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-   -   Questions and Answers on How to file Adjustment Of Status (https://immigrationvoice.org/forum/forum16-iv-agenda-and-legislative-updates/3096229-questions-and-answers-on-how-to-file-adjustment-of-status.html)

The Alchemist 04-19-2015 09:30 PM

Questions and Answers on How to file Adjustment Of Status
 
As we have shared throughout last year in newsletters sent on Jul 15, Nov 19 and again on Nov 20, Immigration Voice has been advocating for specific administrative fixes while we all wait for Congress to pass a Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill.

On November 21, 2014 President Obama announced Executive Action on Immigration which included several of the fixes that we have been advocating for many years. These fixes will alleviate the problems faced by skilled immigrants and their families waiting in green card backlogs enabling them to live free and not be bound to the same employer. We believe that these fixes will not only curb exploitation of immigrants but will also prevent discrimination against U.S. workers in the marketplace. Such fixes will promote innovation and competitiveness by unleashing the full potential of immigrants for the benefit of all society, rather than forfeiting much of the potential economic gain for society so that handful of specific or selected existing employers can harness some lesser percentage of the benefit for themselves.

While things are being worked upon, we want to ensure that you are equipped to take benefit of these fixes on a short notice. We think it is in your best interest to make this a priority and be prepared if/when an opportunity is presented. We have put together a summary document that will help to get ready for one of the most important fixes - filing of Adjustment of Status (I-485).
  1. Please review this summary document thoroughly
  2. Consider getting all the supporting documents ready to avoid any delays
  3. Please note that this summary document is only for your reference and should not be treated as legal advice. Contact your attorney for further questions

Additionally, due to the persistent efforts of our members to advocate their Representatives in the U.S. Congress, we are delighted to share that the list of co-sponsors for the bill H.R. 213 has grown. While administrative fixes are welcome, the long term relief to eliminate the green card backlog requires a coordinated effort from all of us invested in resolving this issue. We strongly believe that H.R. 213 is the only immigration bill that has the potential to pass in 114th Congress. We therefore request you to:
  1. Visit congress.gov or perhaps make this link the home page on your internet browsers. It will help you stay up to date on any action around this common-sense bill.
  2. Please review this guidebook on how to meet your lawmakers
  3. Using the above guide, contact the local office of your Representative in the U.S. Congress to arrange one on one meeting to seek co-sponsorship and support for H.R. 213

Thank You

The Alchemist 04-19-2015 09:31 PM

General Instructions for Filing AOS
 
--------------------------------------------
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:
--------------------------------------------
By reviewing or reading the following document, you agree that you have read and understand the following disclaimer:
The information provided in this document is of a general nature and may not apply to any particular set of facts or to all circumstances. It should NOT be construed as legal advice. You should not rely solely upon information provided in this document. You should consult an attorney of your choosing to obtain advice for your particular situation. Laws and regulations are constantly changing. The information provided was pertinent at the time of publication, but may become outdated. We are not responsible in any way for any outdated materials.

IN NO EVENT SHALL IMMIGRATION VOICE BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, PUNITIVE, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF OR IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH THE USE OF THIS DOCUMENT OR ANY INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT, OR ANY OTHER WEBSITE WHERE THIS MAY BE POSTED, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SUCH DAMAGES ARISE OUT OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE.

Filing Adjustment Of Status (AOS)

