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DIY I-485 Adjustment of Status with No RFE! (2019 February)

After all the trouble we have gone through preparing for my I-485 green card application for almost 2 months, I decided to put the things I have learned together and share with all of you who might be in the same boat and searching for a detailed, clear direction.

Please note: This post is mainly for alien spouse applying for a green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen.

Disclaimer: This article is for sharing personal experience only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.

My I-485 Application Preparation Overview 

The article gets a little long, so please click the links below and fast forward to the section that you want to learn more details.
Step 1: Download all the required forms and prepare 6 folders
Step 2: Download all cover letter templates
Step 3: Schedule a USCIS doctor's appointment - don't do this too late, you might have to wait in line
Step 4: Fill out all forms - I suggest fill out the the PDF files on your computer. It's easier to make changes. My suggested filling order is below. Click each link to go to that section for details.
  • Start with I-485 (the main form) 
  • I-130 & I-130A
  • I-864
  • I-693 (just your part, and give it to the doctor to finish.)
  • I-131 & I-765 (Optional)
Step 5: Collect your sponsor's tax documents and asset evidence ( if needed) for I-864
Step 6: Collect Bona-Fide evidence for I-130
Step 7: Take passport-style photos
Step 8: Assemble all forms and folders - check the filing tips before you do this step!
Step 9: Choose your shipping carrier and check the shipping address
Step 10: Review, SIGN and date each form
Step 11: Final Review (Review all checklists)
Step 12: Mail the package and wait for great news! (Click here to see my real case timeline)
Step 13: The Interview

How Long Does It Take To Receive My Permanent Residence (Green Card)?

Here's the a rough timeline I created based on my research to give you an idea:
  • 2 to 3 weeks after you mailed the I-485 application, you will receive your I-797 receipt notices (I received 4 notices for I-485, I-130, I-131, and I-765 respectively)
  • 3 to 5 weeks after you mailed the application, you will receive a notice for your Biometrics appointment
  • 5 to 8 weeks after you mailed the application, you will go to your Biometrics appointment (approximately 30 minutes) where they will take your fingerprints sample
  • 3 to 4 months after you mailed the application, you can expect to receive your EAD card with your travel document (on the same card) if you filed I-765 and I-131 concurrently
  • 4 to 10 months after you mailed the application, you will be notified for an immigration interview
  • 6 to 12 months after you mailed the application, you will go to your immigration interview (30 minutes to an hour). Some people reported that they received a verbal decision right after the interview. 
  •  8 to 14 months after you mailed the application, if everything is approved without RFE, you will receive your permanent residence (green card). Congratulations!
Curious about my personal, real-case timeline? Click here to see!

What forms do I need to submit for a family-based green card application?

Here's an overview of the forms I submitted:
Note that the form I-765 and I-131 are optional and can be submitted separately. However, submitting them along with your I-485 can save you time and money. If you submit these two separately later, you will have to pay extra $410.00 for form I-765 and $575.00 for form I-131.

Also, the form I-130 and I-693 can be submitted later as well but they are required and are part of your I-485 application.

Now, let's take a closer look at each form:

Form I-485 Adjustment of Status Checklist

Form I-485 is the main and most important form among all the forms required for a green card application.
  • Cover Letter
  • G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance
  • 2 Passport style photos of beneficiary
  • Form I-485 Adjustment of Status
  • Beneficiary's passport copy
  • Beneficiary's current VISA with entry stamps
  • Beneficiary's I-94
  • Beneficiary's birth certificate
  • Beneficiary's continuous lawful status proof:
    • I-20s copy
    • EAD card copy
    • H1-B approval notice copy
  • Marriage certificate copy - you don't need an official copy, a simple photocopy is fine.
  • Form I-864 Affidavit of Support (I separated this into a different folder)

