I-485 Adjustment of Status

What is the I-485 filing?

The I-485 case in my account is titled ‘with Work and Travel’ – what does that mean?

Are my dependents included in the I-485 filing?

What documents do I need to provide for the I-485 case?

Will I be reviewing the Case Materials for the I-485?

Where is the I-485 filed?

After the I-485 is sent, when can I expect to get a Receipt Notice?

When can I expect the Biometrics appointment?

Can I travel while the I-485 case is pending with USCIS?

When can I expect the interview and the I-485 to be processed?

What should I bring to the final interview?

What do I need to do now?

What is the I-485 filing?

The I-485 is the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjustment of Status. This filing is the last step of the green card process for employees who are applying inside the United States and primarily includes biographical information. When approved, the I-485 will adjust your lawful immigration status or residency status from nonimmigrant to immigrant, and it ultimately results in a green card.

Why has an I-485 case been opened?

Generally, the I-485 case has been opened as the final stage in the green card process. The legal team can begin working on the I-485 after your Priority Date becomes current. Sometimes the I-485 can be prepared and filed alongside the I-140 case in your Envoy account; your employer and the legal team will determine the specific strategy for when the I-485 can be filed.

If you have an I-485 case that is part of a green card product pack and is not yet active, the legal team will enable that case when it is eligible for filing. You will be notified as soon as the I-485 case has been enabled.

If you have previously completed a questionnaire with Envoy, please know you will be asked to complete a unique I-485 questionnaire to ensure that the legal team has all the information they need to prepare the case. The Envoy platform will always automatically populate certain documents and information from your Profile, so please also ensure you keep your information updated.

The I-485 case in my account is titled ‘with Work and Travel’ – what does that mean? Does this need to be included?

Work (Form I-765) and Travel (Form I-131), sometimes known as an EAD/AP combo card, are options to consider when applying for a green card. Cases that are titled ‘I-485 with Work and Travel’ confirms that the Form I-765 and Form I-131 have been bundled with the I-485 filing.

  • ———– Button: Link to Work and Travel FAQs
  • ———– https://www.envoyglobal.com/faq-employee-users/ead-ap-faqs/

If you are unsure on whether Work and Travel should be added, please feel free to contact the legal team within the Communication Center. If you would like to add Work and Travel to an I-485 case or as separate cases, please contact Envoy Customer Experience for assistance.

Important Note: International travel plans can affect the plan for filing the I-485 and I-131. Please be sure to notify the legal team of any upcoming international travel as soon as possible.

I have an approved I-140, but the I-485 is not moving forward. Why is there no movement on the I-485 yet?

The legal team can only file the I-485 when an applicant is eligible, which depends on the completion of previous required filings and your Priority Date.

If you feel as though an I-485 case should be opened or initiated in your Envoy account, please contact the legal team in the Communication Center. They can confirm if the Priority Date is current and if the case is eligible for filing.

If I am outside the U.S., can I still submit an I-485 case to USCIS?

Foreign nationals who are outside of the U.S. and are attempting to apply for permanent residence will need to apply at a consulate or an embassy abroad in order to apply for an immigrant visa status instead of filing the I-485. For more information on applying for the green card at a consulate abroad: https://www.envoyglobal.com/faq-employee-users/consular-processing-immigrant-faqs/

How much does an I-485 case cost if I want to open it?

Pricing can vary based on the I-485 applicant and whether Work and Travel should be added. Additionally, every employer has their own policies on what their immigration program will cover. If you have questions about specific charges or who will pay, please reach out to Envoy Customer Experience directly.

For more information on Billing and Payments: https://www.envoyglobal.com/faq-for-employees/employee-faq-billing-payments/

Are my dependents included in the I-485 filing?

Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 are eligible to file for the green card alongside the sponsored employee. Each green card applicant requires their own I-485 case to be opened in your Envoy account, however the process of applying for the I-485 for family members is very similar. Please contact Envoy Customer Experience If your dependent requires a new case to be opened.

What documents do I need to provide for the I-485 case?

After the I-485 case is initiated in your Envoy account, you will need to complete the case Questionnaire and upload all applicable documents. Please see the list below for the general documents required upon case creation.

