Thursday, April 25, 2013

I-485 Application: Documents, Filing, FP, RFE, EAD, AP, Tracking, etc

For complete steps for NVC/Consular Processing, please click here:

Since a lot of our readers are going to file I-485 applications in the coming months, we decided to write an article on how to file I-485 application and also explain process AFTER filing I-485 applications. It applies to both EB and FB category applicants.

Did you know: In EB category, only employers can file PERM and I-140 application. However I-485 application can be filed either by YOU or your employer.

If your case is simple, we recommend filing the I-485 application yourself. You can save anywhere from $1000 to $5000 or more in lawyers fees. If your case is not straight forward, then it is highly recommended to use a lawyer to review your case and help you file the I-485 applications.

Important Note: If you are outside US, do not file I-485 application. You would have to go for consular processing. Please see complete steps for consular processing.

Please see below documents for filing I-485 application(s):

Documents Needed: Always send a photocopy of documents mentioned below, unless specifically mentioned that originals should be sent

1. I-485 form (new edition coming soon). Remember to always use black ink, fill all section (use N/A if applicable). Remember to date and sign the form.
2.  Form I-485A - ONLY if you are applying under status 245(i). See Filing Instructions. Fees is additional $1000
3. Filing Fees (see section below)
4. Form G-325A - Biographic Information Sheet only for applicants between 14 and 79 years of age
5. Evidence of eligibility:
   a. EB category: I-140 Approval notice (or I-140 pending notice if PD is current)
   b. FB category: I-130 Approval notice (or I-130 pending notice if PD is current)
   c. K1 Fiance: Fiance petition approval notice + marriage certificate + Form I -94
   d. Asylum: Copy Of letter or Form I-94 that shows date asylum granted.
6. Criminal History (if applicable): Please see page 3 of I-485 instruction document.
7. Copy of birth certificate
8. Copy of passport page with non immigrant visa(s)
9. Two identical recent passport color photos
10. Form I-693 Medical Examination (signed and sealed by USCIS designated physician)
11. Affidavit of Support OR Employment Letter
      a. EB Category: Employment Letter - Submit letter on letterhead of petitioning employer confirming job availability and the salary to be paid.
      b. FB Category: Affidavit of Support: Submit Form I-864
12. Form G-28 - ONLY if an attorney is representing your case.
13. Form I-765 - EAD Card for working - This is optional but highly recommended
14. Form I-131 - Advance Parole (AP) Card for traveling - This is optional but highly recommended
15. Form I-134 - Affidavit of Support, if you file as a derivative, (this applies when husband, wife and children are filing application at same time). If spouse or child reside outside US, primary applicant should file form I-824.
16. Form G-1145 - To receive text message or email notification. This form is optional
 17. Latest I-94 card (copies of both sides), if applicable.
18. Marriage certificate (if applicable)
19. All I-797 forms - Notice Of Action received/approval of I-130/I-140 applications - optional

If you are filing form I-765 and I-131, then total photos would be six (instead of just two for I-485).

Optional documents (recommended by some law firms) photocopies only:

1. Tax returns for the previous two years
2. W-2 forms for the previous two years
3. Two recent pay stubs
4. Degree certificates
5. All previous EAD's including student practical training
6. All I-20 forms
7. All pages of passport

Filing Fees (per person) for I-485 Form:
    a. Age: 14 to 79 years: $985 + $85 (biometric fees) = $1070
    b. Age: Below 14 years: $635 (only when submitted with parents application, else $985)
    c. Age: 79 years or more: $985 only
    d. No fees if filing under the Refugee status.

How to Pay: Either with Check or Money Order. You can submit just one (or more) Checks/Money Order. Make the check or money order payable to "U.S. Department of Homeland Security". Type this in FULL.

Note 1: USCIS is planning to change the I-485 form soon (though it would continue to accept current form for a while).
Note 2: Always send legible photocopies for all supporting documents - unless specifically stated that original documents are required.
Note 3: Any document containing foreign language shall be accompanied by a full English language translation which the translator has certified as complete and accurate. The translator must also certify he or she is competent to translate from the foreign language into English
Note 4: Some forms may have it own (separate) filing fees.Some forms may require additional documents (e.g. EAD/AP form - each require 2 photos). Always be truthful when filing out all forms.
Note 5: Always remember to (a) use black ink when filling the form(s) (b) type or PRINT words (c) sign and date all the forms.
Note 6: Remember to check all forms for any errors
Note 7: Remember to create similar application for spouse/children (photos, EAD/AP, birth certificate, etc). Put each application in separate envelope and then put all these envelopes into one big envelope for mailing.

Important Note: Always see the LATEST I-485 filing instruction document to see what the current requirements are for filing I-485 application. The list mentioned above can change anytime.

Q. What if applicant received an RFE after filing I-485?
A. RFE stands for Request For Evidence. It means either (a) you did not submit a document needed by USCIS or (b) the document you submit is old/outdated. Once you get the RFE notice details, just send the correct documents to USCIS to process them. RFE typically have a time limit - so make sure you respond quickly.

Q. How long does USCIS take to process RFE?
A. USCIS typically takes 7-10 days days to process RFE  response after they received it.

Q. Where should I-485 application be sent/mailed to?
A. The location to send I-485 application depends on the type and eligibility of I-485 application. It also depends on which state you live and whether you are using regular mail or express mail to send application to USCIS. Please see page 5 to 8 of the I-485 filing instruction document for complete details.

Also see this:

Q. When should I-485 application be mailed?
A. If your PD becomes current in July 2013 visa bulletin, then make sure that your application does not reach USCIS before July 1, 2013. If USCIS receives it before that date, they may reject it and return it back to you (which could take 30-45 days). Make sure you or your lawyer (or their new assistant) does not send the application before the PD becomes current. In rare cases, they have accepted applications before the PD is current.