Form I-864 Affidavit of Support Checklist

  • Cover Letter
  • Form I-864 Affidavit of Support
  • Petitioner's most recent tax return documents
  • Evidence of assets (if applicable)
  • Evidence of beneficiary's current income (if you are using beneficiary's income)
  • Evidence of beneficiary's continuous income from a lawful source (if you are using beneficiary's income)
    • Beneficiary's employment verification letter
    • Beneficiary's W2s in recent years
  • Petitioner's passport copy
  • Petitioner's birth certificate copy
  • Marriage certificate copy
  • Other supporting documents: (These are not required but I provided just in case)
    • Beneficiary's tax documents
    • Beneficiary's passport copy
    • Beneficiary's current H1-B VISA page copy
    • Beneficiary's I-94
    • Beneficiary's social security card copy
    • Petitioner's social security card copy

Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Checklist

  • Cover Letter
  • G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance
  • 2 Passport style photos of petitioner
  • 2 Passport style photos of beneficiary
  • Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative
  • Petitioner's birth certificate copy
  • Beneficiary's birth certificate copy
  • Petitioner's U.S. passport copy - make sure it's not expired
  • Beneficiary's passport copy - make sure it's not expired
  • Marriage certificate copy
  • Form I-130A Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary 
  • Other supporting documentation: (These are not required but I included just in case)
    • Beneficiary's I-94
    • Beneficiary's EAD card
  • Evidence of Bona-Fide Marriage (I separated this into another folder)
    • Cohabitation evidence: driver's license, any mail, letters from family/friends with both of your names on it, etc.
    • Lease or any contracts you both signed
    • Utility bills
    • Sonogram/Ultrasound pictures
    • Pregnancy letter from your OBGYN
    • Wedding photos 
    • Financial beneficiaries
    • Health insurance with both of your names
    • Messages or emails between you two

Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Checklist

  • Cover Letter
  • G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance
  • 2 Passport style photos of beneficiary
  • Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization
  • Beneficiary's I-94
  • Beneficiary's passport copy
  • Beneficiary's EAD card copy
  • Other supporting documentation: (These are not required but I included just in case)
    • Beneficiary's I-20s copy
    • Beneficiary's H1-B VISA approval notice
    • Beneficiary's current VISA page copy

Form I-131 Application for Travel Document Checklist

  • Cover Letter
  • G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance
  • 2 Passport style photos of beneficiary
  • Form I-131 Application for Travel Document
  • Beneficiary's passport copy
  • Beneficiary's current VISA page copy
  • Other supporting documentation: (These are not required but I included just in case)
    • Beneficiary's I-20s copy
    • Beneficiary's EAD card copy
    • Beneficiary's current H1-B VISA approval notice
    • Beneficiary's I-94
    • Marriage certificate copy

I-485 Concurrent Filing Cover Letter Templates

Here are the cover letters I used for my application for your reference:

What Payment Methods Are Accepted by USCIS?

Now USCIS accepts credit card payments! It's very convenient and you can save a few dollars by getting credit card bonuses. If you want to be more secure, a bank check is usually the safer way to submit your payment. See all payment options:
  • Bank Check
  • Money Order
  • G-1450 Credit Card Transaction - I chose this one and it worked without any issues!

About Form I-864 Affidavit of Support

Tax Return Documents for Form I-864

The petitioner (U.S. citizen) is only required to provide the most recent year tax return document. However, you can choose to provide the most recent three year tax return documents if you think those will help prove your support.

You can provide your IRS tax return forms along with your W2s, Form 1099, tax scheduled (for self-employed sponsors) OR IRS tax transcripts. You don't need both! You can get your IRS transcripts from IRS's website here. I think an IRS tax transcript is simpler with fewer pages, but it's really up to you.

What is the requirement for I-864 Affidavit Support?

According to the I-864 form instruction ( on the top row of the form), your household income has to be over 125% of the HHS poverty guideline. You can find the latest poverty guideline here.

Depending on how many people in your household, the number will be different. In 2018, for a typical 2-people family, you need at least $20,575.

What if my income is lower than the I-864 sponsorship requirement?

