I-485 Application Checklist Helps You Apply for a Green Card

The application to apply for a green card is complex, expensive, and long. It also requires you to gather supporting documentation. Knowing exactly which documents to include can be confusing. This I-485 checklist can help. Correctly file your I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

Before you start assembling your application, let’s make sure you’re eligible.

Do You Meet the Application’s Eligibility Requirements?

The I-485 green card eligibility categories are listed below. You can read through them and see if your eligible or try FileRight.com’s quick and free eligibility quiz.

Take the Eligibility Quiz

Based on an Immigrant Petition

This category is for people who:

  • Have an immigrant visa number immediately available based on an approved immigrant petition;
  • Have a completed relative petition (Form I-130), special immigrant juvenile petition, or special immigrant military petition which, if approved, would make an immigrant visa number immediately available to you. This includes the immediate relative of a U.S. citizen: spouse, unmarried child under age 21, and parent (if the U.S. citizen is over age 21).

Spouse or Child (Derivative) of Another Green Card Applicant (Principal)

Derivative applicants are the spouses and children of the principal adjustment of status applicant. If the spouse or child is in the United States, the derivative applicants may file their Form I-485 with the principal applicant, or file any time after the principal’s Form I-485 is approved (if a visa number is available. If the spouse or child is living abroad, the principal applicant should file Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition, together with the principal’s Form I-485, to allow the derivatives to immigrate to the United States without delay if the principal’s Form I-485 is approved.

Fiancé(e) of a U.S. Citizen, or K-2 Child of Fiancé(e)

This category is for individuals who were admitted to the U.S. as the K-1 fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen and you married that citizen within 90 days of entering the United States. It is also for the K-2 child of such a fiancé(e).


As a refugee, you can apply to adjust status after you have been admitted as a refugee and have been physically present in the United States for 1 year following your admission.

Cuban Citizen or National

You may apply to adjust status if you are a native or citizen of Cuba, were admitted or paroled into the United States after January 1, 1959, and have been physically present in the U.S. for at least 1 year. The spouse and the unmarried child of a such a Cuban may also apply to adjust status, regardless of nationality, as long as they were also admitted or paroled after January 1, 1959, and have been physically present in the U.S. for at least 1 year.

Based on Continuous Residence Since Before Jan. 1, 1972

You may apply for permanent residence if you have continuously resided in the U.S. since before January 1, 1972. This is known as “Registry.”

Ready to File? Download the Green Card Application Checklist

If you’ve determined you’re eligible to file, you can download our Green Card Application Checklist to help you prepare.

When you’re ready to begin the I-485 Green Card Application, we’ll guide you through it with step-by-step instructions.

About FileRight.com

Fileright.com provides online “do-it-yourself” software and lawyer review services to help you properly complete the immigration application process. Answer simple questions about your life situation, one step at a time and the FileRight software will complete and properly format the required USCIS application documents for you. FileRight checks your application for completeness before you file, identifying omissions and errors that could cause your application to be rejected.

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