Documents Required for Green Card Processing

By Mallory Ferland
Application for a green card requires myriad documents specific to each immigration case.

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The documents required to be submitted along with a application for permanent residency are many. There are forms and documents universal to all cases, as well as documents specific to each immigration case. All forms can be obtained from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and must be submitted together in order for the application to be processed.

I-485

Form I-485--Application to Adjust Status or Register as a Permanent Resident--is the official application form used by all applicants in candidacy for a green card. I-485 is issued by (and must be submitted to) the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) along with all other required documents and the filing fee of $1,010.

Photocopies

All applicants must submit photocopies of their birth certificate along with a copy of its English translation (if applicable) from a certified translator. Along with the birth certificate, copies of your passport's information page as well as copies of all visas within your passport must be submitted. Do not send your original birth certificate or passport, as the forms will not be returned to you.

Criminal Record History

Submitting a criminal record history is only applicable for those who have been convicted of a felony. If your record is clean, this document is not necessary. Criminal record histories must include copies of the original police arrest and court-certified copies of the sentencing.

Photographs

Green card photographs are nearly identical to visa and passport photographs. The photograph requirements are: two identical photographs in full color two inches by two inches in dimension, set against a white background and consisting of a full head shot with the head comprising one to one and three-eights of the total height of the photograph. The head and face must be clear of any obstructions other than prescription glasses and religious head coverings (Only religious coverings that cover the head are allowed, and photographs with the face covered will be rejected). Both photographs must have the applicant's name and Alien Registration Number written on the back in pencil.

Medical Examination

Form I-693--Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record--is required for all applicants unless otherwise noted. Both applicants based on refugee and marriage status need only submit the vaccination record portion with their I-485 application.

Form G-325A

Form G-325A--Biographic Information Sheet--is required of all applicants between the ages of 14 and 79. The form, along with all other USCIS forms (such as I-693) can be found at the website of the USCIS at uscis.gov.

Form I-864

A Form I-864 affidavit of support is required for all applicants applying through a Fiancé(e) K-1 visa, an I-130 family petition or the employment-based petition I-140. The affidavit of support verifies that you are financially supported in the United States.

Employment Letter

A letter of employment is only necessary for those who are applying through a work visa petition (I-140). The employment letter must be printed on a letterhead from the sponsoring company and must confirm that the position is being offered to you as well as stating what your salary will be.

Evidence of Eligibility

Evidence of eligibility is based on your specific situation. Marriage-based applicants must submit copies of their marriage certificate, I-129F fiancé(e) petition approval, and Form I-94--Arrival/Departure Document. Those filing based on refugee or asylum status must include a copy of I-94 Arrival/Departure Document. Family-member-based immigrants must include a copy of the approved I-130 petition (only if not filed concurrently with I-485).

About the Author

Mallory Ferland has been writing professionally since her start in 2009 as an editorial assistant for Idaho-based Premier Publishing. Her writing and photography have appeared in "Idaho Cuisine" magazine, "Spokane Sizzle" and various online publications. She graduated from Gonzaga University in 2009 with Bachelor of Arts degrees in history and French language and now writes, photographs and teaches English in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

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