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Concurrent Filing I-130 and I-485: Your Ultimate Guide to a Smooth Immigration Process
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Concurrent Filing I-130 and I-485: Your Ultimate Guide to a Smooth Immigration Process

Bringing your loved ones to the United States through family-based immigration involves navigating a series of forms and procedures. Among these, Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, are key documents. But can you file them at the same time?

In this article, we'll delve into the intricacies of concurrent filing, including its feasibility, benefits, and the requirements you must meet to pursue this route. Whether you're a petitioner or a beneficiary, understanding the concurrent filing process is essential for a smoother immigration journey.

What Are USCIS Forms I-130 and I-485?

USCIS Form I-130, also known as the "Petition for Alien Relative," is designed to help U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents establish a relationship between them and a foreign national relative who wishes to immigrate to the U.S. This form is typically filed by the sponsoring relative on behalf of the foreign national.

Form I-485, or the "Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status," is for individuals who are already present in the U.S. and wish to adjust their status to that of a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). This form allows eligible applicants to apply for lawful permanent resident status without having to leave the country.

Both forms are important components of the immigration process, with Form I-130 establishing the familial relationship and Form I-485 facilitating the adjustment of status for eligible applicants.

What Is Concurrent Filing?

What Is Concurrent Filing?

Concurrent filing, also known as concurrent adjustment of status, refers to the process of submitting two separate immigration forms to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) simultaneously.

Specifically, it involves submitting Form I-130 and Form I-485 together. This allows certain foreign nationals who are eligible for immediate relative status to apply for a green card (permanent residency) while their petition for family-based immigration is being processed.

Concurrent filing can streamline the immigration process by allowing eligible applicants to avoid potential delays associated with waiting for Form I-130 to be approved before filing Form I-485. It also enables applicants to potentially receive work authorization and travel documents sooner, as these benefits are typically available to individuals with pending Form I-485 applications.

However, it's important to note that concurrent filing may not be available in all cases, and eligibility requirements and procedures may vary depending on individual circumstances and immigration classifications.

Eligibility for Concurrent Filing: Who Can Apply?

Concurrent filing can provide an expedient path to permanent residency, whether you're a loving spouse, a dedicated worker, or a member of the armed forces. Here’s a list of categories of individuals who are eligible for concurrent filing.

Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens Living in the U.S.

This category includes spouses, unmarried children under 21, and parents of U.S. citizens who are at least 21.

Most Employment-Based Applicants and Eligible Family Members

Employment-based applicants are those who have a job offer from a U.S. employer and are eligible for lawful permanent residency (green card) through employment. Note that visa numbers must be readily available.

Special Immigrant Juveniles

Special Immigrant Juveniles

This category applies to certain children who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected by a parent and have been declared dependent on a juvenile court. The terms are conditioned on an EB-4 visa number being immediately available and USCIS having jurisdiction over the application to adjust status.

Self-Petitioning Battered Spouses or Children

If you’re a victim of domestic violence perpetrated by your U.S. citizen spouse or parent, you may be eligible to file Form I-485 concurrently with Form I-130, provided certain other conditions are met.

Certain Members of the Armed Forces

This applies to individuals applying for a special immigrant visa under Section 101(a)(27)(K) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) who have served in the U.S. armed forces and meet certain eligibility criteria for a special immigrant visa.

Special Immigrant International Organization Employees or Family Members

This category applies to individuals who have worked for qualifying international organizations and their eligible family members.

Get Professional Assistance with Concurrent Filing

Get Professional Assistance with Concurrent Filing

Don't let bureaucracy delay your journey to permanent residency. With concurrent filing, you can complete the immigration process more efficiently. From immediate relatives to special immigrant employees, there's a pathway for everyone.

Take charge of your future today and embark on the road to a brighter tomorrow in the U.S.

Where to Submit Forms I-130 and I-485 Simultaneously

When filing Forms I-130 and I-485 concurrently, it's essential to submit them to the correct USCIS service center based on your place of residence and category of eligibility. Here are some of the factors that will determine where you submit your forms.

Place of Residence

Your current place of residence in the U.S. is the most important consideration. USCIS has specifically designated locations based on where you reside. You can find the correct USCIS service center for your state on the USCIS website.

