On June 26, 2017, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) introduced a redesigned version of Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This form is used in the final stage of the permanent residence, or “green card,” process for most applicants physically present in the United States.
There is a 60-day grace period during which USCIS will accept either the new version or the older version of the form, which bears an edition date of 01/17/17. Beginning August 25, 2017, however, only the new form, bearing an edition date of 06/26/2017, will be accepted.
In addition to revising Form I-485, USCIS has also revised the Supplement A and Supplement J forms to Form I-485. Supplement A is submitted when filing under the provisions of Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which allows some otherwise-ineligible individuals to apply for Adjustment of Status in the US. Supplement J was introduced in January 2017 and serves to verify the qualifying offer of employment, either in the context of permanent portability (e.g., when changing jobs at least six months after filing Form I-485) or when filing Form I-485 separately from the related Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.
The new forms are intended to provide clearer navigation and reduced complexity for applicants as well as increased efficiency in adjudications by reducing errors and requests for evidence. According to USCIS’s announcement, the new Form I-485 includes the following improvements:
- Improves the flow and organization of questions to make the form user-friendly for both the applicants and USCIS. In addition, readability has significantly improved due to new spacing, columns, flow, white space, and formatting;
- Incorporates biographic information questions previously requested on the supplemental Form G-325A, so applicants will no longer need to file a separate G-325A form;
- Lists 27 immigrant categories, which allows applicants to identify the specific immigrant category under which they are applying; and
- Includes a comprehensive, updated list of admissibility-related questions, with questions added to ensure USCIS officers have the necessary information to better assess the applicant’s admissibility and eligibility.
The new Form I-485 is considerably longer than the prior version, largely because of the inclusion of biographic information questions previously submitted separately on Form G-325A.
Although the Form I-485, Supplement A and Supplement J, as well as the related instructions have been updated, the filing process remains unchanged with applicants submitting paper applications to USCIS as detailed in the instructions.