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Pending I-485: What You Need to Know Before Filing a New Application

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"Can I file a new green card application while my appeal is on file?"

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

Today's question comes from Angie, one of our YouTube viewers. She left us a comment, and she asked us an interesting question about the green card process in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), so I thought I'd make it into a video for you.

Key takeaways:

  • What the I-485 application means
  • Understand the appeal pending I485 process
  • How to submit a new I-485 application in the USCIS office or website

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What is I-485?

Form I-485, more commonly known as the Adjustment of Status Application, is an official green card application for certain immigrants in the United States. This includes special immigration statuses such as asylum seekers that desire to change their status and get a Green Card.

If you are already present within America, this process can be enhanced through a concurrent filing by submitting Form I-130 & I-485 at once with USCIS. Alternatively, those abroad may still apply but via consular processing using your local embassy or consulate instead.

What Happens if I-485 Application is Denied?

If your green card case is denied, and if it's based on marriage, you sometimes will file an I-290B. This is also commonly known as a motion to reopen or reconsider.

Now, in our experience, these cases are very frustrating, and we don't file many of these appeals under 290B. We've been using them more and more for mistakes related to I-130 denials and things like that.

But putting that to the side, because we're not always talking about lawsuits, the question that Angie wants to know is, "If I filed the I-290B and it's been taking two years, can I still go ahead and file a new green card application?” And the answer to this question is yes.

A lot of times, what we'll do when people have filed a bad I-130 or a poorly documented I-130, a petition for an alien relative, or they haven't submitted the right information on the green card, we will go ahead and tell them, "Forget the appeal, just file a whole new case." So you can file a new green card application while the I-290B is on file. You may want to think about abandoning the I-290B, depending on whether the petitioner is a US citizen and what the circumstances are, but Angie, yes, you could file it.

You probably wouldn't want to let the I-290B stand on its own for too long; you probably want to withdraw it at some point. But there's no rule that says you can't file an I-485 if there's been a prior denial and there's a motion to reopen that's been pending for two years.

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How to File an Appeal?

If you are considering filing an appeal pending form I485 or Application to Register Permanent Residence, it is important to understand the process.

The USCIS or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website provides detailed information about appeals here. Submitting all requested evidence according to these instructions is paramount when submitting your Form I-485. Not having the right documentation could result in a denial or delay of processing related to forms, such as an Application for Employment Authorization Document and an Application for Travel Documents.

Many private law firms, such as Hacking Immigration Law, LLC, specialize in immigration law and assist in filing appeals for immigrants and valid non-immigrant status.

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So we hope that helps. We hope that if you have a case on file appeal for pending adjustment of status applicants or if you've got a case denied, your best bet might be to just file a new application, so be sure to think about that.

When filing a new application for an I485 to become a permanent resident, it is always a good idea to consult with an experienced immigration attorney. If you have questions about this, call (314) 628-0293 or email us at [email protected].

Connect with us also in our Facebook group called Immigrant Home. Share it on social media to stay up-to-date whenever we post new ones related to getting immigrant visas. Plus, don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Thanks a lot, and have an awesome day!

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