Tip: If your PD is current in July VB, you can send it anytime between July 1 and July 31. If your PD is still current in Aug and Sept VB, you can send it anytime between July 1 and Sept 30. All this means is that you can send I-485 as long as PD is current. You do not have to rush to send it on the very first day (or month) when the PD becomes current.

Q. How long does I-485 processing take?
A. Currently the average I-485 processing time is 4 months in NSC and 8 months in TSC. So each individual case could take the same, shorter or longer than that. See current USCIS processing time.

Q. How does USCIS process I-485 application?
A. USCIS goes by receipt date of I-485 application to process it. They do not go by PD. This does not mean that applicant A whose receipt date is earlier than applicant B will be approved earlier. There are many checks made by USCIS, FBI, etc which could take longer for some applicants. Each application could have different processing time.

Also if I-485 application is preadjudicated then USCIS will allot visas based on PD (and not I-485 receipt date).

Tip: Preadjudication means that USCIS have finished processing the I-485 application and is waiting for visa numbers (date to move forward in visa bulletin so that visa number is available). Preadjudicated cases appear in monthly demand data. Learn more.

Q. Can I be notified when USCIS takes any action on I-485 case?
A. Yes there are three ways: (1) Submit form G-1145 mentioned above to get notification by text or email message (2) Sign up to USCIS case status website to get text/email notification (3) You can add your case to GC Tracker and check your status from there with just one click.

Q. What happens after I-485 application is filed?
A. The typical steps are listed below:
1) You wait for Receipt Notices - it could take around 1-4 weeks
2) Then you wait for FP (Finger print) notice - it could take around 3-4 weeks. If the nearest service center for FP is busy, then it could take 2+ months also. Once you get the FP notice, it will have location and date/time that you should appear to have all ten fingerprints taken. You NEED this FP notice before you can go for finger printing. If you go before/after the date listed they might ask you to come later or get a new date.
3) You wait for EAD/AP approval notices - it could take around 3 months.
4) Then finally you wait for any updates on your I-485 application
5) Either you will get RFE where USCIS asks for additional documents/proof
6) Or last stage is you get I-485 approval/rejection notice/alert -- should get in 4-8 months (if your PD remains current).
7) Some family based I-485 applications (example F2A category) will be called for interview.

Receipts/Notices in most steps above are sent to you and lawyer (assuming you used a lawyer). In case of RFE, only lawyer will get the notice (if you did not use a lawyer, it will come directly to you). The processing time listed for each step above is approximate. It could take longer or shorter time than that.

Q. Whom does USCIS ask for interview?
A. Some family based applicants (such as F2A category or petitioner sponsoring spouse) are required to come for in person interview. Also USCIS may randomly decide to call other applicants (EB or other categories) for interview. Interview may also be schedule if name check (or some other background check) triggered additional verification required check from USCIS.

Q. What about applicants who submitted I-485 in 2007?
A. If you have submitted your I-485 more than a year back, then most likely your case would have been preadjudicated. This means that you do not have to do anything else when the PD becomes current. USCIS will either (a) issue RFE (b) reject application or (c) approve application. If you are impatient, you can always open a service request by calling USCIS national phone number (link on right side).

Q. Can applicant change employer after filing I-485?
A. If the I-485 case has been pending for over 180 days then using AC-21 rule, you can switch employer. You can notify USCIS that you are switching employer; though some people decide not to do this (since USCIS could issue an RFE and request more details such as new salary, job title, location, etc).

Also see more FAQs:

Did you know: Every year more than 1 million visas are issued. Learn more fun facts.

Recommended Reading:

Please click here for latest immigration news or see the right side menu for the latest analysis, news stories and other useful FAQ or USCIS links -->


  1. what about philippines? i am holding an extended H1B visa which will expire july 2014 and my PD for EB3 is december 2007...can i file for I485? what visa should i get so i would not get out of status? thank you.

    1. Yes. You can renew H1 indefinitely as long as I-140 is approved and your I485 is pending.

  2. Hello Amazon,

    I have been reading your posts and they are really helpful for me to understand the latest updates on immigration bill or to understand the process better. Keep up the good work!!

    I have quick question on RFE on 485. I have EAD/AP with me and USCIS issued RFE last year and I responded to that RFE with the required documents they asked and submitted it last oct 2012.

    Now my question is - whether there will be any response for the documents I sent or no response is a good sign and nothing is required further?

    Also I am planning to change jobs using AC21, will it cause any issue because I had RFE?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Thank you for your kind words. USCIS would only contact applicants if they need more information. Since you responded back to RFE and they got what they needed, they would continue to process the application.

      Regarding AC21, it depends what your RFE was about. Per the AC21 rule, if I485 is pending for 180 days, applicants are allowed to change jobs. Your company lawyer can review your case in full details and provide legal guidance to you.

  3. First I am so grateful for your efforts in making life liveable for those of us who have spent several difficult years and have burrowed huge students' loans in maintaining our legal status while waiting to get our papers here.

    My question is: The priority date for my already approved 1-140 is 01/08/2008. This means I could become current in next month's Visa Bulletin. But I have so much fears and I don't know what I am supposed to do next.

    My former employer who petitioned the already approved 1-140 on my behalf has since sold the convalescent hospital that was used and the new owners of this facility are just not willing to complete the immigration process for me.

    I am scared to my bone marrow that my patient waiting for the past 11years! Could you let me know what to do, please?

    Thank you so much.

    1. I am guessing you are EB3ROW. Once the PD is current, you simply have to file I-485 application. You can also optionally file for EAD/AP.

