In reading some of the online immigration forums, we have noticed that there are a few myths on the internet about the adjustment of status, also known as the Green Card process. We hope this post helps to clear up any confusion you have about the process of getting your Green Card.
Myth # 1
USCIS must make a decision on your Green Card application (Form I-485) within 180 days after your interview.
There is no time limit on when USCIS must make a decision after an interview on an adjustment of status case. In fact, not all Form I-485 adjudications require an interview. This misconception may arise from the fact that USCIS has up to 120 days from the date of an applicant’s naturalization interview – not an interview for adjustment of status – to make a final decision on the applicant’s Form N-400. Even though there is no time limit to make a decision on an application for a Green Card, USCIS strives to adjudicate these cases within four months.
Myth # 2
You will get a decision on your Green Card application at the interview.
Often an applicant will not receive a decision on his or her adjustment of status application at the interview. Sometimes the Immigration Services Officer needs additional time to review a case and cannot provide the applicant with an immediate decision. This is especially true if additional information is requested at an interview or if additional documents are submitted at the time of the interview. There are a number of other reasons why a decision cannot be made at the interview, such as having to wait for a visa number to become available, or the need to complete security checks.
Myth # 3
In marriage-based adjustment of status cases, a wife must take her husband’s last name.
A married woman may choose a legal married name (take her husband’s surname), a legal pre-marriage name (keep her maiden name), or any form of either (for example, hyphenated name, maiden name and husband’s surname). USCIS does not require a female applicant to take her husband’s last name.
If permitted by law, a man can also take his wife’s surname, adopt a hyphenated combination of his name and his wife’s surname, or the couple may choose a hybrid of their surnames.