Form I-485 Processing Time

Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status, is a crucial step for those seeking to become lawful permanent residents of the United States. If you are eligible, filing Form I-485 allows you to adjust your status from a nonimmigrant to an immigrant (permanent resident) without having to leave the country. The processing time for Form I-485, however, can vary widely depending on several factors. In this article, we will provide an overview of the Form I-485 processing time, what happens after filing, and common reasons for delays.

Form I-485 Processing Time

The processing time for Form I-485 varies depending on the applicant’s eligibility category and the USCIS service center handling the application. Generally, processing times range from 8 to 14 months, but they can be shorter or longer depending on the specifics of your case. You can check the USCIS website for the most up-to-date processing times for each service center.

What Happens After Filing Form I-485?

  1. Receipt Notice: After filing Form I-485, you will receive a receipt notice from USCIS, usually within 2-4 weeks. This notice confirms that your application has been received and is being processed.
  2. Biometrics Appointment: USCIS will schedule a biometrics appointment, typically within 3-8 weeks after filing. At this appointment, your fingerprints, photograph, and signature will be collected for background checks and to create your permanent resident card (green card).
  3. Request for Evidence (RFE): USCIS may request additional documentation or evidence to support your application. If you receive an RFE, it is essential to respond promptly, as failure to do so could result in delays or denial of your application.
  4. Interview (if applicable): Not all applicants will be required to attend an interview. However, if USCIS deems it necessary, they will schedule an interview at a local field office to verify the information provided in your application and assess your eligibility for permanent residence.
  5. Decision: Once all required steps have been completed, USCIS will make a decision on your application. If approved, you will receive a notice of approval, and your permanent resident card (green card) will be mailed to you.

Common Delays in Form I-485 Processing

Several factors can contribute to delays in the processing of your Form I-485, including:

  1. Incomplete or inaccurate application: Ensuring that your application is complete and accurate before submission can help prevent unnecessary delays.
  2. Request for Evidence (RFE): As mentioned earlier, if USCIS requires additional documentation or evidence, it can extend the processing time for your application.
  3. Security checks: Lengthy background checks and security clearances can sometimes cause delays in processing.
  4. High volume of applications: The number of applications received by USCIS can impact processing times. If there is a surge in applications, it may result in longer processing times.
  5. COVID-19 pandemic: The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to operational changes and reduced capacity at USCIS offices, which may contribute to delays in processing times.


The Form I-485 processing time can vary widely, but understanding the steps involved and being aware of common delays can help you better prepare for the adjustment of status process. Always ensure that your application is complete and accurate, and promptly respond to any requests for additional information. By staying informed and proactive, you can increase your chances of a successful outcome and move one step closer to becoming a lawful permanent resident of the United States.