      Companies been sold/merged with other companies are not uncommon. USCIS is aware of this. As long as the job title/responsibilities and salary are the similar in old and new companies, USCIS should be fine.

      I would recommend contacting a good attorney to file the I-485 application. You will need two documents from employer (1) I-140 approval letter from USCIS and (2) employment letter from your new company or on old companys letter head. The lawyer may require some additional documents.

      A good experienced lawyer would have filed cases similar to this many times.

    2. Wow, I am so grateful for this reassurance. Please I have another question.
      Yes, you are right! I am EB3ROW and I had asked to know how long one could wait before filing the 1-485 application.
      My reason for asking is becuase despite all efforts, I have not been able to find a prospective ponsor yet.
      So far, the only place that is somehow considering to file for me or not is a new home health care business and the owner is yet undecided to go forward with me or not.
      Now that I know my priority date is near, would any delay in filing the 1485 jeaopardize my chances of going through with my immigration process?
      Your thoughtful repy would is highly appriciated.

    3. You can delay filing I-485 application. If you are able to get the two docs from your employer, you can file the I-485 yourself (or with your lawyer).

      Tip: You can get a copy of I-140 approval letter from Department of Labor. They will be happy to give you a copy. Your employer is not the only source to get it.

      For employment letter, ask them to give you a generic employment letter stating the name of the Employer, Present Job, Position, Date Joined, Salary.

      This will help you easily file the I-485 application. If you change employer, you may have to restart your PERM application again.

  4. I do have a copy of my complete file records from the attorney that did the initial step of petitioning my 1-140 so I already have my 1-140 approval letter from USCIS as well as the employment letter that was used for that initial process.
    Are you saying I could actually go ahead with these two documents even when the hospital that got me this approval is no longer existing?
    Once again, thank you so much for sticking out your time and effort to assist weary and won out and destressed souls like me!

    1. That is correct. USCIS has already done all required check on the employer during the PERM and I-140 stage. I-485 application is called adjustment of status. Hence an applicant can file I-485 - whereas only employer can file the PERM and I-140 docs.

      Hence you only need these two docs from the employer. Your PD should be current in June 2013 VB. I would recommend start preparing your I-485 application now.

      Contact a good lawyer and they can help you with this. Their fees are typically $1000-$1500 per application.

      The only possible problem is that USCIS may request a latest copy of employment letter. In that case you can ask HR to give you a generic employment letter (for generic reason). The lawyer can also help with this step.

      Many people in similar situation had I-485 approved by USCIS. Hence it is important to get a good experienced lawyer. I am assuming you know someone.

    2. Hi im reading you all comments but i don have all this clear cuz im in the same siuation i started labor certification back on 2008 and. Everything went well i got all the way to i140 approval but i did not finish the i485 cuz it was not current at the time but the company went out bussiness on 2011

    3. Soo now PD is current and there is another company that they want to finish the process !! All i need is the copy of i140 and an good recomendation letter ??? Please let me know..

  5. I just noticed that I made a mistake filling out my filed I-485 application, Part 3, C, question #18 (have you EVER received any type of military, paramilitary, or weapons training?
    I answered No but I should have answered Yes.

    They asked for interview, and I don't know if I need to take do anything.

    Any suggestion? any help?


    1. Since USCIS checks multiple databases, it is easy for them to find out information which an applicant omits (intentionally or unintentionally).

      Since this is important, we would strongly recommend talking to an experienced lawyer who can review your case and everything you said and more importantly guide you on how to do the interview with USCIS.

  6. Hey I have question about the form I 485 husband he suppose to fill for me I came here with A3 visa so I am scared did the immigration not going send me back to my country I am married to us citizen and we have 2 children thank you

    1. I am not sure what your question is. Are you asking whether (a) your husband filled the form correctly? (b) did he send the form to USCIS? or something else. Please see below.

      According to government website, A3 visa is for "Personal employees, attendants, domestic workers, or servants of individuals who hold a valid A-1 or A-2 visa may be issued an A-3 visa"

      Sine you are married to US citizen, typical visas are K1, K3 or IR1 or CR1. More details from USCIS here:

      Application Process if you marry US Citizen:

      Let us know if you have any questions after reading these three links.

  7. I am in EB ROW. My priority date is April 1, 2009. When do you think my priority date will become current. Also if I have a pending I-485 and my son turns 21 because the category has stopped or retrogresses, is my son still protected based on the date it was filed? His 21st birthday is 02/03/93

    1. 1. EB3 ROW could reach that date in July/August VB.

      2. I am not sure about CPSA since the laws keep changing. You can check with a lawyer on this question.

      Since he turns 21 on February 2014, your PD will definitely be current before then (as soon as July/Aug VB). So you may not have to worry about him turning 21 before the PD is current. I would recommend keeping all documents ready to file I-485 application. Please see the list above.

  8. Hi Amazon, can you please help me on the following questions?
    I'm pregnant and can't finish one item of medical exam, which is chest X-ray, I have to do it after baby delivery. Will this delay my EAD and green card approval?
    I did chest x-ray back in 2005, the doctor said it's too long ago :(

    Thanks a million for your kindness help in advance!!!

    1. For the last few years, I-693 is required to be sent when submitting I-485 application (else USCIS may immediately reject the application as incomplete).

      I would recommend that you request the doctor (civil surgeon) to write on the I-693 form that you are currently pregnant and all tests cannot be performed at this time (and to waive off some test).

      USCIS may eventually issue RFE (few months later). You can later on send the complete medical exam result or ask for another extension.

      This way you can at least submit the I-485 application.

      Some USCIS officers are even fine if civil surgeon list some test as not appropriate and may not issue RFE.

