ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Student Visas and Green Cards For the USA

Updated on August 24, 2017
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

In many ways, music saved my life, and I have the most famous director of the USMC bands to thank for it!

Immigration Challenges in America

July 1976. Amerigo Vespucci at the ship parade in the NYC harbor at the United States Bicentennial festivities.
July 1976. Amerigo Vespucci at the ship parade in the NYC harbor at the United States Bicentennial festivities. | Source

Future Immigrants Have Questions

A recent reader asked how to change the status of her husband's F-1 Student non-immigrant Visa to a Green Card; and, if any fee waivers are available to help with the process.

Some good news is that the process for applying for a Green Card has been streamlined and fee waivers are available for at least one of the two applications required and for the Green Card Renewal needed only once every 10 years.

The One Step Green Card

One of the easiest methods of converting an F-1 Student Visa to a Green Card is through the One Step process allowed to US Citizens and their spouses who have a non-immigrant F-1 Visa.

Two forms must be filed at the same time in this one-step and if you are submitting a fee waiver request, the request form must go into the same envelope as the other two forms and all the documentation required (see details for all, below). Otherwise, the fees must be paid at the time of application, with a check or checks placed into the envelope as well as all the forms. Be careful not to forget anything.

If you mail anything in another envelope, you risk losing any or all of the important materials, which may result in service delays. The correct address for mailing the forms will be listed in the forms that are required.

Qualifications for Using the One Step

  • The Student has committed no crimes while in America, and
  • The F-1 Visa is not about to expire. Make sure to apply several months before the actual expiration date.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service of America, now called the USCIS, states that they have made it easier and a top priority to bring families together in the United States. Hence, the one step program was developed.

Not only may a US Citizen Spouse use this program to help a non-citizen spouse, but also a US Citizen Parent may help an applicant child aged under 21 years and unmarried, and a US Citizen Child aged 21 or older may help his or her non-citizen parent(s).

Form I-130

In the one stop process for adjusting a status from the F-1 Visa to the Green Card (I-551), the US Citizen must file Form I-130, which is also called the Petition for Alien Relative.

At the same time, the non-citizen must file Form I-485, called the Adjustment of Status Application.

This means that I-130 and I-485 must be completed and mailed together in the same envelope.

COST: $420.

There is no fee waiver available for Form I-130.

NOTE: A new version of Form I-130 has been in production, and applicants may continue to use the current links to the forms provided below. Do not forget to submit all of the required documentation with the application.

A sample Green Card.
A sample Green Card. | Source

Form I-485


  • Basic Fee: $985.
  • An additional $85 for biometrics (physical measurements like fingerprints), when needed.
  • Total = $1070

Special Partial and Total Fee Waivers for the Form I-485 in the Adjustment from F-1 to Green Card via Marriage

  • Applicants 79 years of age or older pay no biometric fee. Their total is $985.
  • No fee for Form I-485 is charged if the person was admitted to the United States officially as a refugee. .
  • No fee is charged for applicants filing as refugees under Section 209(a) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA).

Make sure to read and understand all of the payment requirements on your Form I-485. Make your check payable only to Department of Homeland Security, if you need to pay a fee.

The required Forms and their Instructions are provided on .PDF format free at the links below.

Forms provide a mailing address and a list of documentation requirements to be submitted with the applications. Do not forget to include anything required.

Additional Fee Waivers for Form I-485

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides a fee waiver form to complete, called Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver at the website

The form is in .PDF format and free of charge. Just print it out at home. Fee waivers are available in the case discussed in this Hub for the couple who meets all of these three steps:

Step 1

The couple receives some kind of Public Assistance Benefits as a means-tested benefit. They must provide all documentation of their assistance. Such benefits can include any of the following:

  • Food Stamps (SNAP)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Medicaid (health insurance)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • State Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

Step 2

The couple receives a yearly income that is 150% or a lesser amount of the Federal Poverty Level in the year leading up to their application for the simultaneous I-130 and I-485 forms. Explanation:

Federal Poverty Level for Family of Two and 150% Poverty Level (2013):

  1. Lower 48 States = $15,510; 150% = $23,265
  2. State of Alaska = $19,380; 150% = $29,070
  3. State of Hawaii = $17,850; 150% = $26,775
For current numbers visit:

Step 3

The couple has a proven financial hardship. They must provide all needed documentation.


The fee for Form I-90, Renewal of Green Card, is required every 10 years. It is also eligible for fee waivers.

USCIS Service Centers

Vermont, USA

get directions

Nebraska, USA

get directions

Texas, USA

get directions

California, USA

get directions

National Customer Service Center (NCSC):

  • Telephone: 1-800-375-5283
  • TDD line for the hearing impaired:1-800-767-1833

For Follow-up Questions, email:

  • Vermont Service Center:
  • Nebraska Service Center:
  • Texas Service Center:
  • California Service Center:

Additional Immigration Scenarios, Visas, and Requirements


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)