If the petitioner (U.S citizen) doesn't have enough projected income to sponsor the beneficiary (alien spouse), you can choose to:
All you need to do is include the alien spouse's information and income in form I-864 (page 4, part 6, number 8-10) and provide:
  • Evidence of your alien spouse's current income: You can provide your paycheck in the last 6 months, W2s, or tax return documents
  • Evidence to show that your alien spouse has continuous income from a lawful source: You can provide an employment certification letter from your employer, your VISA page copy, etc.

Including Assets for I-864 Affidavit of Support

What forms of assets are accepted for I-864 Affidavit of Support

If your household income is still below the requirement, you may use your assets. As a rule of thumb, the asset needs to be liquid, which means you can cash out quickly within 1 year without considerable hardship or financial loss to the owner. You have to include a description of the asset, proof of ownership, and the basis for the owner's claim of its net cash value.

Some accepted forms of asset include:
  • Stocks, bonds, other security holdings
  • Real estate property
  • Saving or checking accounts

If I include my assets, how much extra value in assets is enough?

Generally, you need to have 5 times the income difference to meet the financial requirement. For example, if the sponsor's annual income is projected at $15,000 and the required income is $20,000. So you have $5,000 ($20,000-$15,000) income deficiency. Therefore, you would need 5x$5,000=$25,000 value in your assets to meet the threshold.

There are some exceptions that only require 3 times the difference. Read the I-864 instruction for details. (on the top row of the instruction)

Who needs to fill out the I-864A form?

When you have one or more co-sponsors other than your alien spouse (beneficiary), each of the co-sponsors has to fill out their own I-864A form.

However, if you are using your alien spouse (beneficiary)'s current income as part of your household income, the alien spouse DOES NOT need to fill out the I-864A form. The only situation that he/she needs to fill out form I-864A is when he/she has derivative relatives who are applying for a green card with him/her.

About Form I-765 Employment Authorization

This form is pretty straight forward. Only a couple things that confused me a little:
  • Page 1, part I, question 1: Reason for Applying. Select "Initial permission to accept employment." if you are changing your H1B to a green card
  • Page 3, Part II, question 27: Eligibility Category. If you are applying to adjust your status from H1-B to a green card, you should fill in "c9" category here.

About Form I-131 Travel Document

This is also very straight forward. A couple tricky questions:
  • Page 3, part 4, reasons you can just say visiting family. If you are filing concurrently with I-485 like what I did, you don't need any evidence to support the reason. The agent will know this is because of the pending I-485 application.
  • Page 4, part 7, you would want to select "More than one trip" just in case you have to leave USA and come back multiple times. 

About Form I-693 Report of Medical Examination & Vaccination Record

Where do I find a green card immigration doctor?

You will need a qualified immigration doctor to help you fill out most of your I-693 report of medical exam and vaccination record. Go to USCIS's website to search for a listed doctor that's convenient for you. Each doctor charges differently, so I suggest you call at least 3 to compare the prices. Note that a lot of immigration doctors only take cash or check.

If you already have done some of the required vaccinations or blood test, be sure to bring them with you to the doctor's appointment. You may be able to save some redundant vaccination shots! You can print out form I-693 and fill our your information before you go to the appointment. Don't sign ahead of time though, you have to wait for the doctor's instruction.

Here's a  list of questions you will want to confirm before you go to the immigration doctor:
  • How much do you charge for the basic exam?
  • Do you accept a credit card payment?
  • Do you accept a FSA/HSA/HRA card?
  • How much do you charge for the shots and blood tests if I need them?
  • Do you accept the vaccination records and blood test results from somewhere else?
  • How long does it take to get the I-693 report?

What vaccines and tests are required for the I-486 green card application?

There's a long, long list on USCIS's website and CDC's website regarding the vaccinations and tests you need for the I-693 report. However, many of them are subject to your age group. If you are between 18 and 64 years old, generally, you only need 4 vaccines and 3 blood tests, including:
  • Td/ T-Dap: Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (expire every 10 years)
  • MMR
  • Varicella - if you had chickenpox before, you don't need it. Verbal confirmation is adequate. 
  • Influenza (Flu Shot) - only for applicants between October 1st and March 31st
  • Syphilis Test* - Please read the important update below
  • Gonorrhea Test
  • Tuberculosis Test** - This needs to be tested every 1 year. Please read the important update below
Varicella can be avoided if you or your family remember you had chickenpox before. Just tell your doctor you had it before then you should be able to skip that.

