Is your case stuck in administrative process? We can help you by completing this form.

1 Step v. 2 Step

Spread the love

What's the difference between a one-step and a two-step green card?

Hi, I'm Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States out of our office here in St. Louis, Missouri.

A lot of times you'll hear these phrases thrown out, one-step or two-step for adjustment or for a visa application.

I thought we'd make this video to explain to you what happens when someone applies for lawful permanent resident status and typically where you see this is when the sponsor is a lawful permanent resident.

For U.S. citizens, there's an unlimited number of green cards available, an unlimited number of immigrant visas available.

So those cases, if a U.S. citizen is filing for adjustment of status here in the United States or even if they're applying for someone overseas, that's going to be called a one-step because you can do it all at once.

You file it and it all goes through one process.

Now, the two-step process typically involves a situation where the petitioner is a lawful permanent resident.

Of course, Congress has placed a cap on the number of green cards available for family members of green card holders themselves.

This is a situation where someone is a lawful permanent resident and they're married. Let's say their spouse is here on an F-1 student visa or a work visa of some sort and they want to get a green card for their spouse.

Typically there's a backlog on these types of cases, which means that you have to do a two-step. A two-step involves filing an I-130 petition for the family member, typically the spouse or the child or whoever it is and then once that I-130 is approved and the visa, the priority date becomes current in the visa bulletin, then you would go ahead and file the actual I-485.

That's the second step. That's the two-step process. One step is filing the I-130 and then when the visa becomes current and when your priority date becomes current, then you can file the I-485. That's the second step and so that's the two-step.

In the current situation, what we've been seeing for the first time in my entire career as an immigration lawyer, is that the priority date for the spouses and children of green card holders are current.

So, the priority dates are current, which means that the spouses of lawful permanent residents can file a one-step application.

They can file the I-130 and the I-485. As long as that priority date remains current in the visa bulletin each month, you'll be able to still go ahead and just do a one-step.

If you have questions about how this all works about when you file the I-130 and when you file the I-485, give us a call at (314) 961-8200.

You can email us at [email protected].

Be sure to join us on our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home. If you like this video, we ask that you please share it out on social so that you get updates whenever we make videos just like this one.

Thanks a lot. Have a great day.

You May Also Like

A Complete Guide To The U.S. Naturalization Test And Interview Spread the love Becoming a U.S. citizen is an exciting and life-changing journey. One of the key steps in this process is taking the naturalization test. This test, administered... VIEW POST
Can You Apply for Naturalization with an Expired Green Card? Spread the love A green card, known as a Permanent Resident Card, serves as evidence of your legal permanent resident status in the US. It allows you to work... VIEW POST
April 2024 USCIS Fees Increase: What You Need To Know Spread the love The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a significant increase in fees for various immigration applications and services. This move has sparked concerns... VIEW POST

Download Free Guide 
2024 Immigrant’s Guide to 
Becoming a U.S. Citizen

This guide contains all you need to know to become  
a U.S. citizen.

Download Free Guide 2022 Immigrant’s Guide to Becoming a U.S. Citizen

This guide contains all you need to know
to become a U.S. citizen.
DOWNLOAD FREE PDF

Immigration 
Answers Show
Live every week.

JOIN US