      I am guessing that your TB test was positive and hence you were asked to do chest x-ray.

    2. Thank you Amazon for your prompt response and generous help!
      Yes, you are right, I had positive result when I had TB test in 2005, so my school recommend do chest X-ray if I need TB test again in the future.

      My doctor said he would put something like the patient can't do X-ray due to pregnancy, and provide me medical exam result with my 485 submission, but I'm not sure he will put "waive off x-ray" there. Can I ask him to do that? Will this jeopardize their license? Sorry if it's a dumb question.

    3. It is a very thoughtful question. The doctor (civil surgeon) will not do this if it will jeopardize his license. You can read about the instructions that CDC gives to civil surgeon here:

      In your case, the doctor would either mark it as "not age appropriate" or "contraindication". This will tell the USCIS officer that the doctor is currently "waiving" off the test based on YOUR physical condition.

      If the USCIS officer is ok with this, he will process the case. If he is not ok, he could issue any RFE to update the medical records.

      It is fine if the doctors write that you cannot do x-ray due to pregnancy. If you get RFE later, you can do the test again (or ask for extension).

    4. This is very useful information!!! Thank you!!!
      Hopefully I'm lucky so I won't get RFE :)

      Regarding the EAD, will this affect my EAD approval time? It would be nice if I can get EAD on time even RFE for my complete medical exam result.

      Can you please advise?

    5. It will not affect EAD process. EAD is typically issued around 3 months after filing the I-485 application.

      Remember to send EAD application while filing the I-485 (though you can send it later also). Some EAD cards have fingerprints on them and some dont. EAD is usually valid for 1-2 years.

  9. HI there thanks for this great site!

    How do I check if I'm going to be filed in NSC or TSC? I'm probably going to file in California, but there's a possibility I might file in New York. Please advise, thanks!

    I am EB3ROW (Singapore)

    1. For EB3ROW, send it to the dropbox location mentioned in the article above (where should I send my application).

      USCIS will forward it to the correct service center.

      Sometimes if the one service center has too many cases, USCIS could send it to another service center.

      You can see the current statistics here:

    2. Sorry I'm just a little confused, I checked the

      to see where my application will be filed, checked on page 5-8, but I still don't know how to decipher this. Where's the dropbox location you're referring to, and how do I know where the I 485 will be filed? Thanks very much as always.

    3. Please see this link:

      USCIS is planning to change I-485 form soon (so it could be different depending on when you actually file I-485). So the dropbox location could change.

      I would recommend comparing page 5-8 of the LATEST I-485 document with link above and see if it matches. Hope this helps.

  10. Thank you for the information.

    The article above states this:

    "If you have submitted your I-485 more than a year back, then most likely your case would have been preadjudicated. This means that you do not have to do anything else when the PD becomes current. USCIS will either (a) issue RFE (b) reject application or (c) approve application."

    So, does this mean, even if your PD becomes current, it is not a GUARANTEE that your application will be approved? You still have chances of getting rejected after waiting for 5-6 years?

    Thank you.

    1. UCSIS can never guarantee that every single applicant will be approved. The rejection rate is between 10-25%.

      According to I-485 pending inventory, there are applicants with priority date in 1997 who are still waiting.

  11. hello amazon.i am eb 3 u have an idea when is my pd be current.oct 31, 2006.thanks hope to hear from u soon

  12. Hi,

    Is it advisable to change employer before applying for your I-485 application or after? The only reason I am tempted to switch my employers is what if they decide not to carry on my paperworks come July.

    What happens if the pay written on your I-140 is more than your actual pay?

    And, all that is needed from my employer when applying for I485 is an employment letter, correct?

    After your I485 is approved what all document is required from you when applying for GC?

    Thank you sir.

    1. 1. You can switch employers 180 days after filing I-485 application. If you switch before I-485, you would have to start the process again (though you can retain PD if I-140 is also approved).

      2. The salary mentioned on I-140 should at least be the minimum salary that the employer should be paying. Else it is considered fraud.

      3. Documents needed from employer are employment letter and I-140 approval notice. Some lawyers also ask for pay stubs, etc. Please see the article below for complete details.

      4. I am not sure what you mean by documents required after I-485 approval.

    2. Thank you sir.

      I meant, What is the next step after I-485 approval?

      If my payrate does not match the one in I-140, and my employer are not interested in increasing, what is my option? Find another employer. My PD is july for ROW - I am just concerned, I don't want my 5 yrs of waiting to go in waste.

      Also, is it advisable to change employer before filing the I-485? Thank you sir, your answers are very helpful.

    3. 1. I-485 is the last step of GC process. So after filing I-485 application, there are no additional steps.

      2. USCIS checks employers ability to pay the salary during PERM and I-140 stage. They "typically" do not check the pay rate again in last stage. GC is for future job. Hence they check whether employer have the ability to pay that salary in future.

      3. You can certainly change employers anytime. Though you would have to restart the process. However since your I-140 is approved, you can retain your old PD.

      I would recommend filing the I-485 document when you are current in July. If USCIS issues RFE, you can reply with updated documents.

  13. My I 140 has been approved for a certified high school science teacher.I 485 has been pending adjudication for 6 years. I have changed employer. My new employer is a University that imparts dual degrees- early college credits to school students and university credits to college/university students. My job title and duties remain same as with my first employer-high school science teacher. If I am issued a RFE for current employment status and my new employer replies back explaining my current job duties/ title consistent with earlier employment, will that be fine for the adjudication of my I 485?

    1. Since (a) your I-485 was pending for 180 days before you switched employer and (b) your new job description is very similar to the original description, you should be fine if USCIS decides to issue RFE.

