Adjustment of Status (AOS)

Adjustment of Status (AOS)

Let us help you start your application today!

Last updated: April 10, 2024.

What is Adjustment of Status (AOS)?

Adjustment of Status (AOS) is a process of applying for a green card within the U.S.

A foreign national applying for family-based or employment-based permanent residence in the U.S. is called “Beneficiary”.

Beneficiaries applying for permanent residence in the U.S. will often need to weigh processing an immigrant petition via:

If beneficiaries live outside the U.S. and do not possess a valid nonimmigrant visa (for example, a B-1/B-2 tourist or F-1 student visa), the only option available for them is “Consular Processing”.

Consular processing means that the applicant will complete their immigrant visa application process abroad, usually in their home country.

Consular processing results in an issued immigrant visa which is used to enter the U.S. as an immigrant.

But for the many people living in the U.S. in nonimmigrant status who are eligible for Adjustment of Status, it’s not always an easy choice.

If the beneficiary is eligible for both options, there are advantages and disadvantages to consider.

Advantages of Adjustment of Status (AOS)

The main advantage to adjusting status in the United States is the convenience of being able to process the application without returning to your home country.

An adjustment applicant may also apply for employment authorization while the adjustment application is pending.

If the employment authorization document is issued, the applicant is able to begin working months sooner than would be the case if they pursued consular processing.

Disadvantages of Adjustment of Status (AOS)

Beneficiaries adjusting status in the U.S. need to seek an advance parole document in order to travel outside of the U.S. while the adjustment application is pending.

If a beneficiary with a pending Adjustment of Status leaves the U.S. without an advance parole document, they will be considered to have abandoned the adjustment application and may not be allowed to re-enter the U.S.

The applicant must remain in the United States while the advance parole application is pending.

USCIS processing times have increased in recent years, and an expedite on an advance parole application has become almost impossible to obtain.

Adjustment of status is also the best way to successfully obtain a green card for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who have immigration violations:

  • Visa overstay
  • Unauthorized employment

Keep in mind that an unlawful entry can’t be excused.

Adjusting status can be a better option for you because Adjustment of Status denials may be appealed either to the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office using Form I-290B or by going to federal court.

If your immigrant visa application was denied by a U.S. Embassy, such denials are not typically subject to appeal.

Consular processing might be a better option for beneficiaries who need flexibility to travel in and out of the United States.

During the COVID-19 pandemic consular processing times have increased significantly.

  • For example, it can take up to 2-3 years to complete the consular processing even for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens

What are the Adjustment of Status (AOS) Requirements?

Before applying for Adjustment of Status in the U.S., you must meet the following general requirements:

  • You are eligible for a green card through a sponsor (family-based Form I-130, employment-based Form I-140, etc.)
  • Visa number is “current”
  • You entered the U.S. lawfully and were inspected by immigration officials
  • If you entered the U.S. on a single intent nonimmigrant visa, you complied with the 90-Day Rule

Adjustment of Status requirements also vary depending on your immigration category.

Note: spouses and children under 21 of permanent residents physically present in the U.S., must first wait until their F2A priority date becomes current before applying for Adjustment of Status. Filing I-130 form alone does not authorize you to stay in the U.S. and you must maintain lawful nonimmigrant status while Form I-130 is pending.

You can find more detailed information on Adjustment of Status eligibility requirements here.

90-Day Rule and AOS

Before submitting your Adjustment of Status application, you must check if the 90 Day Rule applies to you.

If you entered the U.S. on a nonimmigrant visa (for example, B-1/B-2, F-1, etc.), you cannot apply to adjust your status in the first 90 days.

Exceptions to the 90-Day Rule: K-1, H-1B, L-1, O-1, E-2 (with some limitations). If you fall into the exception category, you are allowed to file Form I-485 in the first 90 days after your most recent entry into the US on your dual intent nonimmigrant visa.

You can learn more about the 90 Day Rule.

Adjustment of Status Processing Time

It can take anywhere from 9 months to 13 months to get your Form I-485 approved.

