SHOULD YOU FILE CONCURRENTLY?
When a foreign national applies for an employment-based green card, such as those for extraordinary ability or that may warrant a national interest waiver, they may want to file for an adjustment of status as well. This dual application is often referred to as concurrent filing.
Whether a noncitizen concurrently files for an EB-1A extraordinary ability or an EB-2 national interest waiver (NIW) green card, they will complete Forms I-140 and I-485 and attach supporting documents. Often an EB-1A or EB-2 NIW applicant will file concurrently with the assistance of an immigration lawyer near them.
Concurrent Filing Pros and Cons
Ultimately, it is up to the particular employment-based green card applicant whether they want to file their Forms I-140 and I-485 concurrently.
Positives to Concurrent Filing
Foreign nationals should only file their Form I-140 and I-485 concurrently if they are present in the United States and an immigrant visa is immediately available. By doing so, they can get all of their forms and filing fees out of the way all at the same time.
Additionally, if an applicant or petition pays the $2,500 premium processing fee for their EB-1A petition, they may be hoping that their I-140 will be handled quickly, and then USCIS can work on their adjustment of status right away. Additionally, but filing everything right away, the applicant pays the filing fees that are listed at the time and avoids the risk of paying higher fees after the approval of their EB-1A or EB-2 national interest waiver green card.
Negatives to Concurrent Filing
When a foreign national does not pay for premium processing for their EB-1A or files for an EB-2 NIW, the timeline can be quite lengthy, even sometimes up to 18 months to process their Form I-140. If they file their Forms I-140 and I-485 at the same time, the information on the adjustment of status form may become outdated during the year or more that their green card petition is sitting at a USCIS field office.
Another drawback of filing an employment-based green card petition concurrently with adjustment of status documents is the overwhelm. Establishing eligibility for first or second preference status based on extraordinary ability or a national interest waiver is cumbersome by itself. Having to gather all of the necessary documents for the I-485 for the foreign national worker, as well as their derivative beneficiaries, can be too much hassle for some for them to decide on concurrent filing.
Consult with an Experienced Legal Professional in Your Area
The decision about whether or not to file your EB-1A or EB-2 NIW petition concurrently with your Form I-485 may be entirely up to you. However, it cannot hurt matters to discuss your options with a local immigration lawyer who has experience with employment-based green cards.
Local attorneys who handle immigration cases may be more up to date about the latest green card requirements. They may also know sooner when USCIS plans to raise their filing fees. This information can help you to decide whether you not you want to file concurrently.