Filing AOS is an exhaustive process. Preparation is the key to success. Therefore, it is wise to invest your time to prepare all the documents for yourself and each of your family member filing AOS.
  1. General Instructions:
    • You are eligible to file for AOS if your priority date is current and you have an approved I-140 or you are planning on filing I-140 & I-485 concurrently
    • A separate AOS (I-485) form must be completed for EACH applicant
    • A separate I-765 (Work Authorization Card i.e. EAD) and I-131 (Advance Parole) could be applied for each applicant when filing AOS
  2. Forms typically required:
    All forms are available on the USCIS website. Please note that any applicant over 14 years of age must sign his/ her own forms. Please carefully read the instructions provided with each of the forms on USCIS website. In most cases, following forms are filed:
    • I-485: Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
    • G-325A: Biographic Information
    • I-765: Application for Employment Authorization (EAD)
    • I-131: Application for Travel Document (AP)
    • I-693: Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record
    • I-864: Affidavit of Support, required if filing for dependents
  3. Filing Fees:
    Link to Current Fees on USCIS
    • USCIS accepts personal checks, but NO credit cards
    • All checks to be made payable to “Department of Homeland Security
    • A separate check must be submitted for each applicant.
  4. Copy of Form I-94 (Arrival/ Departure Record):
    Provide a copy of most recent Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) of each applicant. This used to be a little rectangular white card usually stapled to your passport. DHS has since switched to electronic I-94, which can be obtained from https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/. If you still have a paper I-94, please give only a COPY to the USCIS when submitting AOS application. When inside the U.S., ALWAYS retain the original I-94 with you.
  5. Proof of Continuous Lawful Presence in the US:
    Provide a copy of evidence that each applicant has not overstayed during the entire period of any U.S. stay, including copies of:
    • Approval notices (I-797) indicating approval of H-1/H-4/J-1/other visa status
    • Form I-20 (if applicants were ever in F-1/F-2 status)
    • Employment Authorization Document (EAD) if applicant ever received one, etc.
  6. Passport Pages:
    Legible COLOR COPY of every page (including blank pages) of each applicant’s entire passport and including front and back covers must be provided. Passport must be current and not expired. If passport is close to expiring, you may want to renew keeping in mind that the renewal process must take some time. Additionally, you may also need legible color copies of all pages of all expired/ old passports ever issued in any applicant’s name.
  7. Birth Certificate:
    Copies of Birth Certificate (showing the applicant's full name along with the full names of both parents) issued by civic authorities like municipality or magistrate (Example: List of Municipal Corporations in India) for each applicant are required.
    • If Birth Certificates are not available, Certificate of Non-Availability and two Affidavits of Birth for each applicant MUST be provided. A Certificate of Non- Availability is a statement from the municipality/magistrate of your birth city indicating that a birth certificate is not available. In addition to the Certificate of Non-Availability you need to provide two (2) Affidavits of Birth. The two affidavits may be provided by someone older than you, preferably parents, aunt, uncle, grandparents, etc., who have known you since your birth and can vouch for your date of birth. See SAMPLE.
    • If the Birth Certificate is not in English, the applicant must submit a certified (no need for notarization) translation of the document by a translator that is not linked to the AOS application. Tip: The translator can also be someone known to you who is fluent in both languages. Refer to USCIS for a suggested certification format. See SAMPLE
    • If your Birth Certificate is incorrect or does not match your passport, a self-notarized affidavit with the correct information is required from any of the parents (preferably mother) or another older relative such as grandparents, etc.
      An Affidavit is a statement under oath and need NOT be notarized provided the Affidavit contains the following signed self-attestation clause:
      • "I hereby declare under penalty of perjury pursuant to the laws of the United States of America (28 U.S.C. 1746) that the foregoing is true and correct."
  8. Marital Status:
    A copy of ALL the appropriate family relationship evidence for each applicant (most importantly marriage certificate issued by the registrar of marriages where the marriage took place) should be provided. Include evidence of the appropriate family relationship (including copies of marriage certificates, divorce decrees, death certificates) if any applicant was previously married.
    PLEASE NOTE: you must provide a complete set for each applicant of the appropriate family evidence to be included with the application of each family member. Please give only a COPY for the USCIS, keep the originals with yourself.
    A Marriage certificate should be in English. If your Marriage Certificate is in a different language, please submit a certified translation of the document by a translator that is not linked to the AOS application.
  9. Evidence of CURRENT Financial Support:
    Minimum evidence to be provided may include:
    • Job Letter on Company Letterhead showing intent to hire. See SAMPLE
    • Pay statements for two months immediately preceding filing of AOS of the primary applicant
    • Current and previous year's W-2 or 1099 forms of the primary applicant
    • If you are married and also filing for derivatives, an Affidavit of Support (USCIS Form I-864) must be provided by the primary applicant. Follow the USCIS instructions
  10. Photographs:
    For detailed photograph requirements, refer page 3 of USCIS I-485 Instructions document
  11. Medical Examination Related to Form I-693: Review the next post for details on Medical Examinations

The Alchemist 04-19-2015 09:31 PM

General Instructions for Filing AOS - contd.
 
Continued from previous post
11. Medical Examination Related to Form I-693:
Please go to USCIS website for detailed instructions for I-693. Medical examination is conducted via the USCIS approved physician who provides the medical report along with Form I-693 in a sealed envelope for each applicant. List of approved civil surgeons in your area can be found at https://my.uscis.gov/findadoctor. Always call multiple clinics/Civil Surgeon offices and inquire about the associated fees ahead of time as the charges can significantly vary from Civil Surgeon to Civil Surgeon.

