I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.See all posts Frank Gogol
How to File Forms I-130 and I-485 Concurrently
At a Glance
- Form I-130 sponsors close or immediate relatives for U.S. entry.
- Form I-485 helps obtain a green card or adjust to permanent resident status.
- Concurrent filing allows submitting both forms together with eligible criteria.
- Available for those in the U.S., applicable to various situations, but not for consular processing.
In certain situations, it’s possible to file Form I-130 and Form I-485 at the same time. This is known as concurrent filing. But why would one file the forms at the same time? Moreover, who can do it and how can you do it the right way? Read this article to find out more about concurrent filing I-130 and I-485.
- Forms I-130 and I-485
- Concurrent Filing of I-130 and I-485
- Who Is Eligible to File Concurrently?
- When I-130 and I-485 Can Be Filed Concurrently
- Concurrent Filing I-130 and I-485 Fees
- Concurrent Filing I-130 and I-485 Processing Time 2021
- Visa Availability and Concurrent Filing
- Read More
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- 1. What Does it Mean to File Forms I-130 and I-485 Concurrently?
- 2. Who Can File Forms I-130 and I-485 Concurrently?
- 3. What are the Benefits of Filing Forms I-130 and I-485 Concurrently?
- 4. Are There Any Risks or Limitations to Concurrent Filing?
- 5. Can I Apply for Concurrent Filing Without a Family Sponsor?
Forms I-130 and I-485
Now, before we discuss concurrent filing, you have to understand what each form can do. The forms can be submitted for different reasons, but you can also file them at the same time. Here’s what each one is for:
What Is Form I-130?
Form I-130 is known as the Petition for Alien Relative, and it’s a document you have to submit to USCIS if you want to petition for a close or immediate relative. It can be submitted by U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents who would like to get a relative into the U.S. One petition is available for one family member.
What Is Form I-485?
Form I-485 is known as the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This application can help you register for permanent residence in the U.S., aka obtain a green card, or adjust to permanent resident status. The latter means you can get your green card without having to leave the U.S. and go to your home country to apply if you happen to be in the States when applying.
Concurrent Filing of I-130 and I-485
You will have the opportunity to apply for your Green Card in a one-step process. Since a visa number will be ready for you, and you also have all the required qualifications to obtain permanent residency, you won’t have to keep checking your date and clock wondering when the approval will happen. Instead, USCIS will make sure your application is dealt with at the same time your sponsoring family member’s application is processed. You should just know that the decision notices will be separate for each, so look for two different notices instead of a single one for the entire process.
Who Is Eligible to File Concurrently?
Would you like to file concurrently instead of waiting for the approval of one petition? Well, then you should know that only certain people will have the chance to file the forms at the same time. Here are the situations when you may be able to do this:
- You have a visa number that is already available
- You’re applying for a special immigrant visa and also happen to be a member of a specific Armed Forces branch
- You’re a relative of a U.S citizen who is your sponsor. Your immediate relative can be either a child older than 21 years old or a parent over 21 years old.
- You happen to be a special immigrant juvenile
- You’re a person self-petitioning as the abused child or spouse of a U.S. citizen
When I-130 and I-485 Can Be Filed Concurrently
Filing Form I-130 and I-485 concurrently means that you submit both applications at the same time, together with the necessary documentation and the filing fees. This is also called “one-step adjustment” in some cases. So, instead of submitting one petition and waiting for its approval before you submit the adjustment of status application or the immigrant visa one, you submit both of them at the same time.
Of course, this has certain requirements, so not just anyone could do this as they please. The process is possible when you are in the United States already and you meet some eligibility criteria. However, if you are outside the U.S. when applying for a Green Card and need to go through consular processing, then submitting the forms concurrently will not be allowed. In case you’re someone who lives in the U.S. and you are eligible for an adjustment of status application, you will have the right to submit the forms together.