For more information on document intake: https://www.envoyglobal.com/faq-for-employees/employee-faq-documents/

  • Color Copy of Passport:  The legal team will require all pages of your passport (including blank pages).
  • I-797 Approval Notice(s):  The legal team requires these to confirm your status, if you have them. If you have always filed for your status at a consulate, such as an L-1 Blanket filing, you may not have this document.
    • If you did enter based on an L-1 Blanket filing, the legal team will require your stamped/endorsed Form I-129S as evidence of the approval at the consulate.
  • Form I-94: A CBP I-94 is issued to all foreign nationals upon entry to the U.S.; the legal team will use the document(s) to confirm your status.
  • Visa Stamp: Issued at a consulate, this is a page within your passport which includes biographical details and a photo; the legal team generally does not require entry/exit stamps.  Some individuals, like applicants from Canada, may not have a Visa Stamp.
  • Payroll Paycheck Stubs from the Last Two Pay Periods (if you hold an employment-based status such as H-1B, L-1A/L-1B, E-3, O-1, etc.): Payroll paycheck stubs help prove that an applicant is currently employed and maintaining their nonimmigrant status. These documents are issued when an individual receives payment for employment, usually attached to the paycheck. Either scanned printouts or screenshots of your two most recent pay statements are sufficient, and the legal team will let you know if additional documents are required.
  • Birth Certificate + any necessary translations: A civil birth certificate is a written and registered official document stating one’s date and place of birth. It is issued by a governmental body and includes the name, date, place of birth and names of both birth mother and father. For green card cases, a long-form birth certificate is needed–this is the version that includes both the mother and father’s full names.
  • Marriage Certificate + any necessary translations: A marriage certificate should be an official document that states to whom you are (or were) married. A marriage certificate should state your complete birth name, your spouse’s complete birth name, the date and place of the marriage, and the names of the people who witnessed the marriage. Marriage certificates must be issued by a relevant government authority–certificates issued by a church or other religious organizations are not acceptable.
    • Divorce Certificate(s) + any necessary translations: This document is only needed if applicable. A divorce decree is an official written document that states that the marriage has been terminated. It must be registered and recorded by government authorities.
  • Passport Photos: The legal team requires physical copies of passport photos for the I-485 case (See below).

Do I need to provide my birth certificate?

The applicant’s birth certificate must be included with all I-485 applications. If you do not have a copy of your birth certificate, please contact the local government authority in the place of your birth to obtain one.

We understand that some individuals do not have a birth certificate; if this is true for you, then you should contact the government authority to request a certificate of non-availability. In this situation you may also need to provide sworn affidavits from parents or other relatives who have personal knowledge of the circumstances of your birth.

Please know that any foreign language documents must be submitted with a certified English translation. For more information on translation services: https://www.envoyglobal.com/faq-employee-users/employee-faq-envoy-services/

Do I need to mail passport photos for the I-485 case?

For every I-485 filing, each applicant must provide six (6), 2x2in passport photos. The legal team requires you to mail these photos to our office so that the photos can be included in the finalized filing to USCIS. Based on the cases opened in your account, please ensure you send the following:

  • Six (6) 2x2in passport photos for yourself
  • Six (6) 2x2in passport photos for each dependent applicant (if applicable)

Please lightly print the person’s name and date of birth on the back of the photo with a pencil. When sending, we recommend using a service which provides tracking details, preferably FedEx or UPS as these carriers have been the most reliable in delivery. Please write/enter the office address as follows:

Corporate Immigration Partners, P.C.

Attn: Your Name + Envoy account number

230 W. Monroe St. Suite 2800

Chicago, IL 60606

Our team in the office can generally process these items in a few business days. After the photos have been processed, the passport photo placeholder will be marked as complete in the case.

Do I need to obtain an I-693 Medical Exam before the I-485 case is sent?

The legal team generally recommends that applicants wait until USCIS requests the medical exam due to the possibility of lengthy USCIS processing times. While I-693 Medical Exam is required before USCIS can approve the I-485, it is not required in the initial I-485 petition.

