Form I-485 needs to be filed to adjust the Green Card applicant’s status to that of a Permanent Resident of the U.S., or simply put – to get a Green Card.

This page contains step-by-step Form I-485 instructions for marriage based green card.

  1. Who is filing Form I-485: Green Card applicant
  2. Form I-485 filing fee: $1,225
    • This includes $85 mandatory biometrics fee
    • If you’re over 79 years of age or older, biometrics fee is waived, and filing fee is $1,140
    • Double check to make sure this is the correct filing fee, as this can change any time
  3. Methods of payment:
    • Money order, personal check, or cashier’s check payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”, or
    • Credit Card using Form G-1450
USCIS Form I-485 Instructions, Marriage based Green Card

Form I-485 Instructions

This is Green Card applicant’s information
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This is Green Card applicant’s information
  • 1a. Family-based
    • Check “Immediate relative of a U.S. Citizen, Form I-130”
  • 1b. – 1g.
    • Leave blank
  • 2. Are you applying for…(INA) section 245(i)?
    • Select ‘No’
  • 3. Receipt Number of Underlying Petition
    • Write ‘N/A’
  • 4. Your Priority Date from Underlying Application
    • Write ‘N/A’
  • 5. Principal Applicant’s Name
    • Enter your spouse’s (U.S. citizen) name
  • 6. Principle Applicant’s A-number
    • U.S. born U.S. citizens
      • Write ‘N/A’
    • Naturalized U.S. citizens
      • Refer to your Certificate of Naturalization
        • Enter your Alien Registration Number here, and not your Certificate number
          • Alien Registration Number starts with A
          • They’re both listed on your certificate, so be careful
    • Children to U.S. citizen parents born outside of U.S.
      • Refer to your Certificate of Citizenship
        • Enter your Alien Registration Number here, and not your Certificate number
          • They’re both listed on your certificate and both start with A, so be extra careful
          • The certificate number is one on the top, printed in RED
          • The other is your USCIS Registration Number (Alien Number)
  • 7. Principal Applicant’s Date of Birth
    • Enter your spouse’s (U.S. citizen) date of birth
  • 8. Receipt number of Principle’s underlying Application
    •  Write ‘N/A’
  • 9. Priority Date of Principle’s underlying Application
    •  Write ‘N/A’
This is Green Card applicant’s information
  • 1. Have you every applied for…or U.S. Consulate abroad?
    • Check ‘Yes’ if you’ve applied for a Green Card before
    • Check ‘No’, if you’ve not applied for a Green Card before (common choice)
  • 2 – 4. Location/Decision/Date of Decision
    • If you’ve selected ‘Yes’ on item 1 above, furnish this information
    • If you’ve selected ‘No’ on item 1 above, leave blank
  • 5 – 10. Address History
    • Only include information for the last 5 years
    • Use ‘Form I-485, part 14’ if you need additional space
      • Instructions provided in part 14 below
    • This is the same information you’ve provided in ‘Form I-130A, part 1, items 4 – 9’
  • 11 – 18. Employment History
    • Enter ‘N/A’, if you don’t have any employment history
    • Start with the most recent and finish with the least recent, going back up to 5 years
    • Do not include any periods that you were unemployed
    • Use ‘Form I-485, part 14’ if you need additional space
      • Instructions provided in Part 14 below
  • 19 – 22. Employment outside of the United States
    • Provide your last employment information only
    • Enter ‘N/A’, if you:
      • Provided this in items 11–18 above, or
      • Did not work outside of the United States
This is Green Card applicant’s information
  • 1 to 8. Information About Your Parent 1
    • This can be your father or mother
    • For item 2:
      • Remember to provide your mother’s maiden name, if you’re providing her information here
      • If the name hasn’t changed, write ‘N/A’
  • 9 to 16 Information About Your Parent 2
    • This is the information about your other parent
    • For item 10:
      • Remember to provide your mother’s maiden name, if you’re providing her information here
      • If the name hasn’t changed, write ‘N/A’
This is Green Card applicant’s information
  • 1. Current Marital Status
    • Select ‘Married’
  • 2. Is your spouse current member of U.S. armed forces or U.S. Coast Guard
    • Select ‘Yes’ or ‘No’
  • 3. Self explanatory
  • 4. Current Spouse’s Legal Name
    • Enter your spouse’s name as it appears on his/her U.S. Passport or U.S. Driver’s license, or
    • If your spouse has taken or plans on taking your last name, use that instead
  • 5. A-Number
    • This is your spouse’s (U.S. citizen) Alien Registration Number
    • U.S. born U.S. citizens
      • Write ‘N/A’
    • Naturalized U.S. citizens
      • Refer to your Certificate of Naturalization
        • Enter your Alien Registration Number here, and not your Certificate number
          • Alien Registration Number starts with A
          • They’re both listed on your certificate, so be careful
    • Children to U.S. citizen parents born outside of U.S.
      • Refer to your Certificate of Citizenship
        • Enter your Alien Registration Number here, and not your Certificate number
          • They’re both listed on your certificate and both start with A, so be extra careful
          • The certificate number is one on the top, printed in RED
          • The other is your USCIS Registration Number (Alien Number)
  • 6 – 9. Self explanatory
  • 10. Is your current spouse applying with you?
    • Select ‘No’
      • FYI, this question is asking – is your current spouse applying for ‘adjustment of status’ with you, which s/he is not
  • 11 – 16. Prior Marriages
    • Write ‘N/A’ if you’ve never been married before
    • Enter information if you were married before
    • Use ‘Form I-485, part 14’ if you need additional space
      • Instructions provided in part 14 below
This is Green Card applicant’s information
  • 1. If you have no children, enter ‘None’
  • 2 – 16. Information about your children
    • Leave blank, if you have answered ‘None’ to item 1 above
      • Leave #6, #11, and #16 unchecked
    • If you have children, provide this information
      • Leave any unused fields blank
        • e.g. If you have only 1 Child leave Child 2 and Child 3 blank
      • Use ‘Form I-485, part 14’ if you need additional space
        • Instructions provided in part 14 below
This is Green Card applicant’s information
  • 1. Select your Ethnicity
    • ‘Hispanic or Latino’, if you’re Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or of other Spanish culture or origin
    • If none of the above, select ‘Not Hispanic or Latino’
  • 2. Select your Race
    • White, if you’re from Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.
    • Asian, if you’re from Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, thePhilippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.
    • Black or African American, if you’re belong to any of the black racial groups of Africa
    • American Indian or Alaska Native, if you’re from North or South America (including Central America), who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment
    • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, if you’re any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands
  • 3 – 6: Self explanatory
This is Green Card applicant’s information
  • 1. Select ‘Yes’ if this applies to you
    • You only need to list religious organizations, professional associations, military groups, political groups and social clubs etc.
    • No need to include store memberships like ‘Sam’s Club’, ‘Costco’, ‘AAA’ etc.
  • 2 – 13. Organization Information
    • Leave blank, if you have answered ‘No’ to item 1 above
    • If you answered ‘Yes’ to item 1, provide information
    • Use ‘Form I-485, part 14’ if you need additional space
      • Instructions provided in part 14 below
  • 14 – 80. Self Explanatory
    • If you’ve answered ‘Yes’ to any of these questions, please stop and contact an Immigration Attorney and check if you are eligible to file
This is Green Card applicant’s information
  • 1. Are you requesting accommodation… and/or impairments?
    • Select ‘No’ if you do not have any Disabilities and/or Impairments
    • If you believe you need USCIS to accommodate your disability and/or impairment select ‘Yes’, and refer to USCIS Form I-485 instructions, page 17 of 43
  • 2a – 2c.
    • If you selected ‘No’ on item 1, leave these checkboxes blank
    • If you answered ‘Yes’ on item 1, select checkboxes and enter information, as applicable
This is Green Card applicant’s information
  • 1a. Select this box, if the Green Card applicant or U.S. citizen has filled this application (common choice)
  • 1b. Select this box, if an interpreter has filled this application
    • Provide language the interpreter used to communicate with you
  • 2. Select this box, if an interpreter has filled this application
    • Provide the full name of the interpreter
  • 3 – 5. Provide the Green Card applicant’s information
  • 6. Sign and Date after printing the form
    • Sign in Black ink
    • If you forget to sign and date, your application may get rejected

