Background Check Process for I-485 Application, Form I-693, Medical Examination, Fingerprinting Process (2023)

1.The Fingerprinting (orBiometricsServices)Requirement

The Bureau ofCitizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)requires applicants of age from 14 to 79 to be fingerprinted for thepurpose of conducting FBI criminal background checks. To better ensureboth the quality and integrity of the process, the USCIS processesfingerprint cards for immigration benefits only if an authorizedfingerprint site prepares them.

Afterreceiving your I-485 adjustment application, the USCIS will mail you anoticescheduling you to appear for a fingerprinting at a USCIS designatedlocation. Thenotice will specify a week for the applicant to appear. The fingerprintsare a requirement for every applicantat age 14 through 79 years oldto determine if they have acriminal history.

Inaddition to the filing fee for the I-1485 adjustment application, thereis a fingerprintingfee (orbiometrics services fee) charge for thisprocedure. The fingerprintingfee must be paid at the time offiling of the I-485 adjustment application, before the completion of afingerprinting.

2.The Fingerprinting Process

A definitiveresponse from the FBIregarding fingerprint clearances is required before theI-485 application can be approved ortransferred to the localoffice for interview.Applicants who do not appear at thefingerprinting within the timeframe allowedwill be denied as an abandonment of their I-485 application for failureto appear.

Previously, thefingerprinting notices would arrive at varying times during the caseprocess. They were not tied tothe case progress. In the event that the fingerprint report was too oldby the time the case was ready for adjudication,the new prints would be required.

Authorizedfingerprint sites include USCIS offices, Application Support Centers(ASCs), designated law enforcement agencies, and U.S. consular officesand military installations abroad. In general, USCIS schedules peopleto be fingerprinted at an authorized fingerprint site after anapplication or petition is filed. The USCIS charges a fee per person(for most applicants) at the time of filing for this fingerprintingservice.

3. The Background CheckProcess for I-485 Application

To ensure thatimmigration benefits are given only to eligible applicants, USCISadopted background security check procedures that address a wide rangeof possible risk factors. Different kinds of applications undergodifferent levels of scrutiny.All applicants fora U.S.immigration benefit are subject to criminal and national securitybackground checks to ensure they are eligible for that benefit. U.S.Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Federal agency thatoversees immigration benefits, performs checks on every applicant,regardless of ethnicity, national origin or religion.

FBI name checks are also required for many applications. The FBI namecheck is totally different from the FBI fingerprint check. The recordsmaintained in the FBI name check process consist of administrative,applicant, criminal, personnel and other files compiled by lawenforcement. Initial responses to this check generally take about twoweeks.

In about 80 percent of the cases, no match is found. Of the remaining20 percent, most are resolved within six months. Less than one percentof cases subject to an FBI name check remain pending longer than sixmonths. Some of these cases involve complex, highly sensitiveinformation and cannot be resolved quickly.

Even after FBI has provided an initial response to USCIS concerning amatch, the name check is not complete until full information isobtained and eligibility issues arising from it are resolved.USCIS normally uses the following threebackground check mechanisms but maintains the authority to conductother background investigations as necessary:

1)The Interagency Border Inspection System (IBIS) Name Check— IBIS is amulti-agency effort with a central system that combines informationfrom multiple agencies, databases and system interfaces to compile datarelating to national security risks, public safety issues and other lawenforcement concerns.

2)FBI Fingerprint Check—FBI fingerprint checks are conducted for manyapplications. The FBI fingerprint check provides information relatingto criminal background within the United States. Generally, the FBIforwards responses to USCIS within 24-48 hours. If there is a recordmatch, the FBI forwards an electronic copy of the criminal history (RAPsheet) to USCIS.

3)FBI Name Checks—FBI name checks are also required for manyapplications. The FBI name check is totally different from the FBIfingerprint check. The records maintained in the FBI name check processconsist of administrative, applicant, criminal, personnel and otherfiles compiled by law enforcement. Initial responses to this checkgenerally take about two weeks. In about 80 percent of the cases, nomatch is found.

4. The Change of Address After Form I-485Application

If you changedyour address afterForm I-485 application, you need to notify USCIS about the change ofyour address, by sending the Form AR11 to USCIS, otherwise you may notget USCIS notice for your Form I-485 application decision from USCIS,or get RFE notice from USCIS to ask you to show your current address,when USCIS evaluates your I-485 application. Also, not informing USCISabout your address change is illegal and you may get problem for yourI-485 application.