Medical exams will expire within two years from the time the exam is completed. Unfortunately average I-485 processing times have recently continued to increase, which means that a new exam would likely be needed if USCIS has not finished processing the case within two years. By waiting to complete the exam right away, this should prevent the need to pay for medicals multiple times. It can also assist the legal team with case preparation as they do not need to wait on the medicals to arrive to send the case.

While it is not recommended to provide medicals right away, we understand that some individuals obtain the documents before receiving further instruction. If you have already obtained medical exam(s), please mail these with your passport photos, and the legal team will include it with the cases so long as the documents arrive on time.

Will I be reviewing the Case Materials for the I-485?

Generally, the primary applicant is responsible for reviewing the drafted Case Materials for the I-485 filing. If the legal team determines that the I-485 J is required for the case, then your employer may be delegated this form to review and approve. You will be notified as soon as these forms are available to you for review.

For more information on reviewing Case Materials: https://www.envoyglobal.com/faq-employee-users/employee-faq-case-materials/

What forms are typically needed within the I-485 Case?

When the forms become available, the legal team will request that you review the content of the forms and provide scanned signatures for each form; we want you to be aware of this process so that you have the signed and scanned forms ready to go. These documents will be needed in order to approve/submit your changes for the drafted content.

Below is the general type of forms an applicant will be required to sign:

  • Form G-28
  • Form I-485
  • Form I-485, Supplement J form signature (primary applicants only, if applicable)
  • Form I-765 (if Work authorization (EAD) is added)
  • Form I-131 (if Travel authorization (AP) is added)

For more information on reviewing the forms, alternative instructions on printing/scanning these pages, as well as general details on the Case Materials process: https://www.envoyglobal.com/faq-employee-users/employee-faq-case-materials/

Where is the I-485 filed?

After the I-485 case is finalized, the legal team will send it to USCIS with an overnight shipping label, and they will upload the tracking information in the I-485 case overview section. You will be able to track the package by clicking on the tracking number that will be added to the Case Details section in the I-485 case.

For more information on USCIS processing times: https://www.envoyglobal.com/faq-employee-users/employee-faq-case-status/#uscisprocessingtimes

The average processing time for an I-485 is 6-33 months, though this is flexible based upon USCIS case volumes at any particular time. If you have any questions about processing times, please reach out to the Customer Experience Team so that they can assist you further.

Can I add Premium Processing to the I-485 filing?

Premium Processing is not available for I-485 filings at this time. A comprehensive list of eligible filings and information on Premium Processing can be found here: https://www.uscis.gov/forms/all-forms/how-do-i-request-premium-processing.

The only stage of the green card process that is eligible for Premium Processing is the I-140 stage (Excluding applicants within the categories for EB-1 for Multinational Managers or Executives and EB-2 under a National Interest Waiver).

After the I-485 has been sent, when can I expect to get a Receipt Notice?

Receipt Notices from USCIS are currently arriving in our office about 4-8 weeks from when they are issued; Receipt Notices are most often issued a few business days after a case arrives at the USCIS processing location. After the legal team processes a mailed Receipt Notice in the office, they will apply it to the appropriate case in your Envoy account, and you will receive an email notification from [email protected] confirming that the Receipt Number has been added to that case. This information will also be available in the Case Details section of the associated case.

When can I expect the Biometrics appointment?

After you have filed the I-485 application, USCIS will schedule your Biometric services appointment at a local application support center (ASC). Applicants will need to provide their fingerprints, photograph, and signature at the appointment.

Generally, USCIS will send a Biometrics Appointment Notice a few months after an I-485 has been processing; this is generally sent directly to the applicant. In keeping with normal case processing, if we receive a Biometrics Appointment Notice in the office, the legal team will post any details to your Communication Center.

If you have not received notification of a Biometrics appointment, this is not a cause for concern; we ask that you refrain from inquiring about this as Biometrics appointments have become more inconsistent since March of 2020 due to the pandemic.

More information on the biometric process from USCIS: https://www.uscis.gov/forms/filing-guidance/preparing-for-your-biometric-services-appointment

How do I reschedule my Biometrics appointment?

To reschedule your appointment, you must mail back the Biometrics Appointment Notice to USCIS. The Notice will have a checkbox where you can mark that you need to reschedule your appointment. Please follow the instructions stated within the Biometrics Appointment Notice for more information.