Average Form I-485 processing timeline is provided below:

  • 2-3 weeks: USCIS mails you a receipt notice acknowledging acceptance of your application
  • 1.5-2 months: USCIS mails you a biometrics appointment which you must attend
  • 8-12 months: USCIS approves your EAD (Employment Authorization Document) and Advance Parole (if you filed Forms I-765 and I-131)
  • 8-12 months: USCIS interview is scheduled (some applicants are not required to attend an interview)
  • 9-13 months: Form I-485 approval
  • 2 weeks after Form I-485 approval: green card is mailed to your address (track your Form I-485 online status for USPS tracking number)

The length of time that it takes for you to have an adjustment of status interview scheduled depends on the following factors:

  • Your immigrant category 
  • What dates and times are available for interviews, and 
  • How busy the local USCIS office is

Source: USCIS Case Processing Times

Family-Based Form I-485 Processing Time

Application center Processing time
Agana GU 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Albany NY 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Albuquerque NM 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Anchorage AK 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Atlanta GA 9 Months to 29 Months
Baltimore MD 13.5 Months to 38.5 Months
Boise ID 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Boston MA 7 Months to 21.5 Months
Brooklyn NY 12.5 Months to 31.5 Months
Buffalo NY 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Charleston SC 10 Months to 31 Months
Charlotte Amalie VI 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Charlotte NC 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Chicago IL 6 Months to 28.5 Months
Christiansted VI 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Cincinnati OH 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Cleveland OH 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Columbus OH 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Dallas TX 8 Months to 23 Months
Denver CO 7.5 Months to 23 Months
Des Moines IA 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Detroit MI 6.5 Months to 12.5 Months
El Paso TX 5.5 Months to 11.5 Months
Fort Myers FL 8.5 Months to 27 Months
Fort Smith AR 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Fresno CA 6 Months to 10.5 Months
Greer SC 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Harlingen TX 6.5 Months to 16 Months
Hartford CT 10.5 Months to 22.5 Months
Helena MT 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Hialeah FL 8.5 Months to 23 Months
Honolulu HI 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Houston TX 12.5 Months to 31.5 Months
Imperial CA 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Indianapolis IN 9 Months to 27.5 Months
Jacksonville FL 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Kansas City MO 6.5 Months to 23.5 Months
Kendall FL 10 Months to 31.5 Months
Las Vegas NV 8 Months to 22.5 Months
Lawrence MA 7.5 Months to 29 Months
Long Island NY 7.5 Months to 27 Months
Los Angeles CA 7 Months to 23 Months
Los Angeles County CA 8.5 Months to 23 Months
Louisville KY 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Manchester NH 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Memphis Tennessee 6 Months to 11 Months
Miami FL 21.5 Months to 40.5 Months
Milwaukee WI 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Minneapolis-St. Paul MN 8 Months to 21.5 Months
Montgomery AL 7 Months to 17.5 Months
Mount Laurel NJ 8 Months to 22 Months
Nashville Tennessee 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Newark NJ 11 Months to 22.5 Months
New Orleans LA 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
New York City NY 12.5 Months to 32 Months
Norfolk VA 7 Months to 18.5 Months
Oakland Park FL 12.5 Months to 34 Months
Oklahoma City OK 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Omaha NE 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Orlando FL 9.5 Months to 23 Months
Philadelphia PA 8 Months to 25.5 Months
Phoenix AZ 9 Months to 29 Months
Pittsburgh PA 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Portland ME 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Portland OR 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Providence RI 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Queens NY 10 Months to 26.5 Months
Raleigh NC 7 Months to 27 Months
Reno NV 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Sacramento CA 11.5 Months to 22.5 Months
Saint Albans VT 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Saint Louis MO 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Salt Lake City UT 8.5 Months to 21 Months
San Antonio TX 7.5 Months to 15 Months
San Bernardino CA 6 Months to 14 Months
San Diego CA 7 Months to 15.5 Months
San Fernando Valley CA 7 Months to 19 Months
San Francisco CA 11 Months to 25 Months
San Jose CA 11.5 Months to 21 Months
San Juan PR 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Santa Ana CA 9.5 Months to 20.5 Months
Seattle WA 17.5 Months to 26.5 Months
Spokane WA 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Tampa FL 8 Months to 19 Months
Tucson AZ 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Washington DC 12 Months to 21.5 Months
West Palm Beach FL 10 Months to 32 Months
Wichita KS 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months
Yakima WA 8.5 Months to 25.5 Months

