concurrent filing

What Is Concurrent Filing?

If you are an immigrant seeking to file multiple immigration petitions concurrently, Ybarra Maldonado Law Group is here to help. Concurrent filing can be a very beneficial process for many immigrants. However, immigration laws in the United States are often highly complex. Working with a skilled Phoenix immigration attorney can give you the edge you need for the best possible chance at a positive outcome in your case.

To schedule a free consultation with our immigration team, please call our office at 602-910-4040 today or fill out our online intake form.

What Is Concurrent Filing in Immigration?

Concurrent filing in immigration refers to the process of submitting more than one application or immigrant petition simultaneously to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for different immigration benefits that are related to each other. This practice allows individuals to apply for more than one immigration benefit at the same time, streamlining the process and potentially reducing the overall processing time.

It’s important to note that not all immigration categories or situations allow for concurrent filing, and eligibility criteria may vary based on the specific immigration benefit sought. Applicants should carefully review the instructions and requirements provided by USCIS or consult an immigration attorney in Phoenix for guidance on whether concurrent filing is appropriate for their situation.

When Is Concurrent Filing Necessary?

Concurrent filing is not a requirement for immigration cases, but it is a very beneficial option for those who qualify. Common examples of situations that can warrant concurrent filing include the following.

Concurrent filing is not mandatory and may not be available for all immigration categories. We strongly recommend speaking with a skilled immigration lawyer to learn if you qualify for concurrent filing.

Who Is Eligible for Concurrent Filing?

Eligibility for concurrent filing in immigration depends on the specific immigration benefits an individual is seeking and the category they fall under. Some common scenarios in which someone may qualify for concurrent filing include the following.

  • Family-based immigration: If an individual is applying for adjustment of status (Form I-485) based on an approved family-based immigrant petition (Form I-130), they may be eligible for concurrent filing. This often applies to immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, allowing them to file both forms simultaneously.
  • Employment-based immigration: In certain employment-based categories, individuals may be eligible to concurrently file Form I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker) and Form I-485 (Adjustment of Status) to become a lawful permanent resident. EB-1 and EB-2 category filers, such as those with an advanced degree or national interest waiver, may also qualify.
  • Certain nonimmigrant visas: Some nonimmigrant visa holders may be eligible for concurrent filing if their visa category allows for adjustment of status to permanent residency in the United States.
  • Dependents: Dependents of an applicant seeking certain immigration benefits might be eligible for concurrent filing of their applications for derivative status.
  • Other categories: In specific circumstances or immigration categories where the regulations permit, individuals may be eligible for concurrent filing of various forms related to their immigration status, such as Forms I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) and I-131 (Application for Travel Document) along with Form I-485.

Who Is Not Eligible for Concurrent Filing?

Concurrent filing is not available for all intending immigrants. Generally, the process is available to immediate relatives of United States citizens who are living in the United States. This can include unmarried children, spouses, and parents. It may also be available to applicants seeking work authorization or those seeking a special immigrant visa number.

What Are the Benefits of Concurrent Filing?

Concurrent filing in immigration offers several advantages for applicants who are eligible to submit multiple applications or petitions simultaneously. Some of the key benefits include the following.

Efficiency and Time-Saving: One of the primary advantages of concurrent filing is that it can save time in the immigration process. By submitting related applications together, applicants can potentially reduce the overall processing time as USCIS reviews the applications concurrently instead of sequentially.

Faster Access to Benefits: For certain immigration benefits like work authorization or lawful permanent residency (green card), concurrent filing allows applicants to seek these benefits without waiting for one stage of the process to be completed before starting the next. This can result in quicker access to work permits, travel documents, or lawful status.

Convenience and Simplified Process: Instead of filing separate applications at different times, concurrent filing streamlines the process by allowing applicants to submit multiple forms together, making it more convenient and less cumbersome.

Flexibility in Legal Status: In cases where concurrent filing is allowed for adjustment of status, applicants can potentially remain in the U.S. while their applications are pending, allowing them to live and work in the country lawfully.

Family Unity: For family-based immigration cases, concurrent filing can help keep families together by allowing immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to apply for adjustment of status without waiting for a separate petition’s approval.

Economic Benefits: Access to work authorization through concurrent filing can enable applicants to legally work in the U.S., contributing to the economy and supporting themselves and their families.

Are There Any Risks of Concurrent Filing?

While concurrent filing in immigration can offer several advantages, there are also potential risks and considerations that applicants should know of before filing. Some potential risks include the following.

  • Denial risks: Concurrent filing means that multiple applications are being reviewed simultaneously. If one application is denied, it could potentially impact the related applications. For example, if an adjustment of status (Form I-485) application is denied, it might affect associated applications for work authorization (Form I-765) or travel documents (Form I-131).
  • Increased scrutiny: Submitting multiple applications together might invite closer scrutiny from USCIS officers, potentially leading to more thorough reviews and requests for additional evidence, which can prolong the processing time.
  • Immigration status concerns: In certain situations, if an applicant’s current immigration status is dependent on the approval of a concurrent filing application and that application is denied, it could affect the applicant’s legal status in the U.S. and lead to potential immigration consequences, such as the initiation of removal proceedings.
  • Financial considerations: Filing multiple applications concurrently may involve additional fees. If applications are denied or delayed, applicants might incur additional expenses associated with reapplying.