5. The Form I-693 forMedical Examination of Aliens Seeking Adjustment of Status

USCIS Form I-693 is also called MedicalExamination of Aliens Seeking Adjustment of Status. It is used foraliens to have medical examination in U.S., in order to receive a card or lawful permanent residence, through the procedure knownas Adjustment of Status. The Adjustment of Status is a process tocomplete the entire green card application in the United States withthe USCIS, including the possible interview. The Form I-693 must becompleted by a USCIS designated doctor inside U.S.

The alien applicant needs to fill the Part I of the Form I-693. Thealien applicant only needs to file simple information in Part I, suchas name, gender, U.S. address, date of birth, place and country ofbirth, alien registration number (A number) and the Social SecurityNumber (SSN) if you have one. An alien may have the A number, if he orshe has applied for other immigration benefits previously.

There is a place for the alien applicant'ssignature at the bottom of Part 1. But you should not sign it beforeyou see the USCIS designated doctor, and you should sign it only untilthe Doctor asks you to to so.

Generally,all aliens applying for USCIS Form I-485 for adjustment of status inthe United States should file Form I-693 for medical examination. Butif an alien applicant has already had a medical examination before aspart of an immigration application process within the one year, thealien applicant may not need to do to the medical examination again.

For example, if an alien applicant has already had a medicalexamination done before as a K visa holder or a V visa holder, thealien may not need to do the Form I-693 for medical examinationagain.

Also, if the alien applicant is a refugee, he or she may not need notsubmit Form I-693 if he or she is applying for adjustment of status oneyear after the first admission in United States, and there were nomedical grounds of inadmissibility during the medical examination inhis/her home country.

6. Do I Have to Go Through an Interview Process for Form I-485 Adjusting Status?

If you have applied for a Green Card within U.S. through the procedureknown as "adjustment of status" using USCIS Form I-485, it islikely to be called in for an interview by USCIS (U.S. Citizenship andImmigration Services), as the last step in your immigration applicationprocess.

With proper preparation, you should not fear the adjustment of statusinterview, and it does not mean that your application for adjustment ofstatus has been singled out for extra scrutiny. An immigrationinterview is a normal part of the process, allowing USCIS to confirmthe information you have provided, and review all the facts with youpresent.

USCIS may skip the interview in some cases, or requires only theimmigrant to attend, not the family petitioner or sponsor, if thepetition case is especially clear, and not likely to involve fraud orother complicated circumstances.

If you applied to Form I-485 adjusting status, based on marriage to aU.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, it is certainly thatyou and your U.S. spouse will be called in for an immigrantinterview. The interview is to ensure that the marriage is genuine, andnot merely entered into for the purpose of obtaining a Green Card.

7. How to Prove Your Marriage Is Real or "Bona Fide" for an USCIS Interview?

Toobtain a U.S. Lawful Permanent Residence (Green Card) based onmarriage, you will have to prove that the marriage is real or "bonafide". This means a marriage in which the two people intend, from thestart, to establish a life together as husband and wife. An importantstep to prove the marriage is real or "bona fide" is joining your livestogether.

You should not waituntil the last minute to look for ways that you can prove that you arereally married, or that you live together, or that you trust each otherenough to share financial and other personal matters.

Also, you should takesteps to prepare for a future together. For example, a U.S. citizen ina sham marriage might not remember to add his or her new spouse as abeneficiary to a company sponsored life insurance policy, while someonein a real marriage would or at least should. Thus, Some important stepsto prove the marriage is real or "bona fide" might include:

•make your spouse a beneficiary on your retirement account or otheraccounts that require or allow a payout to a beneficiary upon theholder’s death;

•make sure that both spouses are covered under your health insurancepolicy, if the other spouse doesn't have his or her own insurance;

• if you live together, add your spouse to your house deed, mortgage, or apartment lease;

• if you live together, add your spouse’s name to your garbage, utility, cable, and other bills;

• take out a joint credit card;

• open a joint bank account;

• file joint tax returns;

• join a gym or club together;

• buy a car or other major asset together.

8. USCIS' Expedite Process for"Aging-out" Child about to Reach 21 Years of Age

If oneof dependent child is about to reach 21 years of age and seeksimmigrant status as the dependent beneficiary of either family-based oremployment-based immigration, it is the USCIS practice to take suchcase as the "top priority" case and expedite the process so that theGreen Card applications for the entire family are adjudicated beforethe child reaches 21 years of age.

Consequently,not only theaging out child but also the parents and other siblings receive"expedite" processing and cases are approved in a fairly short periodof time. This aging-out expedite process has been available in theUSCIS.

Currently,aging-out expedite works well in thefamily-based proceedings. Such aging-out expedite works at the USCISlocal district office one-step I-130/I-485 proceedings. The USCISdistrict offices approves I-485 applications for the entire familymembers in the event that a child will reach 21 years of age in a fewmonths.


