Applying for a green card (permanent residence) from within the United States, by filling out Form I-485 is a process called 'adjustment of status.' In a perfect scenario, your application will be accepted, you will receive a biometrics appointment to submit fingerprints, and shortly after, you will have an interview where your green card (granting permanent residence) is approved on the spot! Unfortunately, things don’t always go this way.
A green card may be denied for various reasons. Some examples are drug abuse, failure to get vaccinations, criminal background, lack of immigration status due to illegal entry, or missing appointments with USCIS. If you make mistakes while filling out your I-485 form, USCIS is unlikely to issue a denial without giving you an opportunity to make corrections. However, mistakes will undoubtedly make the process longer and more difficult than it needs to be.
Here’s a plan for filling out the application.
- Make sure you qualify at the time of filing. The USCIS website has resources regarding all the steps applicable to your situation whether your sponsorship is by marriage, employment etc
- Read the Form I-485 instructions before filling out your application. Pay attention to details like what color ink is allowed or the placing of the picture you must submit. Also, make a note of any questions you need to find the answer to, such ask questions about your parents. Get the answers before filling out the application.
- Make a list of the supporting documents you will submit. Try to gather them first as this step may take some time.
- Fill out the application with the instructions at hand. If you are confused by a question after reading the instructions, call USCIS or a lawyer. Sign the application only after all the answers are complete.
- Make a complete copy of your application and supporting documents for your own records.
- Ensure that you are sending it to the correct processing center by using the table provided by USCIS. Also ensure all the contents are inside before sealing the envelope.
Sometimes, even after taking great care to submit a complete and correct application, people make mistakes. If USCIS requests additional information or documents. Be sure to respond promptly. However, if your application is denied. Your best bet is to hire a lawyer. Call 813-815-0291 to talk to a professional to help you through the process.