To apply for permanent residence, the applicant must be the beneficiary of an approved immigrant petition (family or work), and the priority date must be current, if applicable. The application (Form I-485) must be accompanied by a sealed envelope from a designated civil surgeon who has performed a prior medical examination of the applicant. This envelope must be accompanied by Form I-693.
Once the application packet (I-485, I-693, and filing fees) is received, the applicant will receive the receipt number that they can use to track the case online. For most job-supported applications, the petition will be approved in about four months and a Green Card will automatically be issued. In some cases, a face-to-face interview is required. This is often done in marriage supported apps to ensure the marriage is genuine.
After filing the forms for adjustment of status, the application is considered abandoned if the applicant leaves the United States. This can be mitigated by filing an Advanced Parole (Form I-131) and an Employment Authorization Document (EAD, Form I-765). Once approved the applicant will receive the EAD, which will also serve as advance permission (if endorsed as such).