A U.S. citizen can help his/her relative to become a lawful permanent resident by sponsoring the relative for a Green card. The first step in the process is initiated by the U.S. citizen by filing Form I-130 for the foreign relative. Form I-130 is used to establish the family relationship between the U.S. citizen and the foreign relative.
Concurrent filing refers to filing an immigrant petition and an adjustment of status application at the same time. Adjustment of status is the process by which a foreign national already in the United States can get permanent resident status (a green card) without having to return to his/her home country to complete visa processing. USCIS allows concurrent filing of Form I-130 and Form I-485. Concurrent filing is allowed only in certain instances and not all the time. Concurrent filing requires Form I-130 and Form I-485 to be mailed to USCIS together to the same location.
Concurrent filing of Form I-130 and Form I-485 can be done only when an immigrant visa number is available during the time of filing. Concurrent filing is always available for immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen, since there is no numerical limit for them and an immigrant visa number is always readily available in this category.
Immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen are:
- Unmarried child (under the age of 21)
- Parent (if the U.S. citizen is over the age of 21)
Forms that are involved in concurrent filing are:
- I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence
- G-325A, Biographic Information
- I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
- I-864, Affidavit of Support
A foreign relative applying for permanent residence is required to demonstrate that he/she would not become a public charge of the United States. Form I-864 is used to establish that the U.S. citizen petitioner has enough income and/or assets to support the foreign relative being sponsored and the household at 125% of the federal poverty guidelines (Form I-864P). By filing an affidavit of support, the U.S. citizen petitioner is creating a contract with the government to support the foreign relative, if it becomes necessary to do so.
- I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record
- I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, if you would like to work while your application is processed
- . This form is optional.
- I-131, Application for Travel Document, if you need to travel outside the United States while your application is processed. This form is optional.
During concurrent filing of Form I-130 and Form I-485, all initial evidence required for the family-based category and appropriate supporting documentation must be submitted to USCIS. Failure to submit these document might result in delay or denial of the application.
Once the application is filed, USCIS will notify the applicant to appear at ASC (Application support center) to have the biometrics taken. This usually involves the applicant being photographed. Once done the signature of the applicant is captured for security checks. After the application is evaluated by USCIS the applicant is required to appear for an interview at USCIS office regarding the application submitted.
After the application is approved, the applicant will receive his/her green card via mail.