Filing a Family Green Card Application Non-Concurrently

How to file a Green Card Application for Non-Immediate Family Members living in U.S. as a U.S. Citizen or for Immediate Family Members in the U.S. when you don’t want to pay all of the application fees up front.

Overview

Click on each step to view the details

How Long Does it Take?

Most applications take 7-15 months.


How much does it cost?

Immigrants Like Us does not charge anything to help you prepare and file your application, but you will need to pay government fees of $1,760 for the majority of applications.

What if I have questions?

If you need help with any part of the application process, you can reach us by clicking the button below.


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1. Pay the I-130 filing fee

This fee is $535, and can be paid by money order, personal check, cashier’s check and credit card. If you’d like to pay by credit card, you must fill out Form G-1450 and include it with your paperwork. Checks and money orders should be made payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security” and state “Form I-130” on the memo line.

This fees changes periodically, and we do our best to keep it updated. You can confirm the current filing fee here.

How do I schedule the exam?

Use the USCIS “find a doctor” tool or call the USCIS Contact Center at 1-800-375-5283 to locate a nearby civil surgeon authorized to perform immigration medical exams. Let the doctor’s office know that you are contacting them to set up a medical exam appointment for immigration purposes.

What should I bring to the exam?

Having all of your documents ready before your appointment will help the medical exam go smoothly. Here’s what you’ll need to bring with you:
● Your immunization or vaccination records
● A copy of your medical history
● Copies of any previous chest X-rays, if any
● A letter from your regular doctor outlining the treatment plan for any health problems you have
● A government-issued photo ID, such as your passport, state ID, driver’s license, travel permit, or work permit
● Payment for the medical exam fee (check with the doctor’s office before your appointment for acceptable payment options)
● Your health insurance card, if any (check with the doctor’s office before your appointment if they accept your insurance)
● A blank copy of Form I-693

What happens during the medical exam

During the medical exam, the doctor will review your immunization and medical history with you. They will ask both general and specific questions about your health. You’ll also get a basic checkup (or “physical”). Unless you’re instructed to come back to the doctor’s office, the doctor will provide your medical exam results in a sealed envelope at the end of your appointment. Do not break the seal or open the envelope.
In addition, the doctor will look for specific conditions that fall into the following categories:
● Communicable diseases (including tuberculosis, syphilis, and gonorrhea)
● Drug abuse or addiction
● Physical or mental disorders associated with harmful behavior
● Conditions that make it impossible for you to support yourself
The doctor will perform the following tests to screen for these conditions:
● Tuberculosis test
● Blood and urine tests
● Vaccination screening
● Drug and alcohol screening

OPTIONAL Form G-1145

(e-notice authorization if you want to receive an email when USCIS accepts your application)

OPTIONAL Form G-1450

(credit card charge authorization if you want to pay by credit card)


Form I-130A

(if this application is for a Marriage Green Card)

Proof of valid marriage (provide the following)

  • 10-15 photos of the couple together in a variety of settings over the course of their relationship (they should not all be from the same trip, for example).
  • It is a good idea to have someone write a letter in support of the legitimacy of the marriage, especially if you have been together for fewer than two years. You can use this template to help you/them prepare the letter(s). The person writing each letter will need to sign it in front of a notary who will then need to notarize the letter(s).

Proof of termination of prior marriage(s), if any (provide one of the following for each prior marriage for both spouses):

  • Divorce papers
  • Death certificate of former spouse
  • Certificate of annulment

Proof of official name change, if any (provide one of the following):

  • Marriage certificate (usually sufficient)
  • Court order of name change
  • Adoption papers


2. Assemble your petition forms and supporting documents

Your completed petition packet needs to include these forms and the supporting documents listed under each. Be sure to sign all forms in the relevant places. In general, the forms and their supporting documents should be assembled in the order shown below.

It is a good idea to include a cover letter that lists all of the forms, supporting documents, and fee payments in your petition packet. This will help USCIS keep track of your documents as they process your petition. You can find a sample cover letter here. Note that this sample may need to be edited to match your specific petition, but the basic format will work for most petitions.

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Biometrics

Most applicants: $85.

