The Form I-485 processing time varies with your category of adjustment and USCIS field office. Despite the fact that the steps for obtaining an adjustment of status are fairly consistent, the processing time for a Form I-485 will vary considerably based on the application, USCIS caseload, and the accuracy of the application package.

Applicants who have filed Form I-140 for employment-based adjustment of status must first have their I-140 approved.

Form I-485 to green card timeline

It can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to get a green card after filing Form I-485.

A number of factors affect the I-485 timeline, including your eligibility for status adjustment. The I-485 processing time for a family-based application will also depend on your relationship with the U.S. citizen who has petitioned on your behalf.

The I-485 processing time employment based wait is different from the family based one. It’s also important to consider which USCIS Service Center you applied to when applying for a green card. Check processing times for your USCIS Service Center using this tool.

Form I-485 process steps

There are a number of required I-485 processing steps you must complete in order to file Form I-485 successfully. You can either:

  1. File Form I-485 online
  2. Print out the form and mail it in

If you mail the form in, include a Form I-485 cover letter. Read carefully all information in the form to ensure that you’re filling it out correctly. Below is a brief overview of the process’ steps. 

Receipt of application

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will mail Form I-797C (Notice of Action) to confirm a receipt approximately 2 to 3 weeks after filing. This process will only occur if you have met the filing and eligibility requirements.

 If you failed to complete a section or the USCIS finds you ineligible, then they may reject your application and mail a Request for Evidence (REF), requesting more information. 

Appointment notice for biometrics

All applicants will receive notice for biometrics 3 to 5 weeks after filing Form I-485. You’ll receive a notification for an appointment 1 to 2 weeks prior. The date, time, and place will be included in the Appointment Notice. The I-485 processing time after biometrics is 11 to 22 months. 

Biometrics appointment

The biometrics appointment will be scheduled 5 to 8 weeks at a local Application Support Center after you’ve filed Form I-485. During the appointment, a USCIS officer will record your fingerprints, photograph, and signature. 

If you miss your scheduled appointment, you risk I-485 delays in your application process.

Receive your EAD card

As part of the I-485 timeline, some individuals who applied for a work permit alongside submitting Form I-485 will receive your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Card approximately 12 to 16 weeks after filing. This card will allow you to work in the United States and travel (according to the conditions in the travel criteria).

Interview notice

The USCIS will send you an interview notice approximately 4 to 10 months after filing Form I-485. Depending on your circumstances, USCIS may request a petitioner to join the interview. 

Adjustment of status interview

The Form I-485 interview will take place 6 to 12 months later. It’s usually scheduled at the nearest USCIS office and will be 30 minutes in length. You’ll be required to answer several questions and also bring the following documents to the interview:

  • A complete copy of Form I-485 (Note: The USCIS Officer will review your application. Make sure that it’s complete and accurate)
  • Form I-485 supporting documents, including any original documents that you submitted copies of
  • Passport and visa

You may now be wondering, how long after I-485 interview to get green card? Luckily, you’re almost at the end!

Receive permanent residence

If successful, you’ll receive your green card or permanent residence 8 to 14 months after originally filing Form I-485. Be aware that there’s a possibility that the USCIS may reject your application. If approved, you’ll receive your green card in the mail. If denied, the USCIS will provide notice with an explanation of the rejection.

The green card will allow you to live, work, and travel inside and outside of the United States. It also replaces your EAD card. 

Visit UpCounsel’s Form I-485 step by step instructions for a detailed run-through.

Reasons for Form I-485 application delays

There are a number of reasons that the AOS processing time may be delayed. 

Reasons for delay:
  • You received a Request for Evidence asking for more information to support your I-485 submission
  • Your biometrics appointment was rescheduled
  • Your case is transferred to a different USCIS Service Center
  • Form I-485 processing errors 
  • The USCIS may conduct additional checks and investigation 
  • There’s a change in address

The USCIS receives thousands of applications a year. Although delays can occur, there are some steps you can take to potentially reduce possible I-485 delays. 

