All You Need to Know About the Adjustment of Status Checklist

Do you need a complete adjustment of status checklist for guidance in applying for legal resident status or a green card? Get in touch with Manji Law, P.C for guidance.

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Atlanta Immigration Attorney Jameel Manji

Author: Jameel Manji, Founder, Manji Law, P.C.

Mr. Manji founded Manji Law in 2016 to follow his passion of helping people navigate the complicated immigration system. Mr. Manji graduated from Georgia State University College of Law and received Master of Taxation from the Georgia State’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business. Published on: September 12, 2023.

Manji Law is your complete immigration solution. If you are seeking assistance with the Atlanta Immigration Court, please give us a call. Manji Law can provide valuable insight, assistance, and a guiding hand to help you achieve your goals.

Why You Need an Adjustment of Status Checklist


Do you want to relocate to the United States (U.S.) permanently? You must file a green card application with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Getting a green card is a dream for many nonimmigrant visa holders. However, without the necessary information, the USCIS may deny their application.

The adjustment of status checklist is a helpful tool when filing your green card application. It ensures you include all the necessary supporting documentation. The documents to submit with your application may differ depending on your circumstances, and a single omission can delay your application or result in a USCIS denial.

Therefore, seeking the help of a skilled immigration lawyer is vital. An immigration attorney at Manji Law P.C., can guide you through the filing process. We can identify critical mistakes and assist you with your entire application.


Determining Your Eligibility for Adjustment of Status

People with nonimmigrant visas are in the U.S. temporarily and don’t plan to stay indefinitely. If you want a green card, which is a permanent residency card, you have to change your status from being a temporary visitor to becoming a permanent resident.

This change in status happens after you’ve applied for a green card and your application’s priority date arrives. Only those currently on a temporary visa can apply for this status change.

You may qualify for lawful permanent resident status under various eligibility categories. These categories include family and employment-based green cards, as well as green card holders who were granted asylum, etc.

Before you can file Form I-485, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Be physically present in the United States

  • Have lawful status in the United States

If you do not qualify, you’ll be required to return to your country of origin to complete the process. You may be inadmissible if you have committed acts in violation of immigration law.

In determining your eligibility, it is essential to get legal advice from an immigration attorney. There may be exceptions that apply depending on your individual circumstances. Attorneys at Manji Law P.C. can guide you through the requirements of each category.

Filing an Adjustment of Status Application


There are two ways in which you can file your application. You can file using Form I-485 or by consular processing, depending on your situation.

If you are abroad, you can apply for lawful permanent residence through a U.S. consulate or embassy in your home country. But, you must remain in your home country until the USCIS approves your application.

If you are already in the U.S., you can file Form I-485. This is an application to register permanent residence or adjust status.

Before submitting your Form I-485, you must attach certain documents. These documents help the USCIS officer confirm your green card eligibility. You will also need to pay the filing fees before submitting your application.


Adjustment of Status Checklist

The adjustment of the status process can be complicated. You will need to submit several documents with your Form I-485. Having a checklist of the documents you require can help prevent omissions. Below is a comprehensive list of the documents you will need to submit, depending on your situation.

Required documents:

  • A completed Form I-485

  • Affidavit of support, Form I-864, I-864A (if applicable)

  • Two passport-style photographs (according to USCIS requirements)

  • Government-issued photo identification

  • Employment authorization document (if necessary)

  • Copy of your birth certificate

  • Copy of marriage certificate or divorce decree (if necessary)

  • Form I-94 (arrival/departure record)

  • Copy of medical examination and vaccination results

  • Copy of nonimmigrant status documents (if applicable)

  • Copy of court or police records (if applicable)

  • Form I-797 approval notice

  • Form I-601 (waiver of grounds of inadmissibility)

You should not submit your original documents unless the USCIS requests them. You must also provide an English translation of documents that are in a foreign language. If you are the principal applicant, your family members should submit their own documents.

The checklist for a green card application is non-exhaustive and may include other documents. It is a great idea to work with an immigration attorney who will ensure that everything is intact.

What Happens if You Fail To Meet the Adjustment of Status Application Conditions?


After receiving your Form I-485, the USCIS will examine your application and supporting documents. They may issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) if your green card application is incomplete. The RFE gives you an opportunity to send the necessary information to the USCIS. However, it may delay your green card processing time.

The USCIS is strict with immigration policies. It is required to establish your green card eligibility. Therefore, a failure to follow these policies may lead to a denial of your Form I-485.

You may re-apply if your application is denied and your visa is still valid. But, if your visa is expired, you must leave immediately.

It is only advisable to remain in the U.S. with legal status. You will be arrested and placed in removal proceedings if caught with an expired visa.

Getting deported may result in ineligibility for future immigration benefits. You may be unable to return to the U.S. for a specified period. It may also result in separation from your loved ones.

You Can Speak to an Immigration Lawyer Today


Getting a green card may be a long process. Nevertheless, submitting the right information can give you peace of mind and reduce delays. At Manji Law P.C., we have helped several clients secure a green card – we would like to help you too. Immigration laws are subject to change, and we can update you on the necessary adjustments. You do not have to go through the process alone.

We provide a full range of immigration services and can help you naturalize. Our lawyers can help file your application correctly. We know the documents you must include for a green card. We can help you collect certified copies of each. In cases of inadmissibility, we can apply for immigration waivers.

Are you applying for an employment or family-based adjustment of status? Do you have questions about the Form I-485 checklist? Contact us for an appointment today.