Applicants under 14 years old or over 79 years old: $0

Form I-485

Most applicants: $1,140.

Applicants under 13 years old applying with their parent(s): $750

OPTIONAL Form G-1145

(e-notice authorization if you want to receive an email when USCIS accepts your application)

OPTIONAL Form G-1450

(credit card charge authorization if you want to pay by credit card)


Form I-130A

(if this application is for a Marriage Green Card)

Proof of valid marriage (provide the following)

  • 10-15 photos of the couple together in a variety of settings over the course of their relationship (they should not all be from the same trip, for example).
  • It is a good idea to have someone write a letter in support of the legitimacy of the marriage, especially if you have been together for fewer than two years. You can use this template to help you/them prepare the letter(s). The person writing each letter will need to sign it in front of a notary who will then need to notarize the letter(s).

Proof of termination of prior marriage(s), if any (provide one of the following for each prior marriage for both spouses):

  • Divorce papers
  • Death certificate of former spouse
  • Certificate of annulment

Proof of official name change, if any (provide one of the following):

  • Marriage certificate (usually sufficient)
  • Court order of name change
  • Adoption papers


OPTIONAL Form G-1145

(e-notice authorization if you want to receive an email when USCIS accepts your application)

OPTIONAL Form G-1450

(credit card charge authorization if you want to pay by credit card)


Form I-944

You would need a copy of your most recent US credit report (if you have US credit). You can get a free credit report here.


Receipt Notice (Form I-797) from your approved Form I-130

Form I-693

3. Mail your petition to USCIS

Mail your petition packet and fees to one of these addresses depending on the home state of the Petitioner. It is a good idea to send your packet with tracking so that you can keep tabs on it.

If you have any questions about the mailing your application, feel free to email us or schedule a phone call with our team.

OPTIONAL Form G-1145

(e-notice authorization if you want to receive an email when USCIS accepts your application)

OPTIONAL Form G-1450

(credit card charge authorization if you want to pay by credit card)


Form I-130A

(if this application is for a Marriage Green Card)

Proof of valid marriage (provide the following)

  • 10-15 photos of the couple together in a variety of settings over the course of their relationship (they should not all be from the same trip, for example).
  • It is a good idea to have someone write a letter in support of the legitimacy of the marriage, especially if you have been together for fewer than two years. You can use this template to help you/them prepare the letter(s). The person writing each letter will need to sign it in front of a notary who will then need to notarize the letter(s).

Proof of termination of prior marriage(s), if any (provide one of the following for each prior marriage for both spouses):

  • Divorce papers
  • Death certificate of former spouse
  • Certificate of annulment

Proof of official name change, if any (provide one of the following):

  • Marriage certificate (usually sufficient)
  • Court order of name change
  • Adoption papers


OPTIONAL Form G-1145

(e-notice authorization if you want to receive an email when USCIS accepts your application)

OPTIONAL Form G-1450

(credit card charge authorization if you want to pay by credit card)


Form I-944

You would need a copy of your most recent US credit report (if you have US credit). You can get a free credit report here.


Receipt Notice (Form I-797) from your approved Form I-130

Form I-693

4. Wait for notices about your petition

You will receive a variety of notices throughout the application process. These will be mailed to the mailing address(es) you provided on your petition, and will provide you with updates on your case status, requests for more information, and notices of upcoming tasks and events. A standard petition will receive the following notices:

Receipt Notice

  1. What is it?: USCIS will send you a notice stating that they have received your application. This notice will include a unique code called a “Receipt Number” that consists of 3 letters and 10 numbers, such as ABC1234567891. Look for it in the notification letter, Form I-797C (officially called the “Notice of Action”), that you received when USCIS accepted your Form I-485. You can use this code to track the status of your application by following these instructions.
  2. When should you receive it?: 2-3 weeks after filing your application.

Requests for Evidence (RFEs)

  1. What are they?:: If USCIS needs any additional information to support your application, they will send you a notification of this the this.
  2. When should you receive them?:2-3 months after filing your application
  3. What should you do if you get an RFE? Respond as quickly as possible by following the steps in the Request and the guidelines in this article.

