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Am I Qualified for a U.S. Family Green Card?

The qualification process for a U.S. Family Green Card can be a bit tricky. We have made it simple and easy to understand in our Qualification Quiz! See if you are qualified for our services.

Full Assembly Package
+ Attorney Review



This package allows you to read and answer the questions, then provides the full packet as required by the government available for Print and Mail. Also provides the required cover letter. Also Includes an Attorney Review. PLUS: You have a dedicated guide that is directly working on your case. All documents will be received directly in the system for Review and Stacking. Your application will be assembled completely by the system, reviewed by your guide and an Attorney. (Government fees are not included in price)

What is an Adjustment of Status (Green Card)?

Adjustment of Status is the application procedure by which someone in the United States goes from having one immigration status, such as a temporary visa holder—or in some cases no immigration status at all—to having the status of permanent or conditional resident (green card holder), all without leaving the United States.

Contrast this with the procedure for people who either live outside the USA. These people must generally use a procedure called consular processing (CP).

The adjustment of status procedure includes not only submission of various forms and documents, but an interview at an office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Who is Eligible for Adjustment of Status?

Can I Adjust My Status if I am Married to a U.S. Citizen?

It depends. Every immigrant who marries a U.S. citizen becomes an “immediate relative,” in immigration law terms, and theoretically eligible for a green card. But that doesn’t mean they’re eligible to get that green card by adjusting status, even if they’re in the United States.

As it happens, people who both entered the United States legally (on a valid visa, which they weren’t misusing for the purpose of getting a green card) and are married to a U.S. citizen are in most cases eligible to adjust status. It doesn’t matter if they overstayed the time permitted on their visa or entry document.

People who entered illegally and married a U.S. citizen, however, are (subject to some narrow exceptions) not eligible to adjust status. They can still use consular processing, but will likely need a waiver of their unlawful presence in order to return to the United States.

What Documents do I need to File for Adjustment of Status?

The main form you must complete is Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

No matter what basis you’re applying on, you must include a copy of your birth certificate (translated word-for-word, if it’s not in English). 

If you haven’t already received petition approval, and you’re eligible to file your petition and adjustment applications concurrently, you’ll submit either Form I-130 (and supporting documents) if your green card is family based, or some other petition as appropriate (such as the I-360 for special immigrants). If you’ve already received approvals of these (or of another petition, such as an I-129F fiancé visa petition), simply submit copies of the approval notice.

Assuming you entered the U.S. legally and are adjusting status on that basis, include a copy of your Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record.

You must also pay a filing fee and a biometrics (fingerprinting) fee, and submit two photographs (passport style).

Unless you’re a refugee, asylee, or on a K-1 fiancé visa, you’ll also need to submit the results of a medical examination done on Form I-693 by a doctor on USCIS’s official list. People who entered on K-1 fiancé visas or as refugees don’t need to repeat the medical exam that they had done earlier, but must now comply with vaccination requirements.

It’s a good idea to also submit Form I-765, application for employment authorization, allowing you to work in the United States. And if you think you might travel before your application is decided upon, be sure to submit Form I-131, Application for Travel Document.

Family-based immigrants must submit an Affidavit of Support, signed by the petitioner, on Form I-864, to help show that they’re not inadmissible as a likely “public charge.”

After you submit your packet, USCIS will review it for completeness. If something is missing, USCIS will return the whole thing to you for refiling (send you an “RFE” or Request for Evidence).

You will be asked to visit a local USCIS office within a certain time period to submit your biometric information. Later, you may be sent an appointment for an interview.

What Can I Expect at the Adjustment Interview?

Several months after submitting your packet, USCIS will call you, and possibly your petitioner (the U.S. citizen or resident who submitted your petition), for an interview. If you cannot attend the interview on the appointed date, contact USCIS and request rescheduling. If you don’t request such a rescheduling and simply fail to show up at the interview, your application will be denied and you may be removed from the United States.

Bring a photo identification, such as a passport or driver’s license, to the interview. You will also have to pass through a security check to get into the federal building. And you will need to follow the latest protocols, such as bringing and wearing a mask that’s compliant with U.S. government requirements.

During the interview, the USCIS officer will review your application and ask you questions to determine your eligibility and your petitioner’s financial capacity to support you (in a family case).

If applying based on marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you’ll need to bring proof that you are really married and living together. Expect extra questions about your marriage, too. 

Does the Government Charge a Filing Fee?


The current filing fees are:

$535 for I-130 Family Petition

$1,225 for the Adjustment of Status Packet

Aside from these fees, you will also need to schedule a Medical Exam with a Civil Surgeon in your area . Approximately $1,000 – $1,300

How long does the Adjustment process take?

As all lawyers would say, it depends. There are many factors that determine the wait time for your application. Some of these factors could include things such as how quickly you turn your application and documentation in or how complete the file is when you apply. Where you live and how quickly you respond to government requests will also determine wait time. This process can take anywhere from 6 months to 18 months or longer.

What is Consular Processing?

Consular Processing is the process by which a person can apply for a green card from outside the USA. This is a similar process to Adjustment of Status with the paperwork that needs to be filed, but the agency to which you need to submit the second part of the paperwork is different. 

This process also requires the submission of various forms and documentation and an interview with the Department of State. The petition will need to be submitted first and approved, then you will receive an email from the National Visa Center that provides your fee bills. Once these are paid, then you can continue through the process. 

Who is eligible for Consular Processing?

A much larger group of people can use this procedure to get a green card. Basically anyone who is eligible to get a Green Card, but not eligible for Adjustment of Status will be required to apply through the Consular Process. Here are some of the requirements for being eligible to use the Consular Process procedure:

What documentation is required for Consular Processing?

The main form you must complete is Form DS260, Immigrant Visa Electronic Application.

No matter what basis you’re applying on, you must include a copy of your birth certificate (translated word-for-word, if it’s not in English). Also, your marriage certificate translated, if applicable. Your Petitioner’s birth certificate (also translated into English). 

Aside from these biographic documents, you must also submit various other forms and documents. Some of these forms are the Affidavit of Support form I-864 and co-sponsor affidavit of support forms, if necessary. As part of this form packet, you will also be required to provide proof of status in the US, proof of income, and 3 years of taxes for your sponsor/co-sponsor. 

This process is different from an adjustment of status in that it is filed electronically, most of the time, in the government system called CEAC. You will not even be able to begin this process until you have received your Fee Bills from the National Visa Center.