USCIS Forms to Complete:
To properly file for AOS the following documents must be completed:
I-765 (optional, but fee is not reduced if you do not file it)
I-131 (optional, but fee is not reduced if you do not file it)
Form I-693(Medical Examination) Form provided and completed By USCIS Civil Surgeon only
All applicants for permanent residence (i.e. filing an I-485 application) are required to have a medical examination. The examination is conducted by a USCIS certified surgeon. The civil surgeon will provide you with a sealed copy of your medical examination. Please do not open the sealed envelope. It must be sent to USCIS sealed and opened envelopes will be rejected. To avoid delays do not tamper with the sealed medical examination. You must use only a USCIS certified civil surgeon. You cannot use your private physician unless your physician is also a USCIS civil surgeon. The civil surgeon is only required to perform the actual physical, medical examination. You can have the additional tests (HIV, syphilis, Tb) and vaccinations done elsewhere such as the Tennessee Health Department or your personal physician. Civil surgeons can also bill these costs to your medical insurance as long as they have a provider relationship with your medical insurer. In addition, if you have your immunization record, you can simply take that with you when you meet the civil surgeon.
Click here for USCIS Civil Surgeon Locator
As part of the permanent residence process, USCIS will take a biometric scan of your fingerprints, face and signature. There is no form to complete for this process but you must pay an additional fee of $80.00. All applicants’ ages 14-79 years are required to have a biometric scan.
Employment Authorization (Form I-765):
Part of the I-485 application includes issuance of an employment authorization document (EAD). If you do not want employment authorization, and wish to continue working under your work visa (H-1B, O-1, E-3) you may. Vanderbilt University will continue to extend your non-immigrant visa status, where permitted by law, until your I-485 is approved and you are issued a permanent resident card. This will allow you to continue working at Vanderbilt and not be fully reliant on the I-485 and EAD for employment. Your family members can also extend their H-4 visa status until the permanent residence is approved.
However, if you need EAD in order to continue working you must file an application to request this employment authorization. Also, if you are seeking employment authorization to allow you to work outside of Vanderbilt University (moonlighting, contract work, honorariums, additional employment), or if one of your family members wants to be able to work in the USA, you, or your family member, must also complete Form I-765.
The questions on the I-765 application are generally self-explanatory except Question #16. That question asks you to state the Eligibility Category (or basis) for employment authorization. Since the I-485 is an adjustment of status application, you should enter (c)(9) in the brackets. Leave the last bracket empty.
International Travel During Permanent Residence Process (Form I-131):
Your current work visa can be used for both work and travel, but a new visa stamp may be needed if the one in your passport has expired. When you travel abroad, please remember to make an appointment with a US Consulate to obtain a new visa, if necessary.
However, if you are a citizen of a country that requires extensive background checks before issuing a new visa stamp, you may want to consider obtaining an advance parole travel document (‘AP travel document’). The AP travel document is valid for one year and allows you to return to the USA without having to obtain a new H-1B visa. To request an AP Travel Document you must complete Form I-131. When you complete the I-131 answer only the sections of the form that pertain to Advance Parole. You can ignore the other sections of the form. Note, also, that if you are in the USA and requesting Advance Parole, the correct "Application Type" in Part 2 is box "d" (I'm applying for advance parole to return to the US after traveling abroad). You do not need to complete anything else in Part 2, once you choose box "d".
Note : USCIS is now issuing employment and travel authorization on a single card for certain applicants filing an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, Form I-485. This card will serve as both an employment authorization and Advance Parole document. Additionally, the new card is also more secure and more durable than the current paper Advance Parole document.
Applicants who file an I-765 and I-131 along with their I-485 application will receive this card. Additional information about this joint Adance Parole and EAD card (AP/EAD) can be found by clicking here: AP/EAD Card.
Additional Documents Required:
Please read the USCIS forms you are completing and provide all documents requested. The documents generally required are as follows:
- Passport biographical data page
- H-1B or non-immigrant visa (or approval notice)
- I-94 document (both sides required)
- Birth Certificate
- Six original passport size photos
- All prior I-20, IAP-66, DS-2019 documents
- All J-1 waiver approvals or waiver recommendation letters
Family members also filing will also have to show proof of their relationship to you (i.e. marriage certificate, birth certificate)