Category of Eligibility

The category under which you’re applying for adjustment of status can also affect your filing location. Different USCIS service centers handle different types of applications, such as family-based, employment-based, or humanitarian-based. You must ensure that you're submitting your forms to the correct service center based on your eligibility category.

USCIS Resources

It's always a good idea to check the USCIS website for the most up-to-date information on filing locations and procedures. USCIS provides detailed guidance on where to file various immigration forms, including Forms I-130 and I-485.

If you're unsure where to file your forms or your case is particularly complex, it may be beneficial to consult with an immigration attorney. An experienced lawyer can provide personalized guidance based on your specific circumstances and guarantee that your forms are filed correctly and on time.

By following these steps and taking care to submit Forms I-130 and I-485 to the correct USCIS service center, you can streamline the process of applying for adjustment of status and save valuable time in your immigration journey.

Gathering Required Documents and Evidence

The process of filing Forms I-130 and I-485 requires you to present certain documentation to USCIS officials, including evidence of a bona fide relationship, such as a marriage certificate. Here's a comprehensive checklist for success:

Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
Completed Form I-130 Completed Form I-485
Filing fee Proof of beneficiary's eligibility for adjustment of status (e.g., visa petition approval notice, visa availability)
Proof of petitioner's U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent residence status (e.g., passport, birth certificate, naturalization certificate) Form G-325A, Biographic Information (for applicants aged 14–79)
Proof of family relationship (e.g., marriage certificate, birth certificate, adoption decree) Form I-693, Medical Examination Report
Evidence of any previous marriages for the petitioner and beneficiary (e.g., divorce decrees, death certificates) Proof of continuous presence in the U.S. (e.g., school records, employment records, lease agreements)
Affidavit of support (Form I-864) if required Proof of lawful entry into the U.S. (e.g., passport with admission stamp, Form I-94)
Any additional supporting documents requested by USCIS Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record (if available)

It's crucial to carefully review the instructions for each form and provide all required documentation and evidence. Failure to submit necessary documents can result in delays or denial of your applications. Additionally, it's a good idea to make copies of all required documents for your records before submitting them to USCIS.

How to File Form I-130 and Form I-485 Concurrently

Filing Form I-130 and Form I-485 simultaneously can save valuable time and help you reunite with your loved one sooner. Here’s an overview of the key steps involved in filing these forms concurrently.

Step 1: Complete Form I-130

Naturally, the first step in filing Form I-130 with Form I-485 is to complete Form I-130. This form establishes the relationship between the petitioner (a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident) and the beneficiary (the foreign national seeking permanent residency).

You'll need to provide information about yourself as the petitioner, including your name, address, and citizenship status, as well as information about the beneficiary, including their name, date of birth, and relationship to you. Make sure you fill out all sections of the form fully and accurately and sign and date it before moving on to the next step.

Step 2: Complete Form I-485

Next, you'll need to complete Form I-485, which is used to apply for adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. You must provide detailed information about yourself as the applicant, including your name, address, immigration status, and information about your last entry into the U.S.

Additionally, you'll need to provide information about your family members, employment history, and any previous immigration violations. As with Form I-130, it’s important to double-check that you’ve completed all sections of the form accurately to the best of your knowledge.

Step 3: Compile Your Supporting Documentation

Compile Your Supporting Documentation

Once you’ve completed Forms I-130 and I-485, the next step is to gather supporting documents to submit along with your application. These documents will vary depending on your specific circumstances, but common examples include birth certificates, marriage certificates, proof of lawful entry into the U.S., passport-style photos, and evidence of financial support.

You may also need to provide additional documentation to prove the validity of your relationship if you’re filing Form I-130 for a family member. Review the instructions for both forms carefully to ensure that you include all required documents with your application.

Step 4: Pay the Filing Fees

Before submitting Forms I-130 and I-485, you must pay the required filing fees. As of USCIS’s last update, the filing fee for Form I-130 was $535, and the fee for Form I-485 was $1,140, with an additional $85 biometric services fee for applicants 14–78.

These fees may change over time, so make it a point to check the USCIS website or consult an immigration attorney for the most up-to-date information on filing fees.

