The green card filing process is long and complicated, but there are ways to speed up the application process. Along these lines, you may be wondering, “Can you file I-140 and I-485 concurrently?” to help fast-track the green card application process.
Here, we discuss the answer and the eligibility details every employer needs to know.
Can you file I-140 and I-485 concurrently?
Yes, for some cases, USCIS does allow for the concurrent filing of Form I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker and Form I-485 Adjustment of Status application for employment-based green card preference categories, including EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3. That includes forms for the employee and dependents. And, Form I-485 can be filed while a Form I-140 is still pending in some cases. However, you cannot file concurrently unless your priority date is “current” and your PERM has been approved. (Read this blog post for tips on PERM filing.)
Your priority date is the date the PERM was filed, and you can see if that date is current on the USCIS Visa Bulletin, located at https://www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo Only applicants with current priority dates are eligible to file form I-485. If the priority date is not current the application will be rejected.
What are the benefits of concurrent filing?
Thanks to concurrent filing, which became regulation in 2002, you can now submit the Form I-485 earlier, which could expedite the green card application process. Before 2002, employees had to wait for the I-140 to be approved before filing Form I-485.
By filing concurrently, your employee is eligible to file for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) at the same time as the I-485. In addition, when filing an I-485, you can file for Advance Parole, which allows your employee more freedom to travel into and out of the U.S.while the I-485 is pending.
Of course, these benefits don’t apply to all cases. It’s important to check with your attorney to see if filing concurrently will benefit your case.
Do I have to file I-140 and I-485 concurrently
No, even though you can file these two critical forms together, you are not obligated to file them at the same time. The I-485 will be approved only after the I-140 has been adjudicated by the USCIS.
To learn more about green cards, download our Comprehensive Guide to Employment-Based Green Cards. Then watch the replay of our 2018 Green Card Trends webinar to learn how employers are utilizing green cards as a part of their recruiting and retention strategies.