  14. I will be getting married soon, Will adding spouse elongate my process when I will apply for I485? She also had applied separately and her I140 was refused recently. What should I do? Thankyou

    1. Adding a spouse will not elongate process. Each person will have checks done separately. There are many cases where primary applicants have been approved and dependents could be waiting or vice versa.

      You can add your spouse (as a dependent) to your I-485 application.

  15. Let me say a word about you guys, you are really helping, saving us from expensive legality, three cheers to you.
    We,my wife and me have applied I 485 in 2007,in EB 3 category. I have a EAD/AP combo card. I want to bring my wife to the United States. We had our bio metrics done in 2009. She is India at this time. Is it necessary for her to be here when I apply I 131 for her? What about me in applying extension EAD/AP?

    1. 1. You can renew your EAD/AP anytime. Please see this article:

      2. About your wife: I am not sure about the full situation. Was she here when I-485 was filed? Did she have AP card when she left US? Is her AP card valid? Because of many complex rules, I would recommend talking to a lawyer.

    2. Thank You for your reply. My wife was here when I 485 was filed. At that time she visited on H4 visa. She got her bio metric fingerprints done. She does not have AP card she didn't visit after 2009. Now she wants to visit only, can she apply from India or should I send her I 131 with my EAD/AP renewal application?

    3. Since rules are complex for this scenario, I would recommend talking to a lawyer.

      Also do a google search for "leaving country after filing i-485".

  16. I hope to file my I-485 very soon and I have a question about form I-134 Affidavit of Support. My wife and son both have a H4 visa and are here with me in the US (I have a H-1B). Do we need to file this form I-134 for them? I was told that the letter from my employer which will be added to the I-485 is enough.

    1. Some lawyers recommend sending form I-134. Some recommend not sending it. Some lawyers recommend instead using form I-864. I would suggest talking to your company lawyer.

  17. I saw in some of your responses to questions that the employer needs to pay at least the offered income as stated in the I-140 paperwork. My I-140 has been approved in 2009 (EB3 ROW PD 9/2008) and since that time my income has been more than the offered wage (in 2009 and 2010) and less than the offered wage (in 2011 and 2012). In 2011 and 2012 I didn't work full time. Since 1/1/2013 I work full time again and my wage is a little above the offered wage as stated in the I-140 paperwork.
    I hope to file my I-485 soon. Can the above situation create any problems for me if USCIS starts to ask questions about my wage or if I have to sent them copies of my W2 of the last few years?
    Thanks for this great website!

    1. GC is for future jobs. Hence your previous salary is not important. USCIS wants to know whether employer (in future) has the ability to pay the wage stated in I-140 application. Pay stubs are not required document for filing I-485 application.

  18. a a pleasant day. when do you think my pd will be current, eb3-philippines with priority date of june 21, 2007?

  19. We have filed I 485 petition in 2007. I am using EAD/AP for job and visits.My wife earlier used H4 for visits till 2010.She has not visited the US since 2010 as she had breast cancer and was treated out of US.I visited her all these years.Now she wants to enter the US how can I best apply for her AP document, i am on vacation out of US at present. My EAD/AP expire in 1/2014.

    1. I am not sure. You could try calling US embassy in your country and ask them.

      If you send the EAD/AP application from outside US, USCIS may require US address to send the card to.

      Another option is to call USCIS and ask them.

  20. My PD is Oct 2006 (EB2I). I understand my PD is expected to be current in the Aug/Sept VB.

    I was wondering if EB2I will retrogress in Oct VB and beyond such that my PD will no longer be current. I ask because I am getting married in Dec and would like to apply for I-485 after that. However, I am concerned that the PD will have retrogressed by then.

    Any prediction what the PD will be after Oct VB? Please advise.

    1. There is a very high chance that it could retrogress. Please see this article posted today:

      You can regularly check the blog for updates.

    2. Thanks for the reply.

      Reading the blog pointed out:
      "DOS could slightly retrogress dates in Sept VB for EB2 India."

      Do you have any estimate if the said slight retrogression in Sept VB could be to a date before my PD of Oct 2006.

    3. There is a very small chance of retrogression in Sept VB for EB2 India. Most likely it would move forward.

      You can read about the possible EB2 India Movement from Oct 2013 onwards in the second part of the article:

  21. Hello - Please guide me on my situation.
    I have the approved PERM and approved I-140 in EB3 from the Company A. As a result, I-485 is pending since July,2007 and we have EAD's since then. Resigned for company A in 2012. Moved onto the Company B on EAD.

    Company B started the GC process in EB2,I have approved PERM and I-140 just approved last week(June,2013)from Comapny B.
    Now, I would like to move onto Company C for better challenges and professional growth.
    Is it safe to move to the employer C without any issues and continue the GC process in EB2 and keep the same priority date(2006). I may be current in Aug/Sep and the 180 days rule confuse me and I really wanted to take the offer from company C. I really appreciate your response on this.

    1. Just to be sure I would recommend talking to a lawyer. They can review your case completely and provide accurate guidance.

  22. Hi, I came here on L2 Visa and have applied for my EAD. It has been little more than 2 months now from the time I filled the online application for I 785.My Biometrics was done on 7th May and so far no RFE has been received .I am waiting for my EAD.

    I wanted to know that till the time i receive my EAD if I travel back to my country, since I was working there and my leaves are ending, will that have any impact on my EAD application process?Just to mention my husband will be staying back in US.

