What’s an Adjustment of Status?

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This is the second part of our Blog “How to get the Green Card”, where we will now explain the step by step of this process in a guideline.  It is very important to mention that the information contained herein is generally only to illustrate the path to U.S. Permanent Residency and does NOT contemplate special circumstances or changes that USCIS makes without prior notice. 

What is the timeline or steps to follow in Adjustment of Status?

  1. Determine with your immigration attorney if you are eligible to apply for a Green Card
  2. You or someone else must file an immigrant petition for you (if applicable)
  3. Check your visa availability in the “Visa Bulletin” (if applicable)
  4. File Form I-485 (It is often accompanied by other forms such as: I-765, I-131, I-130, among others).
  5. They will send you the receipt for your Form I-485 with the case number. Also the receipts of the additional forms you submitted.
  6. Attend the Biometrics appointment (if applicable)
  7. Receive approval for your I-765 & I-131 work and travel permit (if applicable)
  8. Attend your interview (if applicable)
  9. Respond to the request for additional evidence “RFE” (if applicable)
  10. Receive final approval
  11. Receiving a Green Card


NOTE: Always consult with your immigration attorney about additional forms you need to file for your case and supporting documents.

What are the average processing times?

Processing times for an Adjustment of Status can be 8 to 14 months from when USCIS sends receipts for your forms (step 5), this process can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 1 month to accept your application and send you a confirmation receipt.

However, this timeline may vary depending on the volume of applications received by USCIS and the complexity of your case. It’s important to be patient and prepared for delays in the process.

How to Check Your Case Online?

You can search through USCIS to access the login page HERE.

To check the status of your case, you must have your case receipt number. This receipt number is a unique 13-character identifier that USCIS provides for each application or petition it receives, and is used to identify and track your cases.

How to Check My Case Processing Times?

The USCIS website provides the approximate processing times of each form submitted, it is the only source of reliable information on processing times, you can click HERE to access. All USCIS pages are available in Spanish. 

You should always have your submitted form receipt handy so that you can track your case.

What is an "RFE"? (Request for additional evidence?)

Permanent Residence Lawyer in Colorado

A Request for Additional Evidence (RFE) is a requirement for further evidence or doubts that have arisen during the review of your case and is issued by USCIS to applicants for permanent residence, citizenship, family visas, and employment visas.

If the immigration officer considers that there are missing supporting documents that support your eligibility for the immigration benefit that applies, they will send you a notice informing you in detail of the required documentation and you along with your immigration attorney (if applicable) must respond as indicated in the RFE application.

Failure to submit the RFE’s response in a timely manner may result in your case being dismissed or closed.

In general, what happens at an Adjustment of Status interview?

Once USCIS officials review your case and determine that an interview is necessary, they will schedule your appointment with a date, time, and location where it will take place. You will receive a notice at the address you have registered on your initial forms.

You must appear at a USCIS office as notified to answer questions about your Form I-485.

When you go to your interview, you (and the family member who filed the immigrant petition for you, if applicable) must bring the originals of all documentation submitted with the Form I-485 application, including passports, official travel documents, and Form I-94, regardless of whether they are expired. In addition to the extra supporting documentation that your lawyer recommends you bring.

It is important that you are very clear about the answers you provided in your forms because that is where the questions you will be asked will come from and you must demonstrate consistency in the data, WITHOUT contradictions or sudden changes in the information.

NOTE: It  is recommended that you have a preparation appointment with your immigration attorney so that you are safe and calm about what will happen during your final interview. Interviews may vary on a case-by-case basis, so we recommend having a one-on-one consultation with an expert. 

What are the fees for an Adjustment of Status?

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USICS has announced a fee increase effective April 1, 2024, in which Forms I-485 for Adjustment of Status underwent an 18% increase.

  1. For children under the age of 14, applying through a parent, Form I-485 will cost approximately $950 USD.
  2. For children under the age of 14, who do not apply through a parent, Form I-485 will cost approximately $1,440 USD.
  3. For the rest of the people, the form will cost approximately $1,440 including the Biometrics fee.
  4. For people with an approved Refugee category, Form I-485 would cost you a total of $0

To learn more about immigration fees before USCIS, visit https://www.uscis.gov/i-485

What kind of rights and responsibilities do I have once I am a Permanent Resident?


  1. Live permanently in the United States as long as you do not commit any action that would make you deportable under immigration law.
  2. Work in the United States in any legal job of your qualification and choice. (Note that some jobs will be limited to U.S. citizens for safety reasons.)
  3. Be protected by all laws of the United States, your state of residence, and local jurisdictions.
  4. A Permanent Resident can petition for a family member of the following type: Spouse and unmarried children.
  5. You may have access to certain public benefits.
  6. You can travel in and out of the United States.


  1. Obedience to all laws of the United States and localities is required.
  2. You must file your income tax returns and report your income to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and state tax authorities;
  3. He is expected to support the democratic form of government (“support” does not include voting. Permanent residents may not vote in federal, state, or local elections); and
  4. Required to register with the Selective Service, if you are a male between the ages of 18 and 25.
  5. You may not live outside the United States for more than 180 consecutive days.


I am a Permanent Resident, can I be deported?

Yes. But only an immigration judge can make this decision, and it has to be justified by some crime you committed.

You should know that an immigration officer cannot deport you and it is always recommended that you ask to speak with a judge and your criminal and/or immigration attorney.

If you have been convicted of a crime, especially since becoming a Permanent Resident, consult an immigration attorney to see how it would impact your status. You may be eligible:

  1. For a waiver or defense in immigration court and/or
  2. To clear your criminal record so it doesn’t impact your status.

If the criminal situation exceeds your chances of retaining Permanent Residency, then your status will be permanently removed and you may be subject to deportation.

How many years do you have to wait to apply for citizenship?

You may qualify for naturalization if you are at least 18 years old and have been a permanent resident for at least 5 years.

For those who applied for Permanent Residency through marriage, the waiting time is 3 years if your spouse is a U.S. citizen and if you meet all other eligibility requirements.

At Izaguirre Law Firm we can help you with your Adjustment of Status if it is based on the following categories:

  1. Relative
  2.  Special Immigrant such as Unaccompanied Minors.
  3. Humanitarian T/U Visas
  4. VAWA
  5. Cuban Adjustment


The content of this blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal consultation or recommendation. It is always advisable to consult with an immigration attorney to analyze your particular case and provide you with the possible options for which you are eligible. 

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If you are in the United States, call us to arrange your immigration status!

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