Application Timeline for Adjustment of Status

Application Timeline for Adjustment of Status

Filing an adjustment of status application means gaining lawful permanent resident status in the USA. Also known as a green card, it gives the holder the right to live and work in the country permanently rather than temporarily on a nonimmigrant visa.

Filing an adjustment of status application means gaining lawful permanent resident status in the USA. Also known as a green card, it gives the holder the right to live and work in the country permanently rather than temporarily on a nonimmigrant visa.

In this article, we’ll look at how long the adjustment of status process takes from initial filing to receiving a green card.

How Long Does it Take After Adjustment of Status Filing?

The adjustment of status process can take anywhere between 8 and 14 months from initial filing to completion. Numerous factors affect the timeline, such as the basis of application, request for additional information, scheduling an interview, national emergency proclamations like Covid-19, and more.

Other than filling in forms correctly and mailing them in good time, there isn’t much that applicants can do to reduce the processing timeline. Having a qualified immigration attorney guide you through the application will ensure everything is completed correctly, posted to the right place, and submitted on time.

If you have yet to begin your adjustment of status application, you can check processing times for your local USCIS service center on its website.

Adjustment of Status Application Timeline


The timeline below is a rough guideline based on average waiting times across the country. Some busier centers will take longer, but this should give you enough information to plan your application accordingly.

The first step is to file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Resident or Adjust Status. It is in an applicant’s best interest to complete the form with the help of an immigration attorney, as even minor mistakes can lead to denial of the application or severe delays.

Stage 1: Receipt of Application

Roughly 3-4 weeks after submission, the applicant will receive a receipt of application from USCIS. This does nothing but confirm the application has been received; it is not confirmation of adjustment of status.

If the form wasn’t filled in correctly, USCIS may issue a notice of rejection and an explanation. Alternatively, it might ask for more evidence to support the initial application. Of course, both of these delay the timeline, so it’s important to file complete and accurate applications.

Stage 2: Appointment Scheduling for Biometrics

Around 6-8 weeks after submission, sometimes longer, the applicant will receive notice of a biometrics appointment. The time, date, and location will be given in the notice, but it is possible to reschedule the appointment. Choosing a later date will obviously delay the application.

It is a standard part of adjustment of status applications for the applicant to give fingerprints. This is so USCIS can conduct a criminal background check, so, providing the applicant hasn’t committed any crimes, it’s nothing to worry about.

Stage 3: Attending the Biometrics Appointment

The biometrics appointment is typically scheduled roughly 3 weeks later at a local USCIS service center after receiving your biometric appointment letter. It’s a short appointment that takes around 30 minutes, during which the applicant will give their fingerprints and signature and have their photo taken.

The applicant must take a form of government ID, such as a driver’s license, passport or national or state ID card. Other documents may be required, too, but this will be stated in the appointment notice.

Stage 4: Receiving a Work Permit

If, when filing Form I-485, you also submitted Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) and Form I-131 (Application for Travel Document), they will arrive around 12-16 weeks after submission. 

Due to COVID-19 delays, there are severe delays in obtaining your employment authorization and travel document. At the time of writing, in general, an employment authorization card is adjudicated between 10 to 14 months. 

If you applied for both, they come on the same card. The EAD (or work permit) allows green card applicants to work while waiting for their adjustment of status. Form I-131 grants an advance parole document, which allows for re-entry into the US without applying for a visa.

Stage 5: Notice of Interview

The next stage may take a while to come around – typically 6-14 months after initial submission. The applicant will receive a notice of interview if required; interviews are waived in some situations. In general, the petitioner will also have to attend.  

Stage 6: The Interview

The actual interview could happen around 2 months later depending on the center’s backlog. Generally, the interview lasts 1 hour and is a standard part of the adjustment of status process.

As preparation, the applicant should review their Form I-485 and be familiar with the answers. It’s important to take some other documents, too:

·  The original copies of documents you submitted during application, such as marriage or birth certificates.

·  A complete copy of Form I-485 and any other submitted forms.

·  Passport, including the nonimmigrant visa on which the applicant entered the country.

·  EAD card (if applied for/received).

Again, USCIS will provide the applicant with a complete list of documentation they should take. If any information is outdated or incorrect, it’s fine to take the new information to the interview.

Stage 7: Receiving a Green Card

Providing everything has gone smoothly so far, the applicant will receive their green card anywhere between 8 and 14 months after filing Form I-485. After the interview the applicant generally waits a few weeks for the green card to arrive in the mail.  

If the application is denied, USCIS will send a short explanation stating why. Depending on the reason, it is possible to correct the issue and resubmit an adjustment of status application.

Applying with San Diego Immigration Law Office

Immigration Attorney

One of the best ways to guarantee correct and speedy processing is by filing the right forms at the right time. To do this, it is in your best interest to use a qualified immigration law firm, such as San Diego Immigration Law Office.

We have helped numerous people complete their adjustment of status applications, leading to happy (and permanent) lives in the US. So, if you’re getting ready to submit Form I-485, book a consultation to see how we can help.

San Diego Immigration Law Office is here for you; get in touch for more information.