I-485 Adjustment of Status FAQ

Questions? We are here to help.

Why might a green card application be denied?

An application might be denied for several reasons, such as making mistakes on your application, missing critical documents, or a failure to demonstrate eligibility. If you're not sure which situation you're in, feel free to contact our independent attorney via here.

What happens if I win a green card?

Winning a green card does not result in automatically getting a green card, but rather the opportunity to apply for a green card. You can start applying for the green card through our DIY guidelines, or contact us for further consultation.

What is the longest amount of time a U.S. green card holder can travel outside of the country?

No more than 6 months at a time. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the trips you take especially those after you file the green card application. You may be asked to provide further details during your green card interview. Learn more about what will be asked during the interview.

Is there a priority to issue green cards for certain categories of foreign nationals?

High skilled tech workers are given some preferences by the State Department. Members of professions holding advanced degrees, plus what is considered “skilled workers” under the State Department’s third tier. You can also check the USCIS website regarding employment-based preferences and family-based preferences details.

Who topped the list for the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs 2021 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program?

Egypt (6,002 winners), Iran (6,001 winners), Russia (6,001), Algeria (6,001.)

How long does it take to renew a green card?

Once the USCIS has received your green card renewal application form, you can expect to wait from 1.5 months to 12 months for your renewal to be processed. Generally, it falls between 10 to 12 months, but it can also take slightly longer. File your Form I-90 within 5 to 6 months (but not earlier) of your green card expiration date. Check out the step-by-step instruction here.

Can you be deported from the U.S. if your green card is expired?

You can only be deported from the U.S. if your lawful permanent residency status is no longer valid. Since your lawful permanent residence is not linked to your green card’s validity, you won’t be deported simply because the green card is past expiration. However, it's always recommended to renew your green card as early as possible to avoid the renewal gap.

Do green card holders have a Social Security Number?

The Social Security Card is usually for employment-based or non-immigrant visa holders. If you are holding a work permit and are legally working in the U.S., you should apply the Social Security Number to collect Social Security benefits and receive other government services, etc.

Can I file an adjustment of status I-485 as an H1-B visa holder?

Yes, the H1-B visa is a dual-intent visa, which means that those who hold it are eligible for permanent residency by applying for a green card. Even if an H1-B visa has expired during the application process for I-485, a former H1-B visa holder can remain in the United States while processing continues. 

Can I file an adjustment of status as a non-immigrant temporary visa holder?

No, temporary visa are not dual-intent visas, and once an individual has arrived at a port of entry in the U.S., he/she will be asked what the nature/purpose of his/her visit is to the United States. Temporary visas imply that the individuals will return to their home country once their visit is over.

What are some of the rights enjoyed as a U.S. green card holder?

A green card holder does not share the same rights as those naturalized citizens; for example, green card holders cannot vote in primary or presidential elections. However, green card holders have the right to apply for a driver's license, open a bank account, buy a house/rent property, as well as qualify for certain government benefits. Check out the differences between permanent residence and U.S. citizens.

Do my social media accounts have any effect on the admissibility of my I-485 application?

Technically speaking, yes. Having inconsistent information on one's social media account(s), as compared to his/her I-485 application, can be problematic. For example, if one has listed on their Facebook page they are “Single”, but have filed an I-485 as a spouse, this can especially lead to problems during the green card interview, where an officer might ask an individual to explain why such a difference exists.

Can I receive a green card through consular processing?

Yes, consular processing is an option, mainly when it comes to married couples with one partner residing outside of the U.S. However, due to Covid-19, most embassies and U.S. consulates are currently closed unless there is a special national security interest. 

How much does it cost to file an I-485 Adjustment of Status?

Fee varies in different situations, concerning the applicant's location or age. For applicants already in the U.S., the cost is $1,140. However, for those needing family sponsorship to become eligible (I-130) the fee tacks on an additional $535 dollars. You can find further information on the USCIS website (filing fee section.)

What happens if I need to take an emergency trip to visit family in my country of origin as a green card holder?

If it’s a short trip, there is no big deal. Green card holders are responsible for maintaining permanent residence inside the U.S. at least 6 months per year. However, if the trips last for months, you may be asked to explain the reasons to CBP agents when returning to the U.S.

Do I need a translator for the green card interview?

Yes, if you have a hearing impediment, you will need a translator present. Failure to do so could hurt your chances for having a successful case. 

How long are most green cards valid for?

Green cards are issued for 10 years. However, if you have been granted conditional permanent resident status (green card for marriage less than 2 years,) the card is valid for 2 years. Needing to renew your green card, check out our guideline.

Are H2-B visa holders eligible for a green card?

No, not upon being issued such a visa. However, there is the possibility that such visa holders can be sponsored by a permanent employer, in which case such an individual will be eligible to then adjust their status. 

Are green card holders eligible for unemployment?

As is true for citizens, green card holders can only receive unemployment benefits if they lost their job through no fault of their own. Learn more on the difference between green card holder and U.S. citizens.

Do green card holders need to pay their taxes in the U.S.?

Yes, green card holders are subject to filing their 1040 Tax Form to the IRS by April 15th, every year. Green card holders are taxed on their annual income, same as U.S. citizens.

Is my marital partner expected to attend my green card interview?

If you have filed as a married couple, with a spouse who is a U.S. citizen and you currently live together in the United States, it is required for both to attend the green card interview. If you need to reschedule because one partner is unavailable during the time of the interview, contact a USCIS representative to do so. 

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