This section should only be filled if you used an interpreter to fill your form. If not, leave this section blank.

This section should only be filled if anyone else besides the Green Card applicant or his/her (U.S. Citizen) spouse has filled this form. If not, leave this section blank.

Leave this section blank. This will be filled during your marriage interview.

This section should only be filled if the information provided in sections above needed additional space. If not, leave this section blank.

If you’re using this section, make sure you follow these steps:

  1. Fill out 1a, 1b, 1c
  2. Fill 2, if applicable
  3. Do no repeat the information provided in the sections above
  4. If you need additional space, make copies of this section, and repeat steps 1, 2, and 3 for every copy.

Tips and Checks:

  1. Fill using BLACK ink
  2. We recommend saving a local copy, so you don’t lose your entered data
  3. Make sure the form hasn’t expired. Expiration date is stated on the top right corner of the form.
  4. For items that are Not-Applicable, write “N/A” (without the quotes)
  5. For item that have the answer none, write “none” (without the quotes)
  6. For those who have already taken or are planning on taking your spouse’s last name, use your new last name while filling the application.
    • It does not matter if your SSN, Drivers License, Passport etc. have not been updated to reflect your new name. Your marriage certificate suffices the name change requirement
  7. We think our Form I-485 instructions are sufficient, but if you want more information here are USCIS’s instructions.

Form I-485 Instructions FAQs

Per USCIS, Form I-485 needs to be filed to apply to adjust your status to that of a permanent resident of the United States.

In this case i.e. marriage based green card, the Green Card applicant files Form I-485 to adjust his/her status to that of a Permanent Resident of the U.S., or simply put – to get a green card.

Yes, these Form I-485 instructions are limited to marriage based green card when both spouses are physically present in the U.S.

If you’re looking for Form I-485 instructions for a different category, visit our green card journey page.

In this case the Green Card applicant needs to file Form I-485.

Detailed field level instructions can be found in Form I-485 instructions section above.

That concludes the Form I-485 Instructions. If you have any thoughts, questions, or clarifications on Form I-485 instructions, feel free to ask and/or discuss them in the appropriate Form I-485 category within Marriage based Green Card discussions.

Legal Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with any U.S. Government Agency. We are not Immigration Attorneys and no content on this website should be construed as legal advice. ©2022 GREENCARDEZ, LLC

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