*According to CDC's website, starting from 2013, "syphilis tests must be performed at the time of the screening medical examination and at the laboratory designated as the testing laboratory for the panel physician or civil surgeon. Syphilis tests performed at other laboratories or before the panel physician or civil surgeon examines the applicant are not acceptable."

**According to CDC's website, starting from September 2018, "Tuberculin skin testing (TST) can not be used as a substitute for IGRA testing."

For more information, visit CDC's website here.

What if I am pregnant? Can I still pass the exam? Click below to read more:

Remember, form I-693 is not required to be submitted with your I-485 together at once. You can always submit it later or wait to bring it with you to the immigration interview. Note that now the valid period of I-693 report has been updated to 2 years.

How long does it take to receive my I-693 report?

It took me about one week to get the report from my doctor because he only works two days a week. Normally, I would say 2-3 days if you have most of the vaccinations and tests done before already.

Once you get the I-693 report from your doctor, he/she will instruct you to sign and date the form and seal the report. Be careful - DO NOT open the envelope! USCIS won't accept any opened I-693 envelope. Just submit the sealed report as it is to USCIS.

On the I-693 form instruction, it states that the immigration doctor is supposed to give you a copy of the complete form for your record so be sure to ask for a copy! Unfortunately, my doctor refused to follow that instruction, so I can only trust that they took care of everything without any issues:(

About Assembling and Packing I-485 Application (Concurrent Filing with Form I-130, I-765, and I-131)

How many G-1145 forms and cover letters should I include in my I-485 application package?

As per my research online, some people have just one G-1145 form for the whole package, some people have one G-1145 for each separate application form. Same for the cover letters - You can have one main cover letter with a long itemized list or have separate cover letters for each application form. 

What did I do? I think it doesn't hurt to have separate forms and cover letters and it is clearer that way, so I submitted 6 cover letters and 4 G-1145 forms:
  • Main cover letter
  • Cover letter and G-1145 for I-485 folder
  • Cover letter for I-864 folder
  • Cover letter and G-1145 for I-130 & I-130A folder
  • Cover letter and G-1145 for I-765 folder
  • Cover letter and G-1145 for I-131 folder

How many photos do I need for I-485 concurrent filing?

Generally, you will need at least 8 head-shot photos of the beneficiary (alien spouse) and 2 head-shot photos of the petitioner (U.S. citizen spouse) for the whole concurrent filing package.

Here's the breakdown:
  • 2 photos of alien spouse for I-485
  • 2 photos of alien spouse for I-130
  • 2 photos of U.S. citizen spouse for I-130
  • 2 photos of alien spouse for I-765
  • 2 photos of alien spouse for I-131
Remember the photos have to be in passport style. Remember to print your name and A number (if you have one) on the back of the photos!

How to organize my I-485 concurrent filing

I don't think there's a right or wrong way of organizing the I-485 package. It all depends on how you want the agent to review your case. I separated my package into 3 papers on top, 6 folders and 1 sealed envelope. Here's my filing order for your reference:
  1. Two G-1450 Forms (on top) - Authorization for Credit Card Transactions for I-485 and I-130
  2. Main Cover Letter
  3. I-485 Folder - Adjustment of Status
  4. I-864 Folder - Affidavit of Support
  5. I-130 Folder - Petition for Alien Relative & I-130A Supplementary Information for Spouse Beneficiary
  6. Evidence of Bona-Fide Marriage Folder
  7. I-765 Folder - Application for Employment Authorization
  8. I-131 Folder - Application for Travel Document
  9. Sealed I-693 Envelope - Report of Medical Examination & Vaccination Record

How to assemble my I-485 concurrent filing package

On the USCIS website, there are some guidelines you can follow:
  • Use black ink
  • Do not use highlighter or correction fluid/tape
  • Do not use binders or folders that cannot be easily disassembled
  • Make sure you have written "Original Submission" on the package and the main cover letter. 
  • Add tabs at the bottom, not on the side
  • Two-hole punching on top is appreciated - This is not required and I wasn't sure about the hole distance, so I decided to skip the hole punching

Where do I Mail my I-485 Package?

