questions, please consult with an Immigration Attorney immediately. We DO NOT recommend filing your paperwork on your own.
  • 1. Select “No” if you do not have any disabilities and/or impairements
  • 2a, 2b, or 2c. Select checkboxes and turning information, if applicable i.e. If you answered “Yes” on question 1
    • If you selected “No” on question 1, leave these boxes unchecked
  • 1a. Select this box, if the Green Card applicant has filled the application (common choice)
  • 1b. Select this box, if the Green Card applicant used an interpreter to fill this form
  • 2. If someone else besides the Green Card applicant is filling the form, provide the full name of the interpreter
    • The Green Card applicant (spouse) will still need to select 1a. or 1b.
  • 3 to 5. Provide the Green Card applicant’s information
  • 6. SIGN and DATE the form
    • If you forget to sign it, USCIS may deny the application, or at a minimum send a request for evidence (RFE), which will add significant delays to the processing of your application
  • This section should only be filled if you used an interpreter to fill your form. If not, leave this section blank.
  • This section should only be filled if anyone else besides the U.S. Citizen (applicant spouse) or Green Card applicant (spouse) filled your form. If not, leave this section blank.
  • Leave this section blank. This will be filled during your marriage interview.
  • This section should only be filled if the information provided in sections above needed additional space. If not, leave this section blank. If you’re using this section, make sure you:
    • Fill out 1a, 1b, 1c
    • Fill 2, if applicable
    • Do no repeat the information provided in the sections above
    • If you need additional space, make copies of this section, and repeat steps 1, 2, and 3 for every copy.

Tips and Checks:

  1. Fill using BLACK ink
  2. We recommend saving a local copy, so you don’t lose your entered data
  3. Make sure the form hasn’t expired. Expiration date is stated on the top right corner of the form.
  4. For items that are Not-Applicable, write “N/A” (without the quotes)
  5. For item that have the answer none, write “none” (without the quotes)
  6. For those who have already taken or are planning on taking your spouse’s last name, use your new last name while filling the application.
    • It does not matter if your SSN, Drivers License, Passport etc. have not been updated to reflect your new name. Your marriage certificate suffices the name change requirement
  7. Check out the Form I-485 Instructions section below  for our awesome instructions.
    • If that doesn’t work for you or you’re curious about how cryptic they can be, download USCIS’s instructions.

Form I-485 Instructions FAQs

Per USCIS, Form I-485 needs to be filed to apply to adjust your status to that of a permanent resident of the United States.

In this case i.e. Green Card through Marriage, the Green Card Applicant field Form I-485 to adjust their status to that of a Permanent Resident of the United States, or simply put to get a Green Card.

Yes, these Form I-485 instructions are limited to Green Card by Marriage when both spouses are physically present in the U.S.

If you’re looking for Form I-485 instructions for a different category, please navigate to the appropriate category using website navigation menu or by performing a search using the search bar.

In this case viz. Marriage based Green Card, the Green Card Applicant has to file Form I-485?

Detailed field level instructions can be found in Form I-485 Instructions section above.

That concludes the Form I-485 Instructions. If you have any thoughts, questions, or clarifications on Form I-485 Instructions , feel free to ask and/or discuss them in the appropriate Form I-485 category within Marriage based Green Card discussions.

Legal Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with any U.S. Government Agency. We are not Immigration Attorneys and no content on this website should be construed as legal advice.

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