Employment-Based Form I-485 Processing Time

Application center Processing time
All application centers 8.5 Months to 27.5 Months

Asylum-Based Form I-485 Processing Time

Application center Processing time
Nebraska Service Center 7 Months to 31 Months
Texas Service Center 7 Months to 31 Months

Refugee-Based Form I-485 Processing Times

Application center Processing time
Nebraska Service Center 9.5 Months to 13.5 Months

Under HRIFA, Indochinese Adjustment Act, Legal Immigration and Family Equity Act, or NACARA Form I-485 Processing Times

Application center Processing time
Nebraska Service Center 14.5 Months to 64 Months

Based on an approved T Visa Form I-485 Processing Times

Application center Processing time
Vermont Service Center 16.5 Months to 20 Months
Vermont Service Center 10 Months to 20.5 Months

To check the most current processing times for Form I-485:

  • Visit the USCIS website at https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times
  • Select “Form I-485” 
  • Select your category and service center (your USCIS service center is printed in the lower left corner of Form I-485 receipt notice)

Keep in mind that processing times are general estimates, and individual cases may take less or more time to complete.

Additionally, USCIS may issue Requests for Evidence (RFEs) during the processing of your application, which can add to the overall processing time. 

It’s crucial to respond promptly and thoroughly if you receive an RFE to avoid delays.

If your case is outside the normal processing time, you place an Outside Normal Processing Time e-Request or request assistance from your local congressman’s office.

Learn more: USCIS Expedite Request

Adjustment of Status Fees

Form I-485 application fees are provided below:

  • $1,440 (general category)
  • $950 (children under 14 and filing with at least one parent)
  • $260 (optional, if applying for an Employment Authorization Document, Form I-765)
  • $630 (optional, if applying for an Advance Parole, Form I-131)

Government fees are subject to change.  Check the latest fees on USCIS website.

How to apply for Adjustment of Status

If you meet all Adjustment of Status requirements, you will need to file the following immigration forms:

Adjustment of Status Checklist of Documents

The checklist of supporting documents will depend on your immigrant category and your individual circumstances. 

Below you will find the general checklist of required documents.

Document Checklist for Adjustment of Status

Type of document Examples of documents Who provides it
Six passport-style photographs
  • Applicant
Copy of any legal name-change documents
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Divorce Decree
  • Court Order of Name Change
  • Applicant
Birth certificate
  • Long-form birth certificate that lists both parents
  • Applicant
Secondary evidence of birth (recommended) Documents that show your name and date/place of birth:

  • School records
  • Church records, etc.
  • Applicant
Identification Documents
  • Driver’s license
  • State ID
  • National ID
  • Other government-issued ID
  • Applicant
Passport
  • Entry Stamp in passport
  • Visa in passport
  • Applicant
I-94 form
  • I-94 Entry/Exit Document issued to them by CBP upon entry into the United States
  • Applicant
Proof that the applicant has continued to maintain their valid status in the United States (not required for immediate relatives)
  • Copy of all I-797 Approval Notice(s)/Receipt Notices for Change or Extension of Nonimmigrant Status;
  • Copy of all I-20s (If you were in F-1/F-2 nonimmigrant status;
  • Copy of all DS-2019s (if you were in J-1/J-2);
  • Copy of all Employment Authorization Documents (EAD);
  • Any other documentation issued to you by USCIS.
  • Applicant
Criminal records (if applicable)
  • Copy of certified court dispositions for any charges, arrests, or convictions
  • Copy of police report of any criminal charges, arrests, citations
  • Applicant
Form I-130 approval notice (if not filing concurrently)
  • USCIS approval notice
  • Applicant
Affidavit of Support documents
  • IRS Tax Return Transcript or copy of Federal Income Tax Return for the most recent three tax years
  • every Form W-2 and Form 1099
  • Petitioner

Learn More:

Form I-485 Instructions

Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

How to Fill Out Form I-485

Form I-485 Checklist of Required Documents