I-485 Marriage Green Card: Toughest Question and Best Answer

Ever wondered about a crucial question in the I-485 marriage-based green card approval process? It's this: Have you ever violated the terms of your non-immigrant status by mistake? 

This question is more important than you might think. Let's explore it together and clear up any confusion so you can confidently move forward in your US immigration journey.

The I-485 Marriage Green Card Tough Question

Question 17 in Form I-45, Section 8 tends to confuse applicants. But don't worry. We're here to clear things up!

Form I-45, Part 8, Question 17

Question 17 on the I-485 application form for the marriage green card process asks if you've ever violated the rules of your non-immigrant status. It's an important question because it gives insight into your immigration history. 

Don't worry if you have made minor mistakes in the past - the key is to answer truthfully. This way, you can move forward with your application with confidence and honesty, increasing your chances of success.

I-485 Marriage Green Card: Toughest Question and Best Answers

Why Non-Immigrant Status Violations Aren't as Critical as You Think

It's crucial to be mindful of the question regarding any violations of non-immigrant status when applying for a green card through marriage to a US citizen. However, such violations do not hold the weight one might assume in this particular scenario.

It Doesn't Matter: The Reassuring Truth

Rest assured. Past transgressions will not impede the green card process for spouses of US citizens. Even if you’ve previously worked without proper approval or overstayed your allotted time. 

The Pitfall: Providing False Information

It’s important to emphasize that the primary concern lies in providing inaccurate information to USCIS. He warns against answering "no" when the truthful response should be "yes," as this could lead to complications in the future.

Embrace the Truth: The Power of "Yes"

For many clients, working without proper approval and struggling with non-immigrant status maintenance is a common experience. We urge applicants to face this reality head-on. 

By confidently answering "yes" to this question, applicants can move forward with their green card application process without fear.

Other Cases to Consider: Beyond Marriage to a US Citizen

Your non-immigrant visa status is very important to consider if you're applying for a permanent residency card for reasons other than marriage to a US citizen. We advise seeking guidance from an immigration attorney to ensure accurate responses.

Let Us Provide You With Legal Advice

Feel free to contact us with any additional questions you have about the marriage permanent residency card process.  Speak to us to help you understand visa bulletin retrogression and how it might affect your immigration journey. 

We’re committed to providing support and immigration legal advice to help you navigate the complexities of US immigration.


We've put together this FAQ section to give you straightforward answers to the most common immigration questions about the I-485 marriage green card process.

Could previous breaches of non-immigrant status impact my chances of obtaining a green card through marriage?

Not if you're married to a US citizen. In this situation, these violations won't stop your application. Still, it's important to be honest to avoid giving the wrong impression.

How significant are non-immigrant status violations if my application falls into a different category?

If your application falls under a different adjustment of status category, non-immigrant status violations can be significant. Seek advice from a legal representative to understand the potential impact on your chances of success.

What should I do if I'm unsure about how to answer Question 17 on the form I-485?

It's essential to consult with an experienced immigration lawyer. They can provide personalized guidance on how to approach this question based on your specific circumstances. Remember, honesty is key to a successful application!

How do the I-485 and I-130 forms differ?

The I-485 form primarily serves to demonstrate the foreign spouse's eligibility for US permanent residency in a marriage green card application. 

When assisting a relative with a green card application, you'll first submit the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative, followed by the I-485 form (the 'Adjustment of Status Application').

If you're a spouse, parent, or an unmarried child of a US citizen (not over 21 years), you have the option to complete both forms simultaneously.

The I-485 form isn't just for family members’ green card application types. Its main job is to help you adjust your immigration status. 

This form is applicable to you in the following instances:

  • if you’re already in the US through the Visa Waiver Program. 
  • Or you’ve entered the United States and have a valid visa. 
  • You’re also eligible for a green card on humanitarian grounds or through a job offer (employment based green cards).

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