Background Check Process for I-485 Application, Form I-693, Medical Examination, Fingerprinting Process? ›

After receiving your I-485 adjustment application, the USCIS will mail you a notice scheduling you to appear for a fingerprinting at a USCIS designated location. The notice will specify a week for the applicant to appear.

How long does a background check take after fingerprint USCIS? ›

Once you do and get fingerprinted, background checks usually take six to eight weeks, maybe 12 weeks. Now, they will give you that as a response for months and months. They'll tell you about the USCIS background check delay or security check long after the case is over. And that can be frustrating for people.

How long does it take to get 485 after fingerprinting? ›

Form I-485 Processing Time

You can expect the total processing time for the I-485 to be at least 8-14 months. It may take four to six weeks for USCIS to accept your request and send you an acknowledgment of receipt. You will then receive a notice of your biometric appointment, which you must attend.

How does USCIS do background check for green card? ›

At the screening, an officer will collect your biometric information like your photograph, fingerprints, and signature. USCIS uses this biometric information to run a criminal background check on you in the FBI's database.

Is fingerprinting required for I-485? ›

USCIS requires applicants to be fingerprinted for the purpose of conducting a security clearance and criminal background check. Don't be alarmed — All applicants must have background checks.

What happens after fingerprints were taken at USCIS? ›

Once they're taken, the fingerprints will be sent to the FBI by USCIS so a criminal background check can begin. There are situations when the FBI rejects fingerprints if the quality is not good enough. So, if this happens, the USCIS will let you know.

How long does it take to get green card after fingerprint appointment? ›

Once you receive the welcome packet from USCIS, you should receive your green card in the next 30 days. When it arrives, check the card for any errors.

What happens after fingerprints were taken I-485? ›

After fingerprinting is conducted, the USCIS will submit the fingerprint card to the FBI for a background check. An affirmative response must be received from the FBI before an adjustment application can be adjudicated.

How long does it take to get green card after medical exam 2023? ›

It generally takes 2 weeks to schedule a Form I-693 medical exam, and 2 weeks after that to receive the complete and sealed Form I-693. A properly signed and submitted Form I-693 will remain valid for 2 years. The current processing time for a full Green Card application is 6 months to 4 years.

Does biometrics mean approval? ›

If I'm asked to give my biometrics, does that mean my application is approved? No. Giving your biometrics is one of the steps you need to do before we can process your application. Once you give us your biometrics, we'll use them to assess your application.

What shows up on USCIS background check? ›

FBI Name Checks

This includes administrative, applicant, criminal, personnel, and other files compiled by law enforcement. The initial response to this check is supposed to only take two weeks, but it can take over a year due to the large backlogs. If no match is found, your immigration application can proceed.

What does USCIS check for in background check? ›

The Background Check Process

If the USCIS official feels it necessary to secure other background investigations, they have the authority to do so. However, the three most common parts of this check include the investigation of your background, fingerprints, and a name check.

What is the difference between fingerprints and background check? ›

Unlike other background check procedures, which a third party usually handles, fingerprint checks require the candidate to participate in the process actively. That way, the employer must make sure the prospective employee can provide fingerprints at the time of application.

Why does USCIS take fingerprints? ›

Biometrics collection allows USCIS to verify a person's identity, produce secure documents, and facilitate required criminal and national security background checks to protect national security and public safety, as well as to ensure that the person is eligible for the benefit sought.

Do you need police clearance for I-485? ›

Police clearances are sometimes required for individuals seeking an adjustment of status as a member of a special class outlined in an I-485 supplementary form. You must read the instructions on the form to see if you need police clearances with your application.

What is the notice of approval of i485? ›

The approval of the I-485 means that the beneficiary has been approved for the permanent resident card. The card will be received a few weeks after the final interview date, depending on the officer's decision to communicate with the USCIS to produce the card.

How long does it take to get a background check from the FBI for USCIS? ›

FBI Name Checks

This includes administrative, applicant, criminal, personnel, and other files compiled by law enforcement. The initial response to this check is supposed to only take two weeks, but it can take over a year due to the large backlogs. If no match is found, your immigration application can proceed.

What does USCIS look for in background check? ›

If the USCIS official feels it necessary to secure other background investigations, they have the authority to do so. However, the three most common parts of this check include the investigation of your background, fingerprints, and a name check.

How long does it take to get work permit after biometrics 2023? ›

The USCIS has also improved its processing time for work permits in 2023 to 3.6 months, up from 4.1 months in 2022.

How long does it take to process after background check? ›

They should be aware that although most security checks are completed in 1-2 months, processing security screenings can occasionally take 9–18 months.


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