    1. USCIS typically issues it around 3 months from receipt date.

      Travel outside US should not impact I-485 since you on L2 visa. Please see question 4 from this link:

  23. Hi,

    My pd recently became current. I am with the sane company who filed my I140. There used to be different management when my application was filed in the past, now it is a new management. My problem is on my application the pay rate stated is about 4-5$ more / hour. However, the new management is hesitating to write the above mentioned payrate, so the salary reflected on emp letter is 4-5$//hr less than stated in the application. Is it going to be a problrm for my application? I waited so many yrs for my pd to become current. Should I switch to another company? What is a wise thing for me to do. please advise. Thank you

    1. According to USCIS, the pay rate has to be at least the rate specified in the petition. Since GC is for future jobs, USCIS will not ask you to submit pay stubs for I-485 filing.

      However USCIS will definitely ask for employment letter with that amount stated on it. You can submit the letter with the correct amount and see what happens. If USCIS notices the difference they can issue RFE.

      You certainly have an option to switch employer (later) if USCIS does not approve I-485 application. You can do it in two ways: (a) Start from beginning - though you can retain your PD or (b) 180 days after I-485 (according to AC21 rule). You did not specify which EB category and country you are in.

  24. Hi! Based on one comment I read in yr post.. "Adding a spouse will not elongate process. Each person will have checks done separately. There are many cases where primary applicants have been approved and dependents could be waiting or vice versa."
    I am the primary applicant who got approved I140 and received my green card in 2006. My husband who is my beneficiary didn't receive his greencard at the same time and still pending. In general, was he suppose to get his green card at the same time when I got mine? It's been 5 years of waiting and follow-ups with the USCIS. The last time they said waiting for an officer for this case...but it's been a while already. Any info's regarding this case would be really helpful. Thank's!

    1. To give a better answer, what is your category (EB2/EB3/F1/F2, etc) and country?

    2. For EB3 Philippines, I am guessing your PD is before 2006. I am also assuming you filed your husband as derivative at same time as your application.

      You should immediately contact your local congressman or senator. They will give you a form to fill and sign. They will then contact USCIS on your behalf and get a reply from them in around 30-45 days.

      You can use Google to find the contact address of your local congressman or senator.

    3. Sorry, I got my greencard 2008 and the PD is 2006. Yes, I filed my husband as derivative at the same time as my application. But his I485 is still pending. They ask for RFE 3 years ago for a marriage contract and still pending ever since then. What kind of form do I need to sign and fill up? Thank's for yr reply.

    4. Thanks for the clarification. USCIS will only work on the case if the PD is current. Currently for EB3 Phil, it is at Oct 2006. So your PD has to be before Oct 2006.

      Assuming PD is before Oct 2006, contact your local Congressman or Senator. They will send you the form to fill. I don't think it is available online.

    5. Yes, our PD is current. When contacting the local Congressman or Senador, what kind of form will I ask?

    6. If you explain your situation, they would be able to send the correct form to you. They MIGHT call it immigration check form.

    7. Ok got it. Thank's!
      Since it's been 5 years now since I got my GC and my husband's GC still pending. I am eligible for citizenship. Will it be faster to apply my citizenship and when I get it, file another petition for my husband GC- I 130. Will it be faster?
      Thank you so much for answering my q's.

    8. Yes, once you become citizen you can upgrade your petition.

    9. Hi! I was thinking to apply for my citizenship so that I can petition my husband faster, because his I 485 is still pending ( EB3 derivative ). I heard about the F2A PD becomes current if you file between Aug.1-31, 2013. How long will be the process? Will it be faster to file a petition for my husband in this category rather than filing for my citizenship and then file his after I get my citizenship? since PD is current? my husband is in the US. Thank's!

    10. You can see the timeline after filing I-485 in blog post above. You can file I-130 petition and I-485 for your husband now and later upgrade to IR1 after becoming citizen.

    11. If the PD for F2A becomes current if you file between aug.1-31, 2013, approximately how long will be the process to get my husband's GC? Thank you.

    12. Each service center which processes the I-485 application have different processing time.

      Please see the link in blog post above (How long does I-485 processing take).

  25. I am currently on H1B. My spouse is a GC. My PD via I-130 is march 2013.
    My question is:
    In the above checklist I see,
    15. Form I-134 - Affidavit of Support, if you file as a derivative, (this is different from I-864).
    b. Affidavit of Support: Submit Form I-864 for FB category.

    Should I file both forms I-864 and I-134, while filing for I485 , or will just filing I-864 be more than enough?

    appreciate your answer.

    1. Please see this:

  26. Hi, My PD is current EB2 Aug 17 2007. As a primary applicant I know that I need to submit my H1B copies, Salary Slip, Employment Verification Letter.

    My wife is also on H1B. Do I need to submit her H1B copies, Salary Slips and Employment Verification letter also??

    1. No, these are not required for dependents. Those are required for primary applicants only.

  27. When is form I134 Affidavit of support required? My husband and I will be filing our 485 soon. His PD is Sep 2007 EB2. I am on my H1b. Do we need form I134 for 485 eventhough I am on my H1b?

    1. Affidavit of support is required if you are filing as his derivative. If both are principal applicant (with separate petition), it is not required.

  28. Hello Amazon,

    Thank you again for your great work! You are awesome!!

    Question.... in your blog above you've mentioned that processing time for 485 in TSC is 8 months however on their following website it says 4 months:

    Can you please confirm which is accurate. I filed my 485 on Jul 29th in TSC and I wanted to make sure I am tracking my estimated time to obtain GC accurately.


    1. Thank you for the kind words Terry :)

      USCIS updates their processing time every 1-2 months. At the time of writing, it was around 8 months at TSC. Currently it is 4 months. It could change again in next few months.

      If you add your case to the tracker below, you can easily check your case status and any updates from USCIS with one click:

  29. Hi Amazon,

    Thank you for your constant updates and information.

