Law

What Documents Are Required to Change Status From F-1 to Marriage-based Green Card?

When changing your immigration status from F-1 to a marriage-based green card (adjustment of status), you will need to submit a comprehensive set of documents to support your application. These documents help establish your eligibility for the green card based on your marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. While the specific requirements may vary depending on individual circumstances and USCIS policy changes, here is a general list of documents you might need:

Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status: This is the main form to apply for a green card through marriage.

Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative: This form is filed by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse to establish the relationship between you and your spouse.

Passport: A valid passport with a validity date at least six months into the future.

Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record: A copy of your most recent I-94, which shows your current nonimmigrant status and authorized period of stay.

Marriage Certificate: A copy of your official marriage certificate to prove the validity of your marriage.

Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Residency of Your Spouse: This can be a copy of your spouse’s U.S. passport, birth certificate, certificate of naturalization, or permanent resident card (green card).

Two Passport-style Photos: Recent passport-sized photos meeting USCIS specifications.

Evidence of Bona Fide Marriage: Documents that demonstrate the authenticity of your marriage, such as joint financial records, joint lease or mortgage, joint bank account statements, joint utility bills, and photographs of you and your spouse together with family and friends.

Affidavit of Support (Form I-864): This form is filled out by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse to demonstrate their ability to financially support you.

Proof of Termination of Previous Marriages (if applicable): If you or your spouse were previously married, include divorce decrees or death certificates to show that those marriages have ended.

Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record: A sealed, completed medical examination form from a USCIS-approved civil surgeon.

Proof of Legal Entry to the U.S.: Evidence that you entered the U.S. legally, such as a copy of your visa, entry stamp, or Form I-94.

Form I-765 (Optional): If you want to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to work while your green card application is pending, you may include Form I-765 along with supporting documents and the filing fee.

Form I-131 (Optional): If you need to travel outside the U.S. while your green card application is pending, you may include Form I-131 along with supporting documents and the filing fee to apply for a travel document (Advance Parole).

Please note that this is a general list, and additional documents or evidence may be required depending on your specific situation. Always refer to the most current USCIS instructions and consult with an immigration attorney for personalized guidance and to ensure your application is complete and accurate.

The processing time for changing status from F-1 to a marriage-based green card (adjustment of status) can vary depending on various factors, including the USCIS workload, the service center processing your application, your individual circumstances, and any backlogs in visa numbers for your country of origin (if applicable).

As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, USCIS provided estimated processing times on its website for each type of application and form. However, keep in mind that these times were subject to change, and it’s always best to check the most current processing times directly from the USCIS website.

On average, the process could take several months to a year or more. Here’s a rough breakdown of the timeline:

Form I-130 Processing: The processing time for Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative), filed by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, can take around 6 to 12 months. This processing time depends on the USCIS service center handling the petition.

Form I-485 Processing: The processing time for Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) can also take around 6 to 12 months or more, depending on the service center.

Biometrics Appointment: After you file Form I-485, you will receive a notice for a biometrics appointment within a few weeks. The biometrics appointment is typically scheduled within 1 to 2 months from the application filing date.

Interview (if applicable): USCIS may schedule an interview for you and your spouse to verify the validity of your marriage and eligibility for a green card. The interview may be scheduled within 4 to 12 months after filing, depending on the workload and USCIS policies.

Decision: After the interview (if applicable) or after completing the processing of your application, USCIS will make a decision on your green card application. If approved, you will receive your green card in the mail within a few weeks.

Please keep in mind that these timelines are approximate and can vary significantly based on individual circumstances and external factors. Processing times can also change due to shifts in USCIS workload and policy changes.

To get the most accurate and up-to-date information on processing times, visit the USCIS website¬†and navigate to the “Check Case Processing Times” page. Enter the appropriate form number (e.g., I-130, I-485) and the USCIS service center processing your application to see the current estimated processing time.

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