Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA)

Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA)

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Last updated: April 4, 2024.

What is the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA)?

  • The Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA) is a United States federal law that was enacted in 1966
  • The primary purpose of the Cuban Adjustment Act is to provide a pathway to legal permanent residency (green card) for Cuban nationals who have been physically present in the United States for at least one year
  • This special immigration privilege is unique to Cuban immigrants and is not available to nationals of other countries
  • Under the Cuban Adjustment Act, Cuban nationals who arrive in the U.S. (were inspected, admitted, or paroled), are eligible to apply for adjustment of status to that of a lawful permanent resident after one year of continuous physical presence

Is the Cuban Adjustment Act still in effect?

Yes, The Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA) is still in effect. 

However, it’s essential to check the current information on the official USCIS website.

Who is eligible for Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA)?

To be eligible for adjustment of status under the CAA, individuals must meet the following key requirements:

  • Cuban Nationality: The applicant must be a native or citizen of Cuba
  • Physical Presence in the U.S.: The applicant must have been physically present in the U.S. for at least one year. This one-year period generally starts from the date of arrival
  • Inspected and Admitted or Paroled: The applicant must have been inspected and admitted to the U.S. or paroled after Jan. 1, 1959
  • File Form I-485: The applicant must file Form I-485 and be physically present in the U.S. when Form I-485 is submitted to USCIS
  • Admissibility: The applicant must be admissible to the U.S. for lawful permanent residence. It means that if an applicant is found inadmissible on various grounds specified in the Immigration and Nationality Act, the green card application will be denied. Some inadmissibility grounds can be waived (learn more: Form I-601 and Form I-212). The following grounds of inadmissibility do not apply to CAA category: Public Charge, Labor Certification, and documentation requirements
  • USCIS discretion: The applicant merits the favorable exercise of USCIS’ discretion

How to apply for a green card under Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA)

Applying for a green card under the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA) involves the following steps:

Step 1: Meet Eligibility Criteria:

  • Ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the Cuban Adjustment Act, including:
    • Being a Cuban national or citizen
    • Having been physically present in the U.S. for at least one year
    • Being admitted or paroled into the U.S. 

Step 2. Gather Required Documentation:

  • Collect all necessary supporting documents, which may include:
    • Proof of Cuban nationality or citizenship
    • Evidence of continuous physical presence in the U.S.
    • Proof of being admitted or paroled 
    • See the full checklist of required documents below

Step 3. Complete Form I-485:

  • Fill out Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
  • This form is used to apply for adjustment of status to that of a lawful permanent resident
  • Use the most recent edition of Form I-485 available on the USCIS website
  • Make sure to accurately and completely fill out the form and include the required supporting documents
  • Prepare the filing fees associated with Form I-485
  • Check the USCIS website for the latest fee information
  • Sign and date the form
  • You can also submit Form I-765 (Employment Authorization) and Form I-131 (Advance Parole) together with Form I-485

Step 4. Submit Form I-485 application:

  • Mail a completed Form I-485 application, along with the photocopies of the supporting documents, and a fee payment to the correct USCIS filing address
  • Mail the completed application via express mail with a tracking number
  • Make a photocopy of the completed application for your records

Step 5. Receipt Notice:

  • Approximately 2-3 weeks after application submission, you will receive USCIS receipt notice(s)
  • You can track the status of your application online (enter your receipt number)

Step 6. Biometric Appointment:

  • After submitting the application, you will be scheduled for a biometric appointment, where your fingerprints, photograph, and signature will be taken
  • Biometric appointments are typically scheduled 1-2 months after you submit Form I-485

Step 6. Interview:

  • USCIS may schedule an interview to assess your eligibility and verify the information provided in your application
  • Be prepared to answer questions about your background and immigration history

Step 9. Decision:

  • USCIS will make a decision on your application
  • If approved, you will be granted lawful permanent resident status and receive a green card by mail
  • If denied, you will be informed of the reasons for the denial

How to apply for employment authorization and advance parole under Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA)

Under the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA), Cuban nationals can also apply for Employment Authorization Document (Form I-765) and/or Advance Parole (Form I-131). 

Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is used to prove your employment authorization status in the US and apply for a Social Security Number (SSN).

Advance Parole is a travel document that allows you to travel outside the U.S. while your green card application (Form I-485) is pending. 

Forms I-765 and I-131 can be filed:

  • At the same time as Form I-485 is filed; or
  • After Form I-485 is registered but before it’s approved

There are no additional government filing fees if you have paid the Form I-485 filing fee.

Submit signed and dated Forms I-765 and I-131 either together with your Form I-485 or while Form I-485 is pending (submit a photocopy of Form I-485 receipt notice).

Submit four (4) additional recent U.S. passport-style photographs if you want to apply for EAD and Advance Parole.

If approved, you will receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) for work authorization and an Advance Parole (Form I-512) document for travel. 

How to include family members under Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA)

Under the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA), a spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old of the Cuban native or citizen can also apply for permanent residency.

To be eligible for permanent residency, family members must meet the following requirements:

  • Been inspected and admitted or paroled into the U.S. after Jan. 1, 1959
  • Have been physically present in the U.S. for at least one year at the time Form I-485 is filed
  • You reside with your Cuban spouse or parent who meets the CAA requirements
  • You are admissible to the U.S. or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility (if applicable)

Note: family members of a Cuban citizen or native are eligible to apply for permanent residence even if the Cuban spouse or parent uses a different green card eligibility category.