Depending on how you file your package, concurrent or I-485 only and which shipping carrier you are using, your filing address will be different. You can find the filing address guideline here on the USCIS's website. I filed concurrently with form I-130 by USPS so my address is:

USCIS Chicago Lockbox
For U.S. Postal Service (USPS):
PO Box 805887
Chicago, IL 60680-4120

What shipping carriers are accepted by USCIS?

USCIS accepts USPS, FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries. After comparing multiple carriers, I decided to go with USPS Medium Primary Mail which costed me $13.65 at the time and the package arrived in 2 days. The price changes over time, the Medium Priority Mail rate is now $14.35. Check the latest USPS package rates here.

Final Review for the I-485 Application (Concurrent Filing)

Before you submit your whole I-485 package, before to review your application again! Here's a list of my last-minute review:
  • Read all instructions & Review all USCIS suggested checklists: They can be found on USCIS's website under each form page.
  • Check the expiration date on each of your forms. As long as it's the latest version on USCIS's website, even if the form has an expired date on it, you will be fine.
  • Make sure you have signed and dated all forms! USCIS will reject your application if there's no signature.
  • Double check the shipping address
  • Did you write your name and A number on the back of your photos?
  • Photocopy everything for your record - We used a camera to take quick photos of every page. 

My I-485 Concurrent Filing Application Timeline:

  • 1/26/2019 2:45 pm Mailed the I-485 Application Package
  • 1/28/2019 7:06 pm Package Delivered to Chicago PO Box
  • 2/1/2019 Credit Card Payment Pending Showed Up
  • 2/3/2019 Credit Card Payment Completed
  • 2/4/2019 1:00 am Received 3 Text Message Notices (there's supposed to be 4 notices, but 1 was missing for some reason)
  • 2/7/2019 Received Four I-797 Receipt of Notices in the mail
  • 2/9/2019 Received I797C Biometrics Appointment Notice in the mail
  • 2/22/2019 3 pm Had my fingerprints and picture taken at the biometrics appointment
  • 2/26/2019 Case Status changed to "case is ready to be scheduled for an interview".
  • 5/29/2019 Interview was scheduled!
  • 6/4/2919 Received the interview notice in mail 
  • 7/8/2019 Completed the interview - see my interview experience here!
  • 7/8/2019 I-485 status changed to "New card is being produced"
  • 7/8/2019 I-130 status changed to "Interview was completed and my case must be reviewed"
  • 7/11/2019 I-485 status changed to "Card Was Mailed to Me"
  • 7/12/2019 Received I-485 & I-130 Approval Notices
  • 7/12/2019 Card Was Picked Up By The United States Postal Service (with tracking number)
  • 7/15/2019 Received an official green card!
My employment authorization and travel permit applications are both still pending even after the I-485 was approved. 

I hope this article helps you prepare for your I-485 application. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below for a discussion or share your experience with all of us! Good luck!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Hi @mpaterson,

      Glad to hear that your application is going smoothly so far:) I am sure you will receive your biometrics appointment notice pretty soon! The process time probably varies depending on different locations.

      Yes, I agree. it's always more reassuring to hear other similar stories. Glad you enjoy the read!


    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Very interesting. Glad everything went well thought! I will update the progress this Friday after my appointment too:) Thank you! Best of luck to you too.

