Yesterday I went to Boston District Office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for a green card interview for an immigration client from Cuba who filed his I-485 so that he could get a green card under the Cuban Adjustment Act. Today, I'd like to share some insights I've gained into how to prepare an adjustment of status application under the Cuban Adjustment Act.
First, the basics: To get a green card under the Cuban Adjustment Act, you must show that:
- you are a Cuban national, the best evidence of which is valid Cuban passport;
- you were inspected and admitted or paroled into the U.S. after January 1, 1959; and
- you have been physically present in the U.S. for at least one year before apply for your green card.
To apply for a green card, you must submit an I-485, G-325A, 2 passport photos, Form I-693 medical report and proof of physical presence. And in addition to these required items, you must also submit:
- Form I-643, Health and Human Services Statistical Data Sheet. This form is available on the USCIS website; and
- A clearance from the local police jurisdiction for any area in the U.S. where you have lived for six months or longer since your 14th birthday.
These last two requirements aren't listed on the USCIS website. And you won't find these requirements in the I-485 instructions. You will only find them in the USCIS Field Adjudicators Manual, which is hidden on the USCIS website. You won't get your green card until you provide USCIS with all of these required items. And if you go to your adjustment of status interview without them, USCIS will issue an I-72, Request for Evidence, and the approval of your I-485 could be delayed, sometimes significantly.
One final tip: you can ONLY apply for adjustment of status under the Cuban Adjustment Act with USCIS. You can't file your I-485 in Immigration Court. And an Immigration Judge has no jurisdiction to grant this form of relief.
If you have more questions about the Cuban Adjustment Act or how to get a green card, please call me at 617-722-0005. As an immigration lawyer in Boston, I'd be happy to advise you on your immigration options.