What Is the Concurrent Filing Process for an Immigrant Visa Petition?

The concurrent filing process for an immigrant visa petition involves submitting multiple applications or petitions simultaneously to USCIS. Generally, those trying to file concurrently may face the following steps.

Determining Eligibility: Determine eligibility for concurrent filing based on the specific immigration benefit sought. For instance, in family-based immigration, eligibility might include being an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen or meeting other qualifying criteria.

Preparing Forms: Complete the required forms accurately and thoroughly. For example, if applying for adjustment of status (Form I-485) concurrently with a family-based immigrant petition (Form I-130), ensure both forms are properly filled out according to USCIS instructions.

Gathering Supporting Documents: Compile supporting documentation such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, financial records, passport-style photos, and any other evidence necessary to support the underlying immigrant visa petition and forms.

Submitting Forms: Send the completed forms, supporting documents, and applicable fees to the USCIS address specified in the form instructions. Ensure that all forms and documents are organized and submitted together in one package.

Receiving Receipt Notices and Biometrics Appointment: After submitting the applications, USCIS will issue receipt notices confirming the receipt of the applications. Applicants may also receive notifications for biometrics appointments to provide fingerprints, photos, and signatures for background checks.

Interviewing: Depending on the type of application and USCIS procedures, applicants may be required to attend an interview at a USCIS office. The interview allows USCIS to review the applications and ask questions about the applicant’s eligibility.

Concurrent Filing I-130 and I-485 (Petition for Alien Relative and Application to Register Permanent Residence)

Concurrent filing of Form I-130 and Form I-485 involves submitting both forms simultaneously to USCIS for family-based immigration purposes, specifically for those seeking to obtain lawful permanent resident status in the United States.

Form I-130 is used by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident to establish a relationship between themselves and a foreign relative who wishes to immigrate to the United States. The petitioner files this form to sponsor their eligible family member for an immigrant visa or green card.

Form I-485 is the application used by an individual who is already in the United States and seeks to adjust their status to that of a lawful permanent resident. When filed concurrently with an approved Form I-130, Form I-485 allows the applicant to apply for lawful permanent resident status without having to leave the U.S.

Concurrent Filing I-130 and I-485 Fees

It’s important to consider the filing fees you must pay before beginning the concurrent filing process. Because it involves submitting more than one form at a time, you will likely end up paying more if you file concurrently. This is because you must pay the filing fees for all documents upon submission. The filing fee for I-130 is $535, while the filing fee for I-485 is $1,140. Together, those fees total $1,675 in filing fees.

Consular Processing and Concurrent Filing

Consular processing refers to the procedure where an individual, after an immigrant petition (such as Form I-130) is approved by USCIS, undergoes the final stages of the immigrant visa application process at a U.S. consulate or embassy outside the United States.

After the USCIS approves the immigrant petition, the case is transferred to the National Visa Center (NVC), and the applicant goes through further processing steps, including providing additional documentation, completing forms, undergoing a medical examination, and attending an interview at the U.S. consulate or embassy in their home country or a country where they have legal residence.

Concurrent filing involves submitting multiple applications or petitions simultaneously to USCIS for related immigration benefits, usually within the United States.

For example, concurrent filing often refers to submitting both Form I-130 and Form I-485 together. This process is typically used in family-based immigration cases when the beneficiary is already in the United States and eligible to adjust their status to that of a lawful permanent resident.

The primary difference from consular processing is that concurrent filing allows the applicant to apply for adjustment of status while remaining in the United States instead of going through consular processing abroad.

How Does Citizenship and Immigration Services Process Concurrent Filings?

When USCIS receives a package containing multiple applications or petitions filed concurrently, they follow a structured process to manage and evaluate each submission.

Upon receipt, USCIS conducts an initial review of the entire package to ensure all required forms, supporting documents, and applicable fees are included and properly filled out. They issue separate receipt notices for each application or petition included in the concurrent filing, assigning a unique receipt number to track the status of each application separately throughout the process.

USCIS officers conduct separate adjudications for each application or petition included in the filing. They review the submitted forms, supporting documents, and evidence, applying the specific eligibility criteria and requirements relevant to each form filed concurrently.

Upon completion of the review and decision-making process for each application, USCIS issues separate approval notices or denials. Approved applicants receive notices confirming the approval of their applications and the granted immigration benefits.

Contact a Phoenix Immigration Lawyer at Ybarra Maldonado Law Group

Concurrent filing has many benefits for many different types of aspiring immigrants. Not only can the process save you time, but it can also put you on the fast track to receiving immigration benefits. To learn more about what it can do for you, contact Ybarra Maldonado Law Group today. Call our office at 602-910-4040 to schedule a free consultation with us.

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