Complete Individual I-485 Applications:

  • Each eligible family member must complete an individual Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

Gather Required Documents:

  • Collect all the necessary supporting documents for each family member, including proof of Cuban nationality or citizenship, proof of relationship, evidence of continuous physical presence in the U.S., etc.
  • See the full checklist of required documents below

Pay Fees:

  • Each eligible family member must pay the Form I-485 filing fee

When to Submit Applications:

Family members can submit their Form I-485 applications:

  • Together with Cuban national or citizen;
  • While the Cuban national or citizen’s Form I-485 is pending; or
  • After the Cuban national or citizen’s Form I-485 is approved

Biometrics and Interviews:

  • Each family member may be required to attend biometrics appointments, where fingerprints, photographs, and signatures are collected
  • USCIS may also schedule individual interviews for family members

Wait for USCIS Processing:

  • USCIS will process each application separately
  • Keep track of the status of each case using the provided receipt numbers

Receive Green Cards:

  • If approved, each family member will be granted lawful permanent resident status and receive a green card by mail

Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA) checklist

Submit photocopies of the following documents with your application:

Required documents Description
Form I-485
  • Completed and signed by the Cuban national/citizen (principal applicant) and each family member separately (if applicable)
Form I-485 filing fee
  • Each applicant must pay a separate Form I-485 filing fee
Forms I-765 and I-131
  • If you want to apply for Employment Authorization Document (EAD), file Form I-765
  • If you want to apply for Advance Parole, file Form I-131
  • There are no additional fees for filing Forms I-765 and I-131 if you paid the Form I-485 fee
Passport-style photographs
  • Two passport-style photographs of each applicant
  • Write your name and date of birth on the back of each photo
Government-issued ID with photograph
  • Copy of government-issued ID with photograph (front and back) – for each applicant
Birth certificate
  • Copy of birth certificate (for each applicant)
Evidence of Cuban citizenship or nationality If born in Cuba:

  • Expired or unexpired Cuban passport (Pasaporte de la Republica de Cuba) that lists the place of birth as Cuba
  • Cuban birth certificate issued by the civil registry in Cuba

If born outside of Cuba:

  • Unexpired Cuban passport (Pasaporte de la Republica de Cuba);
  • Nationality Certificate (Certificado de Nacionalidad); and
  • Citizenship Letter (Carta de Ciudadanía)
Evidence of 1 year physical presence in the U.S. Examples of acceptable documents:

  • Rental receipts
  • Rental agreements
  • Utility bills
  • Employment records
  • Medical Records
  • School records
  • Banking or credit card statements that indicate activity in the U.S. 
Copy of passport (for each applicant)
  • Biographic page
  • U.S. visa page (if applicable)
  • Pages with CBP (Customs and Border Patrol) stamps
Proof of being inspected and admitted/paroled (for each applicant)
  • Copy of Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record; or
  • CBP admission or parole stamp
Original sealed medical form
  • Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record (for each applicant)
Certified criminal records (if applicable) ONLY if you have criminal records in any country in the world:

  • Certified police and court records of criminal charges, arrests, or convictions
Proof of relationship (if filing for family members)
  • Marriage certificate (for spouses)
  • Birth certificate (for children)
  • Adoption decree (for adopted children)
Form I-485 receipt or approval notice for Cuban national/citizen If family members are applying after the Cuban national or citizen filed Form I-485:

  • Form I-485 receipt notice; or
  • Form I-485 approval notice
Evidence that you reside with your Cuban spouse or parent
  • Joint lease agreement
  • Joint utility bills
  • Driver’s license or IDs that show the same address
  • Medical records that show the same address
  • Bank/credit card statements that show the same address
Evidence that the family member has been physically present in the US for at least 1 year (if filing for family members) Examples of acceptable documents:

  • Rental receipts
  • Rental agreements
  • Utility bills
  • Employment records
  • Medical Records
  • School records
  • Banking or credit card statements that indicate activity in the U.S.
English translation
  • If any supporting documents are in a foreign language, provide certified English translations
  • Attach the photocopy of the original document in foreign language

Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA) filing fee

Each applicant applying for permanent residence (green card) under the Cuban Adjustment Act, must pay Form I-485 filing fee:

I-485 Filing Category Paper Filing Fee
General Filing $1,440
If under 14 years of age and submitting Form I-485 concurrently with the Form I-485 of one parent. $950
If you are filing as an applicant who served honorably on active duty in the U.S. armed forces and who is filing under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) section 101(a)(27)(K). $0
If you are filing as a refugee or you were paroled as a refugee. $0
If you are in deportation, exclusion, or removal proceedings before an immigration judge, and the court waives your application fee. $0
If you are filing as a person seeking or granted Special Immigrant Juvenile classification. $0
If you are filing as a U nonimmigrant seeking adjustment of status under INA section 245(m). $0
If you are filing as a T nonimmigrant seeking adjustment of status under INA section 245(l). $0
If you are filing as a person seeking or granted special immigrant visa or status as:

  • An Afghan or Iraqi translator or interpreter;
  • An Iraqi national employed by or on behalf of the U.S. Government;
  • An Afghan national employed by or on behalf of the U.S. Government or employed by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF); or
  • A derivative beneficiary of one of the above.
$0
If you are filing under Section 13 of Pub. L. 85-316 as an Afghan diplomat or immediate family member who held valid A or G status on July 14, 2021. $0
If you are filing as a person seeking adjustment of status as an abused spouse or child under the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA). $0
If you are filing as a person seeking adjustment of status as an abused spouse or child under the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act (HRIFA). $0
If you are filing as a person seeking immigrant classification as a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petitioner (including derivatives). $0

Certain applicants may be eligible for a Fee Waiver. Learn more: Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver.

USCIS Form I-485 filing fees are subject to change. Verify the current filing fee on the USCIS website

Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA) filing address

USCIS filing addresses are subject to change. Verify the correct filing address on the official USCIS website.

Learn More:

Form I-485 Instructions

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