Tip: Almost everyone received immunizations during their childhood and should have a record that can be presented to the Civil Surgeon to potentially avoid repetitions of vaccinations and delay in the receipt of the completed report (not to mention incurring additional expense). This is especially true of the MMR (Measles Mumps and Rubella) vaccine which requires both an initial shot and a booster over a period of time to become effective. If you don’t have the immunizations record, you can ask your primary physician in your country of birth to provide a certified letter showing that the following immunizations were received as per the following schedule:
  • OPV: at birth, at 6 weeks, at 10 weeks, at 15 weeks
  • DTP: at 6 weeks, at 10 weeks, at 15 weeks
  • Tdap: at 8 weeks
  • MMR: at 9 months, at 15 months
  • Varicella: ask your parents if you had Chicken Pox as a child
You could take this certified letter to your local (U.S.) family physician and have him/her transfer this information on to your U.S. medical record files. Ask for a copy of the updated immunization schedule record from your family physician and provide it to the Civil Surgeon along with the certified letter. Additionally, a titer can also be conducted by your local (U.S.) family physician. A titer is a simple blood test that checks your immune status to the diseases or of vaccinations you may have received in the past. The results of this test can be used as additional proof of immunity, along with other documents and may be helpful in convincing the Civil Surgeon.

Please note that not all Civil Surgeons are willing to accept this proof and may still require you to take the vaccinations. Getting vaccinated at your local (U.S.) family physician is generally the cheapest option as it may be covered by your insurance.

Update: The vaccination schedule has changed over the years - in the 70s the vaccines mandated to be given at the time of birth and later were less in number compared to 80s/90s or nowadays. If you do some research you will find the history of vaccinations mandated in your country at the time of your birth. In most cases only the ones listed in this post will be required and others might be deemed "not medically appropriate" by the Civil Surgeon. You may ask your local PCP for advice before visiting the Civil Surgeon.

The final determination on immunizations is made by the Civil Surgeon based on multiple factors like your current health, date & country of birth.

If the Civil Surgeon determines that certain additional vaccinations are needed, you may get them either at the Civil Surgeon's clinic or wherever it might be cheaper. More details on vaccinations are available on page 7 on the instructions for I-693



The Alchemist 04-19-2015 09:32 PM

Sample Documents - Affidavit of Birth
 
Below is a sample template for Affidavit of Birth referenced in the summary document that might come handy while preparing the supporting documents needed for filing of Adjustment of Status.
__________________________________________________ ____________________
Quote:

AFFIDAVIT OF BIRTH

I, Full Name of person signing this Affidavit, do hereby solemnly state and affirm as follows:
  1. I am over twenty-one (21) years of age and otherwise competent to execute the instant affidavit.
  2. I was born on MMM DD, YYYY, at Name of City, Name of Country.
  3. I have known Your Full Name since the day she/he was born, because I am her/his provide relationship/father/mother
  4. I personally know that Your Full Name was born on MMM DD, YYYY, at Name of City, Name of Country because I was present at the time of birth / delivered her/him.
    • The full names of Your First Names parents are:
      Father : Provide Full Name
      Mother : Provide Full Name
    • My current address is:
      Provide Mailing Address
      Of person signing
      This Affidavit

Date: MMM DD, YYYY
_______Signature_____
Full Name of person signing this Affidavit

I hereby declare under penalty of perjury pursuant to the laws of the United States of America (28 U.S.C. 1746) that the foregoing is true and correct.

Executed on MMM DD, YYYY at Name of City, Name of Country.

_______Signature_____
Full Name of person signing this Affidavit


The Alchemist 04-19-2015 10:14 PM

Sample Documents - Translator Certificate
 
Below is a sample template for Translator Certificate referenced in the summary document that might come handy while preparing the supporting documents needed for filing of Adjustment of Status.
__________________________________________________ ______________
Quote:

Please submit certified translations for all foreign language documents. The translator must certify that s/he is competent to translate and that the translation is accurate.

The certification format should include the certifier's name, signature, address, and date of certification. A suggested format is:

Certification by Translator

I [typed name], certify that I am fluent (conversant) in the English and ________ languages, and that the above/attached document is an accurate translation of the document attached entitled ______________________________.

Signature_________________________________
Date Typed Name
Address


The Alchemist 04-19-2015 10:14 PM

Sample Documents - Employment Letter
 
Below is a sample template for Employment Letter referenced in the summary document that might come handy while preparing the supporting documents needed for filing of Adjustment of Status.
__________________________________________________ _____________

To be printed on Company Letterhead

Quote:

Date: MM/DD/YYYY


U.S. Department of Homeland Security
USCIS

Re: Permanent Residence of First Name LAST NAME

Dear Sir or Madam:

This letter is to confirm that, Your Full Name will be employed with us on full time, permanent basis upon receiving approval of his/her permanent residence application. He/She will receive an annual salary of no less than XX,XXX /Year. His/Her job title will be Your Job Title and he/she will be performing the following duties:

Provide the exact same job description used in the PERM/labor certification process.


This letter serves as an expression of intent and is not intended to abrogate the at-will nature of employment and is not to be construed as a binding contract.

Please feel free to contact us if your office should require any further information.

Sincerely,

Company Name


By_________________________
Name of Authorized Signatory
Title of the person
Phone # office
Fax #
Email Address


The Alchemist 04-19-2015 10:15 PM

Medical Exam - Tips
 
Please see instructions for form I-693 - Instructions for I-693. And please schedule appointment with USCIS approved civil surgeons only after your date is current and ready to file AOS.

The Alchemist 04-20-2015 07:29 AM

Rules for this thread
 
Please post all questions and clarification requests about How to file Adjustment Of Status on this thread.

For the purpose of relevance of this thread and discussion, couple of reminders:
  1. This thread is only for clarifications and questions on How to file Adjustment Of Status
  2. We will do our best to provide answers and clarifications, however before posting a question, please read this thread and search if the questions is already posted and answered.
Hope this thread will help everyone get ready for filing of Adjustment of Status (I-485).
Thank You!

anandgupta 04-20-2015 08:28 AM

Is this going to be applicable for job-changer too?
 
Hi,

I have changed my job after getting an approved I-140. My new employer has filed an labor certification and that process is still in progress.

Would I be able to my file my AOS from new employer using old I-140 (approved) when this becomes available?

Thanks,
Anand

Administrator2 04-20-2015 08:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by anandgupta (Post 3586217)
Hi,

I have changed my job after getting an approved I-140. My new employer has filed an labor certification and that process is still in progress.

Would I be able to my file my AOS from new employer using old I-140 (approved) when this becomes available?

Thanks,
Anand

Under the current system, you cannot use approved I-140 from previous employer to file AOS. But you could file AOS from your old employer. All you need from your old employer is the letter from employer (please look for the letter format above).

sandycec 04-20-2015 09:28 AM

New member here so I apologize if this information has already been discussed before. Being a south indian, I am one of those with no fixed last names. So mine and wife's birth certificates have our first name and the initials. Our marriage certificate does have our full names listed, and of course, our passports etc. Would this be any potential issue and how we can prepare ourselves with any supporting documents etc. Thanks!

anandgupta 04-20-2015 09:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Administrator2 (Post 3586218)
Under the current system, you cannot use approved I-140 from previous employer to file AOS. But you could file AOS from your old employer. All you need from your old employer is the letter from employer (please look for the letter format above).

Thanks for the quick reply.

It would be nice if in the new proposed system, we eliminate this clause as we are trying to make the system more effective. People should be allowed to file for AOS based on approved I-140 only in the new system.

Administrator2 04-20-2015 09:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by anandgupta (Post 3586222)
Thanks for the quick reply.

It would be nice if in the new proposed system, we eliminate this clause as we are trying to make the system more effective. People should be allowed to file for AOS based on approved I-140 only in the new system.

The system after the Admin fixes will allow EAD after I-140 and will allow filing Adjustment of Status when the priority date is not current on VB. So one would be able to change job after I-140 and employer's withdrawal of I-140 will not mean much. And one will be able to file AOS from different employer.

But for now, the current system requires filing AOS with the same employer. We suggest you prepare your situation based on this fact.

gap123 04-20-2015 09:51 AM

AOS for my spouse
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by The Alchemist (Post 3586215)
Please post all questions and clarification requests about How to file Adjustment Of Status on this thread.

For the purpose of relevance of this thread and discussion, couple of reminders:
  1. This thread is only for clarifications and questions on How to file Adjustment Of Status
  2. We will do our best to provide answers and clarifications, however before posting a question, please read this thread and search if the questions is already posted and answered.
Hope this thread will help everyone get ready for filing of Adjustment of Status (I-485).
Thank You!

Thank you IV for all the efforts and the detailed checklist for filing AOS. You the only hope for all the high skilled immigrants.
I have a question regarding filing of AOS for my spouse. My current status is I-140 approved in EB2 category (PD July 2011). My spouse’s current status is AOS using EAD, filed in EB3 category (PD June 2007). Since she has a pending I-485 and has EAD can I file AOS again along with my application? The reason I want to re-file instead of keeping her current AOS and EAD is that, if my spouse can get an EAD through me it will give her more flexibility to change to a job that is not ‘same or similar’ as mentioned in her Labor. Please advise.

shyamsk 04-20-2015 10:45 AM

Does this process to be followed for the spouse and family as well? I'm employed and my spouse and children is on H4 (birth certificate & medical examination). Also, recently there are I94 forms when entered the country at airports.


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