You may be eligible to become a U.S. permanent resident based on your employment at Indiana University. You and your hiring department should work with OIS to begin the review process.
Your hiring department will submit an e-form request to OIS to initiate a review of your case. After review, OIS will make a recommendation about which route to permanent residence is best for your case.
OIS may file a Special Handling Labor Certification and an I-140 petition, or an I-140 petition for outstanding professor or researcher. Or your case may be referred to an immigration attorney for the processing of a Standard Labor Certification and I-140.
The information below regarding the filing of Form I-485 should be helpful to understand the general process, but it is not legal advice. You may choose to consult an immigration attorney.
Complete Form I-485 and gather supporting documents
After you have an approved I-140 petition, you are eligible to file Form I-485 if your visa number is available. You can find information about the visa number and current filing dates on the Visa Bulletin. Form I-485 is your application to adjust your status to permanent resident. The I-485 petition is a self-petition. In most cases, you will be responsible for filing your I-485 petition directly with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
You and each dependent must file all of the documents below. The application requires many documents, so allow sufficient time to gather and complete all of them. If you have general questions about the process, please contact us.
In Part 2 of Form I-485, check box 1.b. if you are filing on the basis of a filed or approved I-140 petition.
OIS completes Parts 4-7. Please contact us when you are ready to file so that we may complete our sections.
The current fee is $1,225 for each applicant, or $750 for each child under 13 who is filing with a parent. The fee covers biometrics (fingerprints) and any applications for employment (I-765) or travel authorization (I-131). You may pay by personal check, money order, or certified check, made payable to the Department of Homeland Security. Staple a separate check to each I-485 form.
Please check the Form I-485 instructions to confirm the fee amount before mailing.
The photos must meet the Department of State’s requirements for passport photos. Print the applicant’s name on the back in pencil, place the photos in a separate envelope or plastic bag, and staple the bag or envelope to the I-485 form.
A designated USCIS civil surgeon must complete and seal this form, which is a report of medical examinations and vaccination records. Students and spouses may use the designated civil surgeons at the IU Health Center. Download the form, review the vaccination requirements, and find a civil surgeon on USCIS’s Form I-693 page.
Include the following:
A photocopy of your most recent I-94 from your most recent entry into the United States
A statement that lists all previous periods of stay and visa status in the United States, including copies of related documents (I-20s, IAP-66s, DS-2019s, I-797s), if possible
Your Exchange Visitor waiver letter, if applicable
Supply a photocopy of your passport ID page, expiration page, and all U.S. visa pages.
Form I-140 is called the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. If your I-140 has been approved, include a copy of your I-797 approval notice. If your I-140 is pending, write “CONCURRENT FILING” on the cover sheet and mailing envelope and attach a copy of the I-140 Receipt Notice.
The birth certificate must show your parents’ names. A passport is not an acceptable substitute for a birth certificate. Learn more.
Include this photocopy with your spouse’s documents.
If you have been married for fewer than two years, include evidence that the marriage is legitimate. Suggested items include any of the following:
Documentation of joint ownership of property
A lease showing that you are joint tenants in a common residence
Documentation that shows mixing of your financial resources
Birth certificates of your children
Affidavits that have been sworn to or affirmed by third parties who have personal knowledge of the marriage’s legitimacy. Each affidavit must contain the person’s full name, address, date of birth, place of birth, relationship to you or your spouse (if any), and complete information and details about how the person acquired his or her knowledge of your marriage.
Any other relevant documentation that will prove an ongoing marital union
If you or your spouse has been married before, include photocopies of any divorce decrees and death certificates from all previous marriages for both of you. These documents should be included with your spouse’s documents.
Your hiring department can follow this format to compose the letter:
This is to certify that [Your Name] is a [Title] in the [Name of Department], Indiana University, [Campus]. His/her annual salary is $[Salary Amount] for the current academic year.
The department chair or administrative secretary may sign the letter.
You must complete Form I-134, an affidavit of support, on behalf of any family members who are also applying. Include the original form with your spouse’s documents, and include a copy with the documents for each additional dependent.
Employment-based applicants do not file Form I-864.
If you want confirmation that the USCIS facility receives your application, file Form G-1145 with your application. You will receive a text message, email, or both when USCIS receives your application. This service is free of charge.
You may have travel restrictions while your application for permanent residence is being processed, which can take a long time. If you plan to travel abroad, you will probably need to file Form I-131 to avoid canceling your application. If you do not currently have plans to travel abroad, you should still consider filing the I-131 in case you need to travel urgently.
You can file the I-131 with your I-485, or you can file the I-131 later with a photocopy of your I-485 receipt.
All documents that are not in English must be translated. You should use a translator, such as a friend or colleague. You should not translate your own documents. The translation must be accompanied by a certification from the translator but does not have to be notarized. The following is an example of an acceptable certification:
I, [Name of Translator], hereby certify that I am competent to translate from the [Name of Language] language into English and that the attached/above is an accurate translation of the original [Birth/Marriage/Other] document.
Signature_________ Name of translator_________ Address_________ Telephone__________
Prepare a cover sheet that lists all of the documentation that is included in your application.
Submit all forms and documents
Remember to keep a copy of everything you send to USCIS.
You will send Form I-485 and all supporting documents to a lockbox facility. They will be forwarded to the USCIS Service Center for processing. Please confirm the mailing address by checking the I-485 instructions before mailing.
If you are filing Form I-485 together with Form I-140, send your documents to the USCIS Dallas Lockbox:
USCIS P.O. Box 660867 Dallas, TX 75266
If you live in Indiana and are filing Form I-485 based on a pending or approved Form I-140, you must file with the USCIS Phoenix Lockbox. Include a copy of Form I-797, which shows that your Form I-140 has been receipted or approved.
USCIS P.O. Box 21281 Phoenix, AZ 85036
Know your next steps
After you submit all of your forms and documents, you will wait for your petition to be adjudicated. After the I-485 petition is filed:
You will receive a receipt notice from USCIS, generally within two to four weeks.
Processing for any work authorization or travel authorization applications will take approximately three months.
When USCIS begins processing your I-485, you will receive a notice to go to the USCIS office in Indianapolis, where USCIS will record your fingerprints. (Applicants in South Bend and Gary will go to the Chicago office.)
After fingerprinting, you will receive a notice by mail. It will indicate either that you need to appear for an interview or that your application has been approved. USCIS will begin phasing in in-person interviews for I-485 employment-based adjustment of status applications on October 1, 2017.
If your I-485 is approved, you will receive the Permanent Resident card by mail.
Please notify OIS when your Permanent Resident status is granted so that we can update your information in the Indiana University system.
Notify USCIS if your address changes
If you move while your application is being processed, you must give USCIS your new address. This is very important, because the U.S. Postal Service will not forward most USCIS letters with the rest of your mail.
If you want to obtain work authorization while your I-485 is being processed, you have two options. You can submit your application for work authorization with your I-485, or you can apply for work authorization later.
Follow these steps:
Complete Form I-765. If you are applying for work authorization based on your pending I-485, (c)(9) can be used for question #16.
Place two additional photos of yourself in an envelope, and staple it to the lower left corner of the I-765.
If you are applying after you filed the I-485, include a copy of your I-485 receipt notice from USCIS and a copy of your passport ID page. The I-485 fee covers the initial application and any renewals.
If you are in valid H-1B status, you only need additional employment authorization if you will be accepting employment outside of IU.
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