    I have a question, I am a GC holder and live in the US, I have just received an approved I130 petition for my husband who lives in South Africa. He was planning on coming to visit me on a short vacation sometime in September 2013 (he has a tourist visa) - we have not seen each other in a while! Now that the F2A category has become current, could he apply for adjustment of status when he gets to the US in September even though he does not reside here and is only here on a tourist visa?
    I am worried that by the time all my documents are sent to the NVC for consular processing, the F2A category would have regressed.
    Please could you give me advice if he is eligible to apply for Adjustment of status, I have googled it but get contradicting information.
    Thank you very much.

    1. This maybe helpful:

  30. I married my immigrant fiance yesterday. I read that I can file form I-130 and I-485 (and I-765) together. I was confused to read that if filed all together, it would be a fee of $1,070 for form I-485 and no fee for the other two. Is that correct? I nee to file ASAP! Thank you for this forum, it is very helpful!

    1. There is a filing fee for both I-130 and I-485.

      For I-485 please see above.

      For I-130, please see this:

      Fees for I-131 and I-765 is $0. More details:

  31. Hi Amazon,
    I have my I140 approved and the priority date is June 29, 2010. My Perm labor certification had been filed under EB3 category ROW.
    This year January 2013, I changed my job and moved to new company. Now I found that my priority date has been current for coming September 2013. Now I don't know what to do. can I file for I485 through new company. Your suggestion will be very helpful. Thanks

    1. I would recommend talking to your company lawyer. You can start the process again. USCIS allows applicants to retain previous PD.

    2. Amazon,
      Thanks for the suggestion. Do you mean to say my current employer can file I-485 for me. I did not get it clearly. Thanks again.

    3. If you had already filed I485 application, you could switch company after 180 days.

      If you did not file I485 application and switched company, you may have to start the process again by filing Perm application.

  32. Hi Amazon
    I have a question which is controversial.
    I have filed for I485 now and awaiting EAD. Assuming once I get EAD, I want to change the job, is it absolutely necessary to file AC21 and inform USCIS? I am asking this because the job designations might be different although work profile could be similar.

    Also is it mandatory to wait atleast 6 months after I485 filing to change jobs?

    Thanks for your help.

    1. According to AC 21 rule, I485 have to be pending for 180 days before they can switch employers. Also the new job have to be similar to old job (same job duties, etc).

  33. Hi Amazon,

    I have a tricky question about my name. I was born in Country A, and later became a citizen of Country B. So the name on my current passport from Country B looks different from my name on birth certificate from Country A. Is this a problem for I-485 application? Do I need to provide any supporting documents for this please? And what kind of documents should I use?

    Thank you very much for your answer!


    1. P.S. I use the same name, but it looks different in two languages. Thanks.


    2. In I-485 application, there is a section where it asks you to list previous names used.

  34. Hey, Amazon, thank you for your posts, very helpful.
    I have a urgent question. I already filed I-485 and got receipt last year. But the EB2 was returned to 2007. Next month, my PD will be current. I need to file my wife's I-485. She has H4 now. I am confused the filing centers. Should I file her applications to the center by my I-485 receipt? or, should I file to Phoenix center base on my approved I-140? or should I file to Chicago center? Please advise ASAP. I really appreciate it. Thanks.

    1. Your question is not clear. Could you post it in the forum and explain little more?

    2. Sorry about it. Here is the situation:
      I had approved I-140. PD is August 19, 2008. I filed I-485 based on EB2 on 01/01/2012 and got the receipt. But while my I-485 is on pending, EB2 was returned to 2007, not current anymore.
      I got married on Fed 20123.
      Right now, EB2 will be current next month since Oct. 1, 2013. So, I need to file my wife's I-485 soon. I checked USCIS website for the filing address. I am confused. My wife's case is kind follow-to join. Should we file her file to Lincoln, Nebraska based on my I-485 receipt? Or, should we file her application to Phoenix center based on my approved I-140?
      Thanks again for the advise.

    3. hey, Amazon, I am not sure what I stated if my wife's situation is clear for you. I think her case is the follow-to join category. But on USCIS website, we couldn't find any filing address matched my wife's case. We live in Ca.

    4. Since your I-485 is pending, you can file her as beneficiary.

      Follow to join is for GC holders who were already married. Please see this:

    5. On my I-485 receipt, the USCIS office is in Lincoln, NE.
      Should we file her applications to this address directly?

  35. Hello, I have a question about RFE. My husband and I had an interview on 21 August, 2013. He is the petitioner I-130, I-485, I'm the beneficiary. We were grilled at this interview for 4 (!!!) hours, at the end the IO wanted more evidence from us. The IO said that she will send us a RFE letter and they give us 100 days to submit all the documents required. Until this day we didn' t get anything from USCIS. What should we do? Is it necessary to wait for the letter from them? Can we write a letter enclosing all the information ourselves without lawyer? Please help

    1. The RFE would say what evidence they actually require. Based on that letter, you may also want to talk to a good lawyer.

      Also call up USCIS and tell them that you havent yet received the RFE letter and request them to resend it.

    2. Hi, Amazon! Thanks a lot for your answer. As you advised we've consulted a lawyer, and he is working on a letter to USCIS with new evidences. In the meantime my on-line case status changed first time in 3,5 years. Now it says I've an appointment for fingerprints. First time i had this appointment in 2011 right after we filed the petitions I-130, I- 485. My question is: Is this new appointment for fingerprints just a regular procedure, or my case is moving ??? Waiting for your opinion. Thanks a lot again.

  36. I am concurrently files I 130 and I 485, my PD is 9 SEP. But the PD get retrogress on OCT visa bulletin. I have done my fingerprint, can I expect interview notice before getting PD current?

    1. They will typically only set up interview if the PD is current.

  37. Hi Amazon:
    You mention that the applicant should include copy of the visa, however the instructions for i-485 only mention to include this information if the applicant had obtained a visa within the last year, any comment about this?