  2. Hi! Good website! I submitted very similar to you, based on marriage and I didnt use a lawyer (but I had someone check my work for usd 300). Last week I had my interview and the case got verbally approved during the interview, it was a bit confusing that the letter I received at the interview said it was pending approval, but that night the website got updated and it said case approved. I submitted in May 2018. I didn't submit the I-693 as I was told it might expire before the interview is scheduled (and you have to pay another $200). I received a letter to bring it to the interview. It took more than 90 days before my I-765 got approved, therefore I requested expedited processing. They returned a RFE and I sent them my offer letter, then it got approved within a week. I also requested advance parole (I-512) and since processing was too slow for my trip I made an appointment with a field office to get it approved. Good job so far!
    Let me know if you have any questions

    1. Hello,

      Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Congratulations on your approval!

      Regarding the I-693 expiration date, it used to be valid for one year following the date the doctor signed the report. However, from Nov. 1st, 2018, USCIS extended that to two years to avoid the situation you were afraid of. But the applicants are required to submit the report within 60 days before filing the application.

      Here's the update policy on USCIS's website:

      I hope this helps clarify it a little bit more for other applicants.

      Thank you again for sharing. It's good to hear more real-case stories!


  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Hi,

      Thank you! It's faster than I thought too. You can check your cast status here: It's a page on the USCIS webinar.


  4. Hi, I have H1b status now, and I was issued an EAD card for OPT when I was a F1 student a few years ago, that card was valid for 1 year. I am also confused about the Part 1 "Reason for Applying" on Form I-765 Employment Authorization:

    1a. Initial permission to accept employment.
    1b. replacement of lost/stolen card
    1c. renewal of my permission to accept employment (attach a copy of your previous employment authorization document)

    I am not sure whether I shall choose 1a or 1c since I have been issued an EAD before. Do you have any insight of this issue? Thanks a lot!

    1. Hi Bella,

      Thanks for reaching out. I believe 1(a) is the one you would want to choose. As far as I know, your previous EAD is not relevant in this case. However, I am not a lawyer so I can not provide legal advice. If you want to be 100% sure, I would suggest you contact someone that knows your case well.

      Thank you!

    2. Thanks Evelyn! One more question, when you send the copies of passport, did you copy all the pages? Or only the stamped pages with information.

    3. You're welcome! Some forms asks for your passport copy which I copied the page with my picture only; other forms asks for your stamps, then I copied all the stamped pages. I hope this helps!

  5. Hi, I'm applying with visa B1/B2 is there much difference? Thank you

    1. Hello,

      Sorry I am not so familiar with B visa. I would do more research on USCIS's website or consult with someone who knows more. Thanks for reaching out!


  6. Hi there,
    I am starting my application for I485. I am in USA on E3 visa for 2 years. So I can work now but if I change my status do I have to stop working until my EAD card arrived?
    ca you please help me please.

    1. Hello,

      It is my understanding that as long as your current work visa is still valid, the new application doesn't contradict to your current visa, so you can keep having that status valid. However, I am not a lawyer, so if you want to be sure, please seek for professional advice. I hope this helps!:)

      E. C.

  7. I agree with Evelyn. If your current status in the US is E3 worker, and it has not expired, you should keep working as E3 worker. Submitting Adjustment of Status application does not make your E3 Visa invalid. Once you receive EAD, you can work for any employers which will not be limited as under E3 Visa. Consult a lawyer if you are uncertain. Good luck!

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Wow, that is super fast! Which location are you at for the interview? and what did the RFE ask for? Mine hasn't been updated a while. Hopefully we will hear some updates soon too!

      Thank you,

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. I see! That's great news! We are in NYS Buffalo area. I hope everything goes well for you.

  9. Hi Evelyn,
    When you were filling out I-765 Application for Employment Authorization, did you provide the SEVIS Number for Item 26? SEVIS number starts with "N-", and it is printed on I-20 when we were F-1 students.

    In the instruction, it says “if you were issued a SEVIS number, enter it in the space”. I wonder if it is necessary because I am filling I-765 with Adjustment of Status, not with CPT/OPT request as an international student...

    What did you do? Thanks!-Bella

    1. Hi Bella,

      I didn't enter anything there as I am on my H1-B visa right now, not a student or exchange visitor visa. I only use my current information for the whole application. It's my personal opinion though!


