The 3rd and final stage of the permanent resident process allows for the individual employee/beneficiary of Form I-140 immigrant petition to file his or her own Form I-485 application to register permanent residence or adjust status (AOS) with the USCIS. The employee’s spouse and minor children (under 21) are also eligible to file their I-485 applications with the employee as his or her dependents. However, in order to file an I-485 application, a person must be physically present in the U.S., must be the beneficiary of an I-140 immigrant petition and an immigrant visa must be available. Filing Form I-485 is not available to individuals who are outside of the U.S.
If an immigrant visa is available, Form I-140 and Form I-485 can be filed concurrently with the USCIS. If an immigrant visa is not available, then Form I-140 immigrant petition must first be filed and Form I-485 is filed at a later date whenever the immigrant visa becomes available.