    1. If you are currently in US on a nonimmigrant visa (F1, H1, etc), you should include a copy of that so that they can confirm that you have not overstayed the visa duration.

  38. Dear Friends,

    I am having the below situation and request your guidance on how to proceed.

    I recently applied for green card for myself, my wife and my Kid. I got my green card approved. My Spouse and Kid’s green card got an RFE.

    USCIS is asking for evidence to establish that my wife and kid maintained Nonimmigrant status between January 2012 till June 2012. They have suggested documents like I-797's or I-94's as evidence.

    In my case I have only one petition approved till date for a non-immigrant worker (H1B status – No extensions till now) starting from 10/25/2011 till 03/24/2014. I travelled to USA on 01/13/2012 and have a valid I-94 document for the first entry. I haven’t travelled back till date anywhere outside USA. My wife got her spouse endorsed passport by 27/02/2012 and my Kid got his passport by 02/05/2012. They both got their H4 Visa stamped on 06/25/2012 (Spouse) and 05/31/2012 (kid) in India. Both of them travelled to the USA on 06/08/2012 and have their I-94 copies. They also haven’t travelled back till date anywhere outside USA.

    In this case how should I need to respond to the RFE query? Can I reply back to USCIS with the following documents?
    1. My I-797 petition copy
    2. My Wife’s and Kid’s I-94 copies
    3. My wife’s and kid’s VISA Stamping page
    4. My wife’s and kid’s Entry Stamp
    5. A cover letter stating that my wife and kid got their H4 stamped during the month of May 2012 and they have entered USA for the first time in June 2012.

    Will these suffice or should I need to provide more documents to reply for my RFE.

    I have 84 days to reply for my RFE (Not later than 01/04/2014), so please help me.

    Appreciate your quick help/advise..!

    1. I would recommend talking to your lawyer. USCIS may have looked at some other criteria. Hence the lawyer can go over this carefully and give suggestion on how to respond back to USCIS.

  39. Hi Amazon,
    Thanks for the great work and answering our questions so well!
    I had a question for you- My PD is April 2008 EB2 India ,filled the I 485, AP/EAD on 9/13/2013. I got my EAD/AP approved and I 485 pending. We are planning to travel to India Nov end and return in Jan 1st week, just in case if our GC gets approved during this time frame what do you recommend to do? Do our status gets updated from AP/EAD to GC?
    Can we face prob at the Port of entry ?

  40. My husband's EAD is still on Production card for about two months we found out since he is too blonde uscis requested another pictures we sent them 2 weeks ago and have not hear anything... do you have any ideas how long it will take for them to send the card? thanks you

  41. Do I need to send the original translation of the birth certificate, or will a copy of the translation do?

  42. i made a mistake in the form I 130 my wife is the one to fill it i mistaking fill it can it be a problem because I filled for 485 130 and 765

  43. or can i send them another i 130 with a note to let them know the mistake

  44. I submitted 2 photos, instead of 6, for my i485 and EAD/AP card petition... What is the best way to remedy this mistake?

  45. In case my PD is current which is a couple months from now, what should I do because my agency in US hasn't contacted me since last year. What should I do? Am I going going to look for another employer? What is the process?

  46. hi amazon,

    I am under F2a case. and my priority date is feb 07,2011. how may letter should i recieve from the USCiS and NVC because i recieved2 letters only since ireceived the first letter on Mayy2011 and the second one was on april 2012.irrecieve nothing for the year 2013. and if my PD is current, what will be next? when will i having my possible schedule for intervview? please reply. thaankyou andnGodbless

  47. Hi Amazon,

    i have a question and i need ur advice. Our PD looks like it will come in June. We didnt foresee this coming when we bought our tickets going back to our home country few months back. our travel date is May 23-June 23. Here are my questions:

    1. If PD becomes current in June, is it a strict rule to only file it bet june 1-30?
    2. if we send the papers when we get back like june 25 is it still ok?
    3. can we proceed to travel, without risking our GC application?

    Thank u Amazon for all that you do.

  48. Hi My Father Filed I-130 for unmarried son, for me and got approved. My priority date is September 2007. Once my priority date becomes current, I will file I-485. Currently I can do marriage because of my file. When can I get married?

  49. Hi, My wife traveled outside of US once in April with her AP, my question is if there is a limit how many times you can travel with your AP? Coming back wasn't easy, too many questions at the border...

  50. Hi, my wife is currently on H1B visa and she had filed her labour petition in the DOL through her attorney and her application has been selected for audit and she had already submitted all the documents as required by the audit.I would like to know how long it takes to complete the audit and how can i know the status of my case? Thanks

  51. I am in the on L1A ,EB1 category and my employer filed for my i140 which was approved in Sept 2014. The i485 is not yet filed. Can I have another prospective employer process my i485.

  52. My I-130 petition is currently in process for my husbands greencard. I am a US citizen (born here). My parents are filing for joint support for him. If I apply for loans and grants for my college education will it affect my petition and/or my husbands application for his greencard?

  53. I am working in multination company on H-1B visa and the wage mentioned in LCA is much higher then the regular wage. Please clarify that, which wage is applicable, is it regular wage or wage mentioned in LCA after I485 get approved.

  54. Hello I came here under the Haitian Family Reunification Parole. How to know when to apply for the green Card please?

  55. Hello,
    We had our interview in 2003 but visa regressed. F1, Mexico, priority date 05/31/1995. The May bulletin shows date is already in 06/15/1995 - do we just wait to receive word from immigration or should I reach out to them? Thank you much.

  56. Hi,my PD is 09/02/I8 FB when am i likely to get approval?


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