Applying for permanent residency (PR) in the USA isn’t a task that comes in handy, it requires a thorough understanding of the necessary documents and legal considerations. This guide outlines the essential USA PR documents, including photos, forms, and other critical requirements for a successful application.

1. USA PR Documents Checklist

When preparing your US PR application, make sure to include the following documents:

  • Passport: A valid passport is required, with at least six months of validity beyond your intended stay in the USA.
  • Form I-485: Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) This is the primary form for adjusting your status to permanent resident.
  • Photographs- Photo required for US visa: Two passport-sized photos as per the specifications provided by USCIS.
  • Birth Certificate: A certified copy of your birth certificate with an English translation if necessary.
  • Proof of Financial Support: Bank statements, employment letters, and affidavits of support to demonstrate your financial stability.
  • Medical Examination Report: A completed medical examination report (Form I-693) from a USCIS-approved physician.
  • Employment Verification: If applicable, employment verification letters from your current and past employers.
  • Marriage Certificate: If you are married, a certified copy of your marriage certificate with an English translation is needed.
  • Form I-864: Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) To be completed by a sponsor to demonstrate they can financially support you, an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) is a critical part of the application process. Understanding the USA PR cost and ensuring you meet the income requirements is crucial for a successful application. The sponsor must prove their financial capability to support the applicant, typically by meeting a minimum income level based on household size
  • Police Clearance Certificates: Police clearance certificates from your home country and any other country where you have lived for six months or more since turning 16.
  • Form I-797- Form I-797 (Notice of Action): Any notices received from USCIS regarding your application.
  • Evidence of Legal Entry: Proof of lawful entry into the USA, such as your visa stamp or I-94 travel record.
  • Education and Employment Records: Copies of your educational certificates and employment history to support your application.
  • Documents Needed for US Visa Renewal: If you are renewing your visa, include any relevant documents from previous applications and renewals.

2. Special Considerations for USA PR Process for International Students

  • Maintaining F-1 Status: Students must maintain their F-1 status while on OPT and before transitioning to H-1B. This includes adhering to employment regulations and reporting changes to their DSO.
  • Cap-Gap Extension: The cap-gap extension allows students on OPT to extend their work authorization if their H-1B petition is selected in the lottery but not yet effective. This extension bridges the gap between the end of OPT and the start of the H-1B visa.
  • Dual Intent: The H-1B visa is dual intent, meaning students can apply for permanent residency without jeopardizing their nonimmigrant status. This allows them to legally stay in the USA while their green card application is processed.

3. USA PR Time

Understanding the USA PR time is crucial for planning and managing expectations. Here’s a breakdown of the typical timeline:

  • Form I-485 Processing Time: The processing time for Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) is usually 8-14 months. This timeframe can vary depending on the applicant's location and the workload of the USCIS office processing the application.
  • Biometrics Appointment: After submitting Form I-485, applicants will receive a notice for a biometrics appointment, typically scheduled within 3-5 weeks of filing.
  • Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and Advance Parole (AP): If you apply for an EAD or AP along with your Form I-485, it generally takes 4-6 months to receive these documents.
  • Interview Scheduling: An interview with USCIS is often required, and the scheduling can add 2-4 months to the process. The interview may be waived in certain cases.


Thoroughly preparing your USA PR documents is critical for a successful application. By ensuring you have all the necessary paperwork, you can streamline the process and increase your chances of obtaining permanent residency in the USA. For more detailed information, visit the official USCIS website.