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Streamlining Your Immigration Journey with Concurrent Filing


What is Concurrent Filing in U.S. immigration law?

Concurrent filing in U.S. immigration law typically refers to the process by which certain visa applicants can simultaneously submit multiple related immigration applications or petitions. This practice is allowed in specific family-based and employment-based immigration scenarios, and it can help streamline the immigration process for applicants. The primary forms involved in concurrent filing are Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) and the Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status).

Here’s how concurrent filing works in different family-based and employment-based immigration situations:

  • Family-Based Concurrent Filing:

    • In the context of family-based immigration, U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (green card holders) can file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of their eligible family members, such as spouses, children, parents, and siblings.
    • Concurrent filing allows the beneficiary (the family member seeking to become a permanent resident) to submit their Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, while the U.S. citizen or green card holder petitioner files Form I-130.
    • This process enables the beneficiary to apply for adjustment of status within the United States rather than going through consular processing abroad.
  • Employment-Based Concurrent Filing:

    • In specific employment-based immigration categories, such as the EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 preference categories, concurrent filing is also permitted.
    • In these cases, an employer can file a Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, on behalf of an eligible foreign national employee.
    • Simultaneously, the employee can file a Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, if a visa number is available and the priority date is current (meaning there is no visa backlog in their preference category).
    • This allows the foreign national employee to seek adjustment of status to become a permanent resident within the United States.

Concurrent filing can expedite obtaining permanent residency for eligible individuals by allowing them to file the I-485 application sooner rather than waiting for the I-130 or I-140 petition to be approved separately. It is important to note that eligibility and specific requirements for concurrent filing may vary based on the visa category and individual circumstances. Therefore, it’s advisable to consult with an immigration attorney or refer to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website for the most up-to-date information and guidance on concurrent filing.

Who is eligible for Concurrent Filing?

Eligibility for concurrent filing in U.S. immigration largely depends on the specific visa category and the relationships involved in family-based immigration. Here are some common scenarios where concurrent filing may be applicable:

  • Family-Based Concurrent Filing:

    • S. citizens (petitioners) can concurrently file Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) and Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) on behalf of their immediate relatives, including spouses, parents, and unmarried children under 21 years old. There are generally no numerical limitations or visa backlogs for close relatives.
    • S. lawful permanent residents (green card holders) can concurrently file Form I-130 and Form I-485 for their spouses and unmarried children under 21, but there may be visa limitations and waiting periods in this category.
    • For other family-based preference categories (such as F1, F2A, F2B, F3, and F4), concurrent filing may be allowed, depending on visa availability and visa bulletin updates. Beneficiaries may need to monitor visa bulletin updates to determine when concurrent filing is possible.
  • Employment-Based Concurrent Filing:

    • In specific employment-based immigrant visa categories, concurrent filing is allowed. This includes EB-1 (for priority workers), EB-2 (for individuals with advanced degrees or exceptional ability), and EB-3 (for skilled workers, professionals, and other workers).
    • The eligibility for concurrent filing in these categories depends on the availability of visa numbers, the priority date, and the specific requirements for the particular preference category.
    • Beneficiaries in these employment-based categories may file Form I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker) and Form I-485 simultaneously if their current priority date and visa number are available.

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