One June 26, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a revised Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485). The new Form I-485 and instructions have been substantially updated with more comprehensive and detailed questions. USCIS also revised the Form I-485 Supplement A and Form I-485 Supplement J to provide applicants with more information about how to properly complete, file, and submit evidence.
The revised version is 18 pages long – 12 pages longer than the old version – and includes questions previously included on the G-325A Biographical Information Sheet, and additional questions similar to those included on the DS-160 Immigrant Visa application and the N-400 Application for Naturalization. The G-325A will no longer need to be included when using the new I-485 form.
While the additional questions are meant to consolidate information, and ensure USCIS officers have as much detail as possible to better assess an applicant’s eligibility, it may also make the application process more difficult, stressful, and complex for the applicant and their family. For example, the new form now asks whether the applicant has ever worked without authorization in the United States, registered to vote, been denied admission to the United States, and if they have ever used alternate dates of birth. The application even asks if they are immediate relatives of drug traffickers, traffickers of persons, or people who have participated in various violent acts. There are also now questions regarding specific periods of illegal presence or attempted entry to the United States. These and other questions like them appear aimed at making it easier to disqualify applicants for adjustment of status and will most likely also lead to an increase in the requests for waivers of admissibility. We can also likely expect interview times to increase and longer processing times in general, especially for cases requiring waivers.
There will be a 60-day grace period during which USCIS will accept both the old and new editions of Form I-485 and Supplement A and J, but beginning August 25, 2017, USCIS will only accept the new versions. If you have been thinking about applying for your legal residency, you should hurry to try to file before the new form goes into effect. Given the new complex questions and detailed information now requested on the Form I-485, it is more important than ever that applicants seek assistance from an experienced immigration attorney to file your case.
FIND OUT WHERE YOU STAND! You may qualify for a benefit that you are not aware of yet. If you have never talked to an immigration attorney about your situation before, now is the best time to do so – before the new administration makes changes that may affect you and your family. Contact an experienced, licensed attorney to find out what YOU can do to help your situation. If you would like our assistance, contact our office today at 210-932-3600 to set up a consultation.