Concurrent filing is a not-so-well-known tool that some immigration applicants are eligible for. It is available to immigrants in family-based immigration cases, as well as in employment immigration cases.
On this page about concurrent filing, you will find out who is eligible for concurrent filing, the fees associated with it, how the entire process works, and find answers to the most frequently asked questions.
What is Concurrent Filing?
Concurrent filing is a unique filing procedure that allows you to file at the same time:
- A petition for alien relative (I-130) or a petition for alien worker (I-140); together with
- An application to register permanent residence or adjustment of status (I-485).
Filing two forms together allow the applicant to save a considerable amount of time, along with some other great benefits discussed later on this page.
Who is Eligible for I-130 and I-485 Concurrent Filing?
Not everyone can use this unique U.S. immigration feature. Below is a list of situations that allows applicants to file concurrently:
- You are being sponsored by an immediate relative who is your child that is over 21 years old or a parent over 21 years old; or
- You have been given a visa number; or
- You are in the Armed Forces, and you are undergoing an application for a special immigrant visa; or
- You are a special immigrant juvenile; or
- You are an abused child or spouse of a U.S. citizen that is self-petitioning.
Who is Eligible for I-140 and I-485 Concurrent Filing?
In employment cases, concurrent filing is only available to applicants under:
- EB-1 Priority Workers;
- EB-2 Professionals holding and advanced degree or aliens of exceptional ability;
- EB-3 Skilled Workers, Professionals, or Other Workers
Even if you fall under the above eligibility criteria, you can still be rejected. You are not allowed to file concurrently if you have been an unlawful employee in the U.S. or have violated your non-immigrant status. You are also not eligible if your two-year home residence requirement has not been waived or fulfilled.
How to File Concurrently?
To submit a concurrent application, your I-130 or I-140 and I-485 must be filed together at the same time. Your concurrent application package must have supporting evidence for each form, and you must cover the fees for each form. The USCIS will review both forms in your concurrent application at the same time. However, USCIS will notify you as to the success of each form individually.
The USCIS will assess your forms at the same time only if the requirements for each form are fulfilled. The process will start with the assessment of your I-130 or I-140, depending on your immigration goal. The concurrent filing procedure will halt if the form does not pass the first assessment stage and is rejected. Thus, your I-485 will not be taken into consideration.
If you are submitting your forms outside of the U.S. through consular processing, you should be aware that concurrent processing will not be available to you.
Forms Explained: I-130, I-140, and I-485
Learn more about relevant forms below:
Form I-130, which is also called Petition for Alien Relative, is a form that allows lawful permanent residents to sponsor foreign relatives to come to the U.S. This form would allow your relatives to gain permanent residence in the U.S. if you are able to establish a valid family relationship between you two. It is commonly referred to as the first step in obtaining a family-based green card.
Form I-140, which is also called Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, is an essential step to obtaining an employment-based green card. After the employer’s PERM Labor Certificate is approved, the employer must file this form to begin the green card process (ex. H-1B).
Form I-485, which is also called Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This application is used by foreign nationals to apply for lawful permanent residence in the U.S. This form can be used both by foreign relatives who are filing I-130 and by foreign employees who are filing I-140 to begin the process of acquiring a green card.
Concurrent Filing I-130 and I-485 Fees
To file both forms concurrently, you will have to pay the standard price for each form, Form I-130 costs $535 to file, and Form I-485 costs $1,225.
Concurrent Filing I-140 and I-485 Fees
In order to file both forms concurrently, you must pay $700 for I-140 and $535 for I-485. There are no discounts on filing both forms at the same time.
You can check the entire fee schedule with USCIS.
Processing Time in 2023
The processing time for concurrent filing of I-130 and I-485 is around 32 months. At the same time, I-140 and I-485 are concurrently processed in around 22 months. It is important to note that there are no expedited schemes for concurrent filing. Thus, your processing time will depend on each individual time and the workload of processing centers. On average:
- Form I-130 is processed anywhere from 14 to 19 months. Premium processing is not available for this form.
- Form I-140 is processed in 4 to 6 months. Premium processing is available and will take only 15 days.
- Form I-485 is processed between 15 and 20 months. Premium processing is not available for this form.
You can check current processing times on the USCIS website.
Benefits of Concurrent Filing
In personal immigration cases, concurrent filing allows applicants to essentially take care of two tasks at the same time. It does not necessarily save any time, however, if you are already submitting your immigration forms, you might as well take care of the entire process at once.
In employment immigration cases, concurrent filing allows the worker to apply for employment authorization (EAD) and travel permission (advance parole) much earlier in the immigration process. This is particularly useful to immigrants in “H” and “L” visa categories who need travel permission not to breach U.S. immigration laws.
Risks of Concurrent Filing
The biggest downside of concurrent filing for personal immigration or employment immigration cases lies in the rejection of the first application, be it I-130 or I-140. The reason being is that if your first form is rejected, then your second form, I-485, would not even be considered by the USCIS. Why would USCIS review your eligibility for permanent residency if you do not even yet have temporary residence rights?
To avoid this situation, you should analyze your situation, your evidence, and the overall strength of your I-130 or I-140. If you think your first form has a good chance of being approved, then you should pursue concurrent filing if it is available to you. However, if you are unsure about the approval of your I-130 or I-140, you should reconsider concurrent filing. Otherwise, the fee you paid for your I-485 would be wasted.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find answers to the most commonly asked questions about concurrent filing.
Should I do concurrent filing?
Concurrent filing is not a mandatory requirement when you apply for U.S. immigration. There are benefits in terms of personal immigration and employment immigration. For the former, you will save yourself some headache down the road when you will have to eventually file your I-485. In employment cases, you will become eligible for employment authorization (EAD) and advance parole (travel approval). For many workers, this can be essential to maintain a lawful presence in the U.S.
Can I file both I-130 and I-485 together?
Yes, you can file both forms together if you are sponsoring a family member for a U.S. green card. In that case, you would have to file your I-130 online, while your I-485 would have to be mailed to a USCIS Service Center.
Can I file I-140 and I-485 concurrently?
You can file I-140 and I-485 together if your case fulfills the eligibility criteria. In general, if you are applying for an EB-1, EB-2, or EB-3, then you would be eligible for concurrent filing. However, to succeed in concurrent filing, you must fulfill each form’s evidential, factual, and background requirements.
Can you pay I-130 and I-485 together?
You can pay for both forms at the same time, in fact, you are required to do so. During the concurrent filing process, you are obligated to submit both forms, provide the necessary evidence, and pay filing fees for both forms.
Can I apply for I-485 while I-130 is pending?
Yes, you can file your I-485 at any point in your immigration as long as your I-130 has been submitted. It is crucial to note that you must submit Form I-797 when submitting your I-485 to prove that your I-130 has already been submitted.