    2. I am on H1-B too as I am applying for Adjustment of Status via marriage. And I feel the same way with you. Thank you for your reply!

  10. Hello what is the size of the box to be exact because I see so many side box sizes?

    1. I used USPS Medium Primary Mail. Outside: 11 1/4" x 8 3/4" x 6"
      Inside: 11" x 8 1/2" x 5 1/2"

  11. What's the size of the box to be exact?

    1. I used USPS Medium Primary Mail. Outside: 11 1/4" x 8 3/4" x 6"
      Inside: 11" x 8 1/2" x 5 1/2"

  12. Nice job, really helpful. Thank you for sharing.

    1. You're welcome:) Glad it's useful for you.

  13. Hello! Very well written with all the details. This article definitely helped us! thank you very much. Quick question - Is your interview scheduled or is it still pending? I was just curious.

    1. Thank you! Yes, we just got an update yesterday. Our interview was scheduled!

    2. Thats great. Good luck! :)

  14. I'm currently assembling everything for submission and found this to be a fantastic resource. Thanks for sharing!

    Quick question: when you supplied photo copies of the beneficiary's passport, was it all pages or just the photo ID & info sections? I can't seem to find a clear answer on this.

    1. I only provided the page with photo ID if not specified. When asked for stamps, I provided the stamp pages. My case is currently pending still so I am not 100% sure if that is the correct way though. Hope this helps!

  15. Hello I wanted to know if you still haven't received any notification yet after being scheduled for interview?

    1. Hello,

      I did receive the letter in mail which confirms the date and time with a list of what to bring.


  16. Hi Evelyn,

    Thank you for all the amazing info! It is super helpful. I do have a question for you or anyone with similar experience. I just graduated from college and am in my 2-month grace period. Do you happen to know if I am still eligible for adjustment of status? I married my husband while still in college. Any insight would be helpful!

    1. Hi Tara,

      Thank you for reaching out! I believe you are still eligible but I am not a lawyer, so I would recommend you consult with professionals to get a firm answer. Thank you!


  17. Thanks so much for all your info, this really helped me out a lot. I just sent my application package last week and got my receipt notification text 2 days ago. When is your interview? Did they tell you to bring anything? Looking forward to follow up on your experience.

    1. Hi Karen,

      You're welcome:) My interview is scheduled for July 8th. They asked us to bring some documents along. Most are from our application already. I will do a follow up post later. Stay tuned!


  18. Hello again don't mean to be a bother but what did you bring to the interview as evidence? i.e. new updated I-864, pictures, Child, originals like birth certificate, marriage certificate etc. And he ever get his ead/travel document?

    1. Hi there!

      The interview notice came with a checklist to let us know what to bring along. The list includes birth certificates, marriage license, passport copy, W2s, employment letter, extra evidence, etc. A lot of documents were included in the original application already. So the interviewer only took the new things that they didn't have at the time. I will do a follow-up post to share more details. Stay tuned!

      Thank you,

  19. Your posts helped me tremendously, thank you!. If it is ok I would like to ask you the price range you paid for the medical exam, tests and vaccines, if you needed any. The doctors I called are asking for exaggerated amount of money. Thanks again.

  20. Hi, really appreciate your blog with detailed information. Why did you have to apply for I-131 when you have H1B. My assumption is we dont have to apply for I-131 and travel outside the country using H1B. Is this assumption wrong ?

    1. Hi! Thank you for your question. Yes, you can use H1-B to travel but the problem is my H1-B was about to expire and if I didn't have the travel permit I-131 after that expiration date and the I-485 was still in process, then I wouldn't be able to travel abroad. So it depends on how long your case is going to take and when does your H1-B expire.

  21. This information has been a lifesaver, as well as a mind saver. The process can be overwhelming, but you have helped me to see the light at the end of this tunnel. Thank you!
    I do have a question - I plan to submit all the forms you listed (including the I-765 and I-131 ) together. Since I am submitting these forms all together, do I submit payment for the I-485 ($1140.00) and I-130 ($535) only? Or do I need to include additional payments for the I-765 and I-131 forms as well?

