Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
Volunteer Attorney Overview
We are so happy that your client has been granted asylum! Thank you for volunteering to help your client continue on their path to citizenship by helping them file for legal permanent residency. If you assisted your client with their asylum application, you have already made a huge difference in your client’s life and we congratulate you on this meaningful accomplishment.
This page provides you with the information you need to represent your client in their application for lawful permanent residency. Aside from this page, there is also an Attorney Resource page available for you with templates, samples, research, and other great tools that we have created for you. Our mission is to make this as easy as possible for our attorney volunteers. With that in mind, if you have any suggestions or think of something we could add, please let us know!
About the Project
After the American withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021, approximately 76,000 Afghans were evacuated and brought to the United States. Missouri received 1,750 Afghan evacuees for resettlement in Fall 2021. The Missouri Office of Refugee Administration has designated Asylum Clinic Kansas City to serve as legal services coordinator for the resettlement agencies serving Afghan evacuees in western Missouri.
We are pleased that many of the families we serve are now being granted asylum, often as a result of the diligence and hard work of one of our excellent volunteer attorneys! On the path to citizenship, the next step after the grant of asylum is legal permanent residency (i.e. the "green card”). Thank you for your interest in assisting an Afghan family applying for legal permanent residency.
Our volunteers are key to the success of the project. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for assisting the Afghan community and making a difference in the lives of the applicants you represent.
Adjusting Status to Legal Permanent Resident
Your client has been granted asylum and is now ready to apply for legal permanent residency or “adjust status.” Becoming a lawful permanent resident allows your client to live and work in the United States indefinitely and is the first step toward citizenship. Your client will be eligible to apply to be a citizen 5 years after they become a lawful permanent resident. In addition, lawful permanent residents typically have greater access to social services and employment and educational opportunities, among other benefits.
Unlike the asylum application, your client and each of the family members included on the asylum application must submit their own adjustment application. The USCIS has not waived the filing fees for adjustment applications. So, to begin, Asylum Clinic will assess whether your client is eligible for a waiver of the USCIS’ filing fees for the application(s). If you are continuing representation from your client's asylum case, please let us assess your client's eligibility for a fee waiver before you proceed with their case. Once we have evaluated the applicant’s financial circumstances, we will communicate to you whether your client will qualify for a fee waiver or will owe the filing fees.
Pro bono attorneys representing adjustment applicants will prepare and file the Form I-485 and a Form G-28 Notice of Entry of Appearance with the USCIS. As the attorney of record, you will receive notices on the client’s behalf from the USCIS pertaining to the client’s case. You will also respond to client concerns and questions and assist the client in responding if the USCIS requests additional evidence.
To ensure adequate preparation for participation in this project, Pro Bono attorneys must register and enroll in the course "Representing Non-Detained Immigrants" which is offered for free through the American Bar Association.
We request that you commit to approximately 45 minutes of training by completing the video module Section D: ASYLEE ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS
which can be found in the 3rd set of videos entitled "Fear Based Claims: Asylum, Withholding of Removal, Convention Against Torture":
The content of the training directly related to Afghan asylee adjustments begins at the 4:25 mark. It is not necessary to watch the rest of the training videos.
We also have a supplemental slide deck that includes important information not included in the above training such as when best to submit the I-485 and the medical exam as well as whether your client needs to file for work authorization.
If you have follow up questions, please send them to email@example.com.
Scope and Expected Timeline
During the representation you should expect to:
Prepare Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status for the principal asylum applicant and each of their family members included as derivatives.
Identify any supporting documents and evidence that are not already in the client file and gather them.
File a Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance together with each client’s green card application package.
Provide client with information on next steps and respond to client’s questions and concerns.
Response to the USCIS' Request for Evidence with client's completed medical exam results.
ALSP expects that the application(s) will be completed within 12 weeks of placement. If you expect it to take longer to complete the application, please reach out to Leslie Tabb at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the amended timeline and any additional resources that may be needed.
Communicating with Your Client
If you were not the attorney that assisted with your client’s asylum application, then you will receive an e-mail granting access to your client’s file that will also indicate whether the client can communicate in English. If not, you will communicate with your client through interpreters.
To request an interpreter, contact Azizullah Mohammadzai at email@example.com and identify yourself as an Afghan Legal Services Project volunteer attorney.
Please include your client’s name, the way you would prefer to meet with your client (for instance, Zoom, telephone or in-person) and the date and time you propose to meet with your client.
Translation of Documents
All documents submitted with the application that are in a language other than English must be submitted with a full English translation.
The translator must also sign a certification that the English language translation is complete and accurate, and that he or she is competent to translate from the foreign language into English.
You can submit documents for translation by e-mailing them to Azizullah Mohammadzai at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can access helpful resources, including step-by-step guides, templates and sample documents by clicking HERE. The page is password-protected - you should have received the password along with your welcome email. If not, e-mail Leslie Tabb at email@example.com.
We will continue to add helpful items to the Resource Site, as items are developed or identified. If you want to suggest a resource to be added to the Resource Site, please e-mail Leslie Tabb at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Office Hours &
Asylum Clinic Kansas City will hold office hours on Thursdays at 12pm during which you may ask any questions you have for us and listen to the discussion of others’ questions, as well. You will receive an invitation by e-mail to the weekly Zoom call when you receive your client assignment.
We are also available to answer questions whenever you have them. Please feel free to e-mail or call if you have questions.