You can pay the required fees with a check or money order addressed to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security or by credit card using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions.

Step 5: Submit Both Forms Together to the Appropriate USCIS Office

Once you’ve completed the forms, gathered all necessary supporting documents, and paid the filing fees, you'll be ready to submit your application package to the appropriate USCIS office.

As mentioned, the specific address will depend on your location and whether you’re filing Forms I-130 and I-485 concurrently with an underlying immigrant petition or as a standalone adjustment of status application.

Make sure you mail your application package using a traceable delivery method, such as USPS Priority Mail with tracking or a courier service like FedEx or UPS, to ensure that it reaches USCIS safely and on time.

Processing and Approval: What to Expect

Filing Form I-130 and Form I-485 concurrently is a significant step toward achieving your goal of obtaining lawful permanent residence in the United States. But what lies ahead in terms of processing and approval? Here's a sneak peek into what awaits you on your path to a brighter tomorrow.

Receipt Notices

Once USCIS receives your concurrent filing package, you’ll be sent separate receipt notices for each form. These notices confirm that the agency has received your applications and provide case numbers you can use to track the progress of your case.

Biometrics Appointment

Biometrics Appointment

If required, USCIS will schedule a biometrics appointment for the applicant(s) to provide fingerprints, photographs, and signatures. This step is part of the background check process.

Request for Evidence or Interview

Depending on the specifics of your case, USCIS may issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) if additional documentation or information is needed to adjudicate your application. In some cases, the agency may also schedule an interview to assess the validity of the relationship in question.

Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and Advance Parole (AP)

While your Form I-485 is pending, you may be eligible to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and/or Advance Parole (AP) document, which allows you to work and travel internationally while your green card application is pending.

Final Decision

USCIS officials will carefully review your application and all supporting documentation to determine whether to approve or deny your Form I-485. If approved, you’ll receive a green card, granting you lawful permanent residence in the United States.

Conditional Permanent Residence (If Applicable)

In certain cases, such as marriage-based green card applications, conditional permanent residence may be granted if the marriage is less than two years old at the time of approval. Conditional residents must later file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, for full legal residence in the U.S.

As you await the decision on your Form I-485, remember that the journey to a green card is filled with milestones, challenges, and, ultimately, triumphs.

Whether it's attending a biometrics appointment or preparing for a formal interview, each step is a testament to your determination and resilience. Keep your eyes on the prize and stay hopeful, knowing your efforts will soon be rewarded with the opportunity to live the life you’ve dreamed of in the United States.

SimVisa helps you to get your marriage green card, only few steps needed


Can I file form I-130 and form I-485 сoncurrently if I’m out of status?

Yes. Filing Form I-485 allows you to apply for adjustment of status to obtain lawful permanent residence without leaving the United States.

Is there a difference in processing times for concurrent filing compared to filing separately?

There may be a slight difference, but it depends on the workload of the specific USCIS office handling your case. Generally, concurrent filing serves to streamline the process since both forms are reviewed together.

What happens if one of the applications is denied?

If one of your applications is denied, it won’t necessarily affect the other application.

For example, if your Form I-130 is denied, your Form I-485 could still be approved if you’re eligible through another qualifying family member or have an alternative basis for adjustment of status. However, if your Form I-485 is denied, you may have to leave the U.S. unless you have another legal basis to remain.

Get Help with Concurrent Filing From SimVisa

Concurrent filing can be a viable option for eligible applicants seeking to accelerate the timeline of obtaining lawful permanent residency in the U.S. However, it's essential to ensure that all eligibility requirements are met and all necessary forms are filled out accurately to avoid delays or complications.

If you're considering concurrent filing or have questions about the process, don't hesitate to reach out to the compassionate legal professionals at SimVisa, your trusted immigration law firm.

Our experienced attorneys are here to guide you through every step of the process and help you achieve your immigration goals. Contact us today for personalized assistance and support.

Concurrent Filing I-130 and I-485: Your Ultimate Guide to a Smooth Immigration Process
SohYoon Atac
co-founder of SimVisa

Sohyoon is the co-founder of SimVisa. She has over 15 years of immigration specific experience and as an immigrant herself, fully understands the daunting nature of navigating the immigration process.

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