Adjustment of Status, Form I-485
What is an Adjustment of Status and how long does it take to adjust status in the United States?
Adjustment of Status (AOS) is the final stage of green card processing. Upon successful approval of immigrant visa petition originating from both labor certification or other employment based self or employer sponsorship, person becomes eligible to file adjustment of status provided the priority date is current at the time of filing AOS. In all employment based AOS, there must be a bonafide job offer throughout the pendency of the Adjustment. A person having out of status problems could be subject to denial if they fail to qualify for INA 245K or exceed the 180 days of illegal status in the US. Well, it all depends on the currentness of the Priority Date for the issuance of the green card. The priority date is critical for both initial filing and final issuance of the green card. The Service takes around 8 to 12 months for the processing of an Adjustment of Status.
How do I apply for Adjustment of Status and will I be able to receive a Work Permit / EAD after applying for the Adjustment of Status?
You’ll need to submit Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to the USCIS.
How long can I stay in the US unemployed while I have a I-485 pending? Without employment am I risking the cancellation of my Green Card application?
You can remain in the US as long as your I-485 remains pending or becomes approved. otherwise, your legality within the US depends on if you receive an RFE; or a Notice of Intent to Deny in regards to your pending I-485 where you are required to respond by providing evidence of similar employment which would grant you the I-485 approval or continued pendency.
Am I obligated to inform the USCIS that I have been laid off? If I do inform the USCIS of my employment termination from the job that had been hosting my Green Card application wouldn’t the USCIS immediately cancel my I-485 application?
The employee does not have the obligation to inform the USCIS that he or she had been laid off. However your employer may inform the USCIS in which case they would send you a Notice of Intent to Deny that would require further proof of similar employment.
My I-140 had been approved but my I-485 has been pending over the 180 days. If I am unable to find work that is similar to my previous employment that hosted my I-140 petition, am I able to use my EAD to take any job available? In this case would I need to re-apply for I-140 and Labor certification? If so would the priority date change to the new priority date associated with the new I-140 petition?
Being that your I-140 is approved and your I-485 has been pending over the 180 days, then yes you are legally entitled to change jobs to a similar position with any employer willing to hire you. This also means you do not have to restart your Green Card petition over. However if your employment is not similar to your Green Card hosted employment you WILL have to restart your Green Card petition and must carry the Priority Date forward with the new petition.