Why Do Some People Only File I-130 and Not Concurrently?

If you are interested in becoming a permanent resident of the United States, there are two steps you must take when applying for a Family-based Green Card:

The first step is to have your U.S. citizen family member file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and the second is to adjust your status with Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence.

A Green Card allows a foreign national to live and work in the United States as a permanent resident. A permanent resident can work almost in any job or field, attend institutions of higher education and receive federal student aid, and enjoy most of the freedoms and protections of United States Citizens.

While some people are allowed to file both petitions to become a Green Card holder at the same time, some are not able to File Form I-485 until after Form I-130 has been filed.

Who Isn’t Able to File Concurrently?

  • People who do not have immediate relatives living in the United States cannot file concurrently. Non-immediate relatives do not have a visa number available for them at all times while immediate relatives do. Non-immediate relatives fit into a family preference category.  Eligible relatives can include the U.S. citizen’s unmarried sons or daughters over the age of 21, their married children of any age, and brothers or sisters.
  • People who do not have a special case such as immigrant juveniles and abused spouses or children.
  • People who are not filing from inside the United States. This is because getting a Green Card from outside the country requires involvement from two agencies: the USCIS and the Department of State. Therefore, it impossible to file concurrently.
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