It’s also possible to file the forms concurrently if you are filing Form I-360 as someone who has been abused by a spouse or parent who is a citizen of the U.S. If you’re a religious worker filing Form I-360, though, then you have to wait for its approval first, so one-step adjustment is not available for you.
Concurrent Filing I-130 and I-485 Fees
There is no additional charge to file Forms I-130 and I-485 concurrently. You simply need to submit each form on its own and pay the fee for each form when submitting. The fee for these forms are:
Concurrent Filing I-130 and I-485 Processing Time 2021
The processing times for your submitted Forms I-130 and I-485 will depend on the current processing times for these forms. In 2021, the current processing times for these forms are:
Visa Availability and Concurrent Filing
As mentioned earlier, if there is a visa number already available when you are filing, you can file your application and petition at the same time. The process of concurrent filing I-130 and I-485 is always available for all immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. There is no numeric limitation.
At the same time, there are some things you have to be aware of. Even if a visa number is available when you file, it doesn’t guarantee that you will be allowed to file concurrently. You will only be allowed if you also meet some eligibility criteria under the approved basis of eligibility before you’re allowed to file for your status adjustment.
You will have to check the instructions on your particular immigrant petition to figure out if you’ll be able to file the application and petition at the same time. At first, when it comes to adjudicating concurrent filings, USCIS will have to check whether you’re eligible for the immigrant visa petition. So, if you have a visa number available for the immigrant classification and you also have an approvable Form I-485, then the adjustment application may be submitted at the same time. For Form I-485 to be approvable, you may have to attend an interview that will help USCIS make a decision.
- How Do I Speak to a Live Person at USCIS?
- How Many Citizenships Can You Have?
- How Do I Know Which USCIS Service Center?
- How Do I Know If USCIS Received My Application?
- What “Country of Residence” and How to Know Yours When on a Visa
- How to Check Dropbox Eligibility with the App
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. What Does it Mean to File Forms I-130 and I-485 Concurrently?
Filing Forms I-130 and I-485 concurrently means submitting both forms simultaneously as part of the same application process. Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, is used to establish a qualifying family relationship between a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and a foreign national. Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, is used to apply for lawful permanent resident status (green card) while already in the United States.
2. Who Can File Forms I-130 and I-485 Concurrently?
Concurrent filing of Forms I-130 and I-485 is typically available to certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, such as spouses, children (unmarried and under 21), and parents. Other family-sponsored preference categories may also be eligible for concurrent filing, but eligibility criteria vary.
3. What are the Benefits of Filing Forms I-130 and I-485 Concurrently?
Filing Forms I-130 and I-485 concurrently offers several benefits:
- One Application: Instead of filing separately, you can submit both forms together, streamlining the process.
- Faster Processing: Concurrent filing can lead to faster processing times for both the immigrant visa petition (Form I-130) and the adjustment of status application (Form I-485).
- EAD and Travel Authorization: If eligible, applicants can also file for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and a travel document (Advance Parole) concurrently with Form I-485.
- Staying in the U.S.: Applicants can generally remain in the United States while their I-485 is pending, which is particularly beneficial for those already in the country.
4. Are There Any Risks or Limitations to Concurrent Filing?
While concurrent filing offers advantages, there are some considerations:
- Eligibility: Not all family-based immigrants can file concurrently, so it’s essential to determine eligibility based on the specific family relationship and preference category.
- Processing Times: USCIS processing times can vary, and the timeline for receiving a green card may still take some time.
- Work Authorization: While waiting for a green card, applicants can apply for work authorization, but it may take several months to receive the Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
- Travel Restrictions: International travel while the I-485 is pending can have implications, so it’s crucial to consult with USCIS or an immigration attorney before traveling abroad.
5. Can I Apply for Concurrent Filing Without a Family Sponsor?
Concurrent filing typically involves a family sponsor (U.S. citizen or permanent resident) petitioning for their eligible family member. If you do not have a qualifying family sponsor, you may need to explore other immigration pathways or categories that do not require family sponsorship.