For more information on the biometric process from USCIS, please expand the section entitled ‘Rescheduling Appointments’ on this page: https://www.uscis.gov/forms/filing-guidance/preparing-for-your-biometric-services-appointment

When will the Work (I-765)/Travel (I-131) be processed?

Processing times for any filing with USCIS, including the I-765 and I-131, will vary based on the Service Center where the case is being processed and the current caseload of USCIS. On average, USCIS is currently reporting processing times of about 6-7 months for I-765 and I-131 filings based on a pending I-485. After we have the Receipt Number for the case, you will be able to confirm the USCIS Service Center to check the specific processing times for you (or your family members’) filings.

For more information on checking USCIS processing times: https://www.envoyglobal.com/faq-employee-users/employee-faq-case-status/#uscisprocessingtimes

Can I travel while the I-485 case is pending with USCIS?

For any international travel plans, you should always post to your Communication Center to notify the legal team, and they will advise on whether travel is recommended and on anything else you should know. Please always provide as much detail as possible, such as any anticipated travel dates, your destination(s), and the purpose of your travel.

**Important note on international travel if a case includes the I-131 / Travel** 

Applicants on H and L status: 

Applicants on any other status ( TN, E, F, O, etc): 

You should not plan to travel internationally while an initial I-131 for Travel Authorization is pending. If you do choose to travel, the I-131 request for travel authorization will likely be denied.  While the I-131 denial itself will not impact the processing of your I-485 application for the green card, you should be aware of this riskYou would still be able to re-enter the United States using your H or L visa while your I-485 case is in process. If you do not hold an H or L status, you MUST remain inside of the U.S. until your I-131 and I-765 have been approved and you have received your Advance Parole document. If an individual who is in a classification other than H-1B, H-4, L-1, or L-2 departs the U.S. after filing the I-485 and before the I-131 is approved, the I-485 application will be denied and you may be refused re-entry to the U.S. 
For all applicants, if you have an I-485 case which includes Travel or have an I-131 case in your Envoy account, post to your Communication Center if you do have travel planned that you cannot avoid as soon as possible. 

When can I expect the interview and I-485 to be processed?

USCIS generally conducts an interview with all green card applicants toward the end of I-485 processing. Currently, I-485 case processing varies greatly; most commonly, cases are processed in about 11-24 months. However, if you are not current with the Final Action chart, USCIS will not complete final adjudication on the case, and you will not be called into USCIS for an interview.

Similar to the Biometrics Appointment Notice, the Interview Appointment Notice will be sent directly to you, or the legal team will post to your Communication Center with the details if we receive the Interview Notice.

If you have any questions on what to expect next, we kindly request that you continue utilizing the resources we have provided, such as FAQs and the features of your account which highlight case status.

What should I bring to the final interview?

For the interview, please take the following:

  • Interview Appointment Notice
  • Photo I.D. (preferably passport)
  • Employment Authorization Document (EAD)/Advance Parole (AP), if applied for and received.
  • Original or certified birth certificate (original or certified documents are usually noted by raised seals)
  • Original or certified marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Two most recent paystubs (if you hold an employment-based status such as H-1B, L, E, O-1, etc.)
  • State Issued Driver’s License (if you have one)
  • Copy of the I-485 application (please refer to your Reference Documents)

If the medical exam was submitted with the I-485 and is over two years old, you may need to bring a new I-693 medical exam to your interview. If the case was not submitted with a I-693 medical exam, USCIS will issue a request asking for one. If you are unsure of the status of your medical exam, please post to the legal team in your Communication Center.

In general, the interview will include:

  • Biographic information, such as where/when you were born, where you have lived, who your parents are, where they live, etc
  • Immigration status information, such as what statuses you have held and when
  • Inadmissibility questions, such as whether you have ever been arrested or deported
  • Questions about your employment, such as who you work for, what you do, etc.

If you are concerned about any of these topics, please post to the legal team in the Communications Center.

What do I need to do now?

Please log into your Envoy account (app.envoyglobal.com) to review open cases and see if any action is required. Envoy Customer Experience can also assist you with any questions you may have. Some common actions needed may include: