What is I-485 / Adjustment of Status?


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A group of professionals with years of experience helping people immigrate to the US

Note: This article is for informational purposes only. We are not providing legal advice or selling securities. The articles and content on this site are of a general informational nature only and should not be relied upon for individual circumstances.

Filing a Form I-485 is one of the most important steps for investors undergoing the EB-5 visa process. Also known as an ‘Application to Register Permanent Residence’ or Adjusted Status, an I-485 is required to provide EB-5 investors with temporary visas and transition them to the status of lawful permanent residents.

The Form I-485 gives immigrants their so-called ‘green card’, allowing them to freely work, live, and travel throughout the United States.

UCIS refers to the Form I-485 application as an ‘Adjustment of Status’. We’re exploring its entails, the application timeline, and the next steps to obtaining U.S. citizenship in depth.

What is an Adjustment of Status?

After your Form I-130 is processed, the next step of the EB-5 visa process is to submit a Form I-485. Concurrent filing means that the I-130 and I-485 forms can be filed at the same time for EB-5 visa applicants currently residing in the United States to help speed up the process.

The filing fee for a Form I-485 application is currently $1440. The adjustment of status means that your immigration status transitions to that of lawful permanent residence, giving you a range of benefits comparable to that of U.S. citizens.

What Does Adjustment of Status Mean for EB-5 Immigration?

The purpose of Form I-485 is to change the immigration status of EB-5 investors and their relatives to that of lawful permanent residents. This process is typically referred to as an application for ‘adjustment of status’. EB-5 investors do not need to return to their home country to file a form I-485 application. All applicants must have a U.S. address to include as part of their application.

The adjustment of status means that EB-5 investors can live, work, and travel freely throughout the United States. One of the benefits of the EB-5 investor program is that an applicant’s spouse and any unmarried children under 21 years old can also obtain permanent residency in the United States through the program. Each member of the family must submit a Form I-1485 to become a conditional permanent resident.

Filing a Form I-485 Application

You can use the USCIS’s ‘Visa Bulletin’ to show if an EB-5 visa is currently available. If there are more immigrant visas available for a fiscal year than known applicants, you can use the ‘Dates for Filing’ chart. Otherwise, the USCIS website will indicate that you should use the ‘Final Action Dates’ to determine when you should file your I-485 application.

The EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 means that investors no longer must wait for their I-526 or I-526E applications to be approved before filing their I-485. Filing an I-526/I-526E and I-485 application concurrently can speed up the immigration process. You can file your I-485 after USCIS confirms that they have received your I-526/I-526E.

The benefit of concurrent filing is that EB-5 investors can access lawful permanent resident status and its perks while waiting on their I-526/I-526E approval. It’s not uncommon for travel permits and employment authorization documents to be made available within just days of having your I-485 approved.

Concurrent filing is only an option for EB-5 investors who already reside in the United States and were born in a country not subject to visa retrogression.

Timeline for Adjustment of Status and Form I-485

Processing times for Form I-485 applications vary depending on how the USCIS field office processes your application. The timeline from filing a Form I-485 to obtaining your green card and lawful permanent residency can range from a few months to several years. You can check the processing times for your chosen USCIS Service Center here.

USCIS typically takes six to twelve months to process a form I-485. Taking advantage of concurrent filing can drastically reduce the time it takes to obtain your EB-5 investor visa and eventual U.S. citizenship. Most EB-5 visa applicants have their I-485 form processed within 6 to 8 months.

What Happens After Adjustment of Status?

Obtaining an adjustment of status, or a green card, is one of the most important steps of the EB-5 investor visa process. After USCIS concludes that an applicant has met the I-485 requirements, they’ll provide an immigrant visa. You should expect to receive a Permanent Resident Card – commonly known as a ‘Green Card’ – within a few weeks after your I-485 approval.

Adjustment of status provides immigrants with conditional permanent resident status for up to two years. These two years cannot be extended or renewed. Towards the end of this period, EB-5 investors must file an I-829 petition to remove the conditions of their residency and become lawful permanent residents. This step should be taken within the final 90 days of the two-year conditional permanent resident period. Obtaining your I-829 is the final hurdle of the EB-5 visa process.

It’s worth noting that during your conditional permanent resident period, it’s recommended that you do not leave the United States for any period that extends beyond six months. Leaving the United States for a prolonged period may result in the USCIS questioning the intent and purpose of your EB-5 visa application.

Unconditional permanent residency is obtained by filing an I-829 petition, which includes evidence that the immigrant’s investment has met the requirements of the EB-5 program. Upon approval of the I-829 application, the investor and their immediate family gain lawful permanent resident status in the United States with all conditions of their residency removed.

Consider Applying for U.S. Citizenship

Adjustment of status and the I-485 form is one of the major steps toward obtaining U.S. citizenship through the EB-5 investor program. After you have held a green card for five years, you may apply for U.S. citizenship. This five-year timeline also includes the two years you will have spent as a conditional permanent resident.

EB-5 Insider helps simplify your path to U.S. residency. The EB-5 visa is the fastest route for foreigners seeking U.S. citizenship through investment. You can obtain a permanent U.S. green card for yourself, your spouse, and any unmarried children under 21 years of age for an investment of $800,000. The EB-5 visa program allows you to work, live, and start a business anywhere in the United States.

Start the process of applying for an EB-5 visa today, or contact our team for more information.

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