    1. Hi,

      Thank you for your question. If you are applying together, you don't need to pay for the I-765 and I-131 as far as I know. Thank you!


  22. Thank you so much for writing this.
    I am(US citizen) filing for my spouse in family based category(I-130,485,864,765,131) who is on H1b(with I-140 approved through employer). Little back ground: My spouse was on student visa and then got his H1b.

    I have few questions(regarding filing of 864,765,130,485,131). I will appreciate if you can help answering these

    1. On form I-864 part 6 >> point 7 >>My Current individual annual income is?
    Shall i enter approximate amount based on YTD numbers listed on my most recent paystub? and calculate end of year YTD number based on this?

    2. on form I-485 Part >>point 2 &3 Receipt Number of Underlying petition? Priority Date of underlying petition? shall i leave these blank? or does my spouse need to enter employer based I-140 petition details here?

    3. I-765, Part2>>point 12>>Have you previously file I-765?. My husband filed I-765 for student EAD after his masters. what shall i select in this section (yes or No)?

    also point 26 under part 2 asks for SEVIS number. does my husband need to enter his sevis number from I-20 during student visa status? Currently my husband is on H1b(as mentioned in begining)

    4. I-131 do i need to complete part 5?

    5. I-130 part 4 >>point 10>>Has anyone else ever filed a petition for the benificiary?

    My husbands company filed petition based on employment based category (his priority date is not current) . what shall i answer to this question?

    currently me and my husband are living in different states and he is trying to find a job in my state(California). is it ok to enter his New york address in point 12 od part 4?

    6. I-130 point4>>>>46d Date authorized stay expired or will expire as shown on I-94.

    shall i enter date mentioned on my Husbands most recent H1b 797 notice(bottom of 797 has I-94) he recently got his H1b renewal done

    7. form I-130 Part 4>>> 61a and 61 b

    the benificary is in US and will apply for adjustment of status to that of lawful permanent resident as USCIS office in ? city? State?

    what should be my answer here?
    if my husband moves to California next month or so because of job) not sure what to mention here? please help

  23. I have being preparing my Adjustment of Status package by myself the last 3 months, and I would say this is the best article I have found!! So clear and specific at the same time.
    Thank you so much!! Quick question, the Affidavit form ask for the petitioner annual income, the answer will be what the last year tax return says OR what is his current annual income? because it is different, also mine (the beneficiary) is a different amount.

    1. Glad to hear that! :) It should be current income. It's a rough number as you don't know the exact number until end of the year.

  24. Hello,
    I am so happy to find this blog and the information you provided is so helpful. I have a questions. Do you use different last name to apply? For example, my marriage certification I signed my husband last name. Can I apply using my husband last name despite my identification all is my previous last name?

    1. Hi Christina,

      Sorry I am not the best person to answer this as I didn't change my last name. Maybe you would want to consult a lawyer or someone who had the same experience! I just didn't want to mislead you with an inaccurate answer.


  25. I just want to say that this guide was SO helpful. Thank you so much. I don't know whether or not we will be successful, but I am quite certain that without this guide we would have failed, since we found ourselves rushing to beat the October 15 public charge-related policy changes. I truly appreciate that you shared this helpful information with us. Bless you!

    1. Thank you for your kind comment! Glad to hear that this article is useful.

  26. Thank you so much for this! This is the perfect addition to all the mandatory standard research on the subject. So awesome of you for sharing your personal experience with all the details.
    I am going through the process now and this is a great help.

    I have one question! Since you are separating all forms into different folders you are ending up with multiple copies of the same documents, including multiple marriage certificates.
    Did you use Certified Copies for all Marriage certificate copies? Or only one, which you then copied for the other forms. (same question goes for Birth Certificates I guess)
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Merlin,

      Thanks for your comment! I am glad this article is helpful for you.

      I think I submitted photocopies. I brought the original documents with me to the interview.


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