How to avoid delays in your application:
  • Make sure to complete all sections in the I-485 Form. Read the USCIS checklist to ensure you are meeting requirements
  • Hire an immigration lawyer to assist you in filing Form I-485 
  • Ensure you meet all deadlines
  • Submit all applicable supporting documentation
  • Don’t use any shortcuts 
  • Check your status online or call the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283

The I-485 application process is long, tiring, and sometimes complicated. When in doubt, UpCounsel has put together a handy Form I-485 checklist which starts with, but is not limited to the following options:

  1. A government-issued photo ID (e.g., passport, driver’s license)
  2. I-485 appointment notice, otherwise known as I-797C, Notice of Action
  3. Your complete application and supporting documentation. For example, if applicable in your circumstance, you may include I-130, I-130A, I-864, I-131, I-765, or I-944. You will also need to be the original documents of copies that you included (e.g., birth certificate, marriage and death certificates as well as divorce decrees (if applicable))
  4. Your passport (this does not apply to those with refugee or asylum status)
  5. Travel documents (e.g., advance parole permit) 
  6. Medical examination results 
  7. An up-to-date employment verification letter from your employer, documenting continued employment at a specified salary (applicable only for employment-based applications)

For more complicated situations, you may find yourself requiring a lawyer. Different lawyers will specialize in varying fields, and can thus give tailored advice dependent on your situation. 

By posting a job on UpCounsel, you not only have access to specialized lawyers, but you can seek legal assistance at an affordable cost. You also have the opportunity to save up to 60% on lawyer's fees, compared to traditional legal firms. 

To get started, post a new job on UpCounsel to get legal help. Describe your legal needs in a few sentences. Using specific details is important to pair you with the lawyer you need. UpCounsel prioritizes client safety and confidentiality by using an encrypted service to keep your information private, safe, and secure. All jobs are booked with a verified attorney and paid for over UpCounsel. 

Your I-485 processing time can take anywhere from 12 to 22 months after filing Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status, and related forms. The type of application will also be an indicator of how long the process will take. It may be shorter for some and longer for others. 

It’s possible that USCIS will request additional information or schedule an additional interview in some cases. If another interview is scheduled, the USCIS may ask you for the following documentation:

  1. A birth certificate
  2. Financial documentation
  3. Criminal records 

With your receipt number, you can check the status of your case online. Additionally, USCIS lists the normal processing time on its website. 


Here you will find answers for some of the most important questions about I-485 processing time.

How long does it take to get I-130 approved after I-485?

The wait time to get Form I-130 approved is shorter than the I-485 approval time. For immediate relatives (spouses, unmarried children under 21, or parents) of a U.S. citizen living abroad, the timeline is 9 to 13 months. For those living in the United States, the wait time is 12 to 22 months.

How long does it take to get a green card after EB2?

The average green card processing timeline after being approved to receive an EB2 visa status is 9 months. Furthermore, the EB2 I-485 processing time is 10 to 24 months. 

How long does it take to get I-485J approved?

I-485J processing time ranges from 8 to 14 months.

What happens after I-485J is approved?

Being approved for I-485J means that you can work in the United States while your Form I-485 is being processed. 

How long does it take to get I-485 approved after biometrics?

Concerning the I-485 processing time after biometrics, It will take approximately 8 to 12 months.

How long does it take to get I-485 approved for parents?

The processing time for Form I-485 for parents (family-based applications) is 12 to 22 months. However, it’s important to note that wait times can vary based on your category of adjustment and which USCIS field office is processing the application. 

Can I-140 and I-485 be approved together?

For employment-based green card preference categories (EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3), the USCIS does allow Form I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker) and Form I-485 (Adjustment of Status) to be filed and approved concurrently. The I-485 processing time after I-140 approval is 12 to 22 months. The timeline is independent of Form I-140. 

Can I-485 be denied after I-140 approval?

There’s a possibility that Form I-485 may be denied, even if Form I-140 is approved. Since there are separate employment-based permanent residence processes, you may meet the requirements of one, but not the other.

How long does it take to get EAD after filing I-485?

It will take approximately 12 to 16 weeks to receive your EAD Card after filing Form I-485. 

How do you know if I-485 is approved?

Check your status online or call our USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283.

Do you have to file AOS within 90 days?

It’s best to file for an adjustment of status after 90 days. Prior to 3 months, the USCIS may believe the applicant misrepresented their original intentions.