I-130 Petition Approval Notice

  1. What is it?:: When USCIS approves your petition, they will send you a notice stating this. This notice will also contain a “Priority Date” - which is when you will be able to submit your Green Card Application.
  2. When should you receive them?:The timing varies from 5 months to 13 years, but most Immigrants Like Us petitions are approved 5-12 months after filing.

5. Wait for your Priority Date

Your “Priority Date” is when you can apply for a Green Card. This date is determined by the relationship between the Immigrant (Petitioner) and the U.S. Citizen or Green Card holder applying for them (beneficiary), as well as by the number of Green Cards available and the processing backlog.

The various relationship types (preference categories) are:

  • Immediate Relative: Spouses, unmarried children (under age 21), and parents (sponsoring child age 21+) of U.S. Citizens. Green Cards are typically available immediately for this category.
  • Family Preference 1: Unmarried, adult sons and daughters (age 21 or over) of U.S. Citizens. Green Cards are typically available six years after filing for this category.
  • Family Preference 2A: Spouses and unmarried children (under age 21) of permanent residents. Green Cards are typically available two months after filing for this category.
  • Family Preference 2B: Unmarried adult sons and daughters of permanent residents. Green Cards are typically available five years after filing for this category.
  • Family Preference 3: Married sons and daughters (any age) of U.S. Citizens. Green Cards are typically available twelve years after filing for this category.
  • Family Preference 4: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. Citizens. Green Cards are typically available thirteen years after filing for this category.

You can track processing times for each relationship “preference type” by following the instructions here.

Most applications prepared by Immigrants Like Us are in the Immediate Relative and Family Preference 2A preference categories.

Receipt Notice

  1. What is it?: USCIS will send you a notice stating that they have received your application. This notice will include a unique code called a “Receipt Number” that consists of 3 letters and 10 numbers, such as ABC1234567891. Look for it in the notification letter, Form I-797C (officially called the “Notice of Action”), that you received when USCIS accepted your Form I-485. You can use this code to track the status of your application by following these instructions.
  2. When should you receive it?: 2-3 weeks after filing your application.

Requests for Evidence (RFEs)

  1. What are they?:: If USCIS needs any additional information to support your application, they will send you a notification of this the this.
  2. When should you receive them?:2-3 months after filing your application
  3. What should you do if you get an RFE? Respond as quickly as possible by following the steps in the Request and the guidelines in this article.

I-130 Petition Approval Notice

  1. What is it?:: When USCIS approves your petition, they will send you a notice stating this. This notice will also contain a “Priority Date” - which is when you will be able to submit your Green Card Application.
  2. When should you receive them?:The timing varies from 5 months to 13 years, but most Immigrants Like Us petitions are approved 5-12 months after filing.

6. Complete the required medical Exam

Once your Priority Date becomes current, you will need to complete your required Medical Exam and get a signed Form I-693 from the attending physician no more than 60 days before submitting your application. You can find this form, and instructions for completing it, on the USCIS website here.

Alternatively, you can complete the exam after you file and bring the I-693 with you to your interview.

How do I schedule the exam?

Use the USCIS “find a doctor” tool or call the USCIS Contact Center at 1-800-375-5283 to locate a nearby civil surgeon authorized to perform immigration medical exams. Let the doctor’s office know that you are contacting them to set up a medical exam appointment for immigration purposes.

What should I bring to the exam?

Having all of your documents ready before your appointment will help the medical exam go smoothly. Here’s what you’ll need to bring with you:
● Your immunization or vaccination records
● A copy of your medical history
● Copies of any previous chest X-rays, if any
● A letter from your regular doctor outlining the treatment plan for any health problems you have
● A government-issued photo ID, such as your passport, state ID, driver’s license, travel permit, or work permit
● Payment for the medical exam fee (check with the doctor’s office before your appointment for acceptable payment options)
● Your health insurance card, if any (check with the doctor’s office before your appointment if they accept your insurance)
● A blank copy of Form I-693

What happens during the medical exam

During the medical exam, the doctor will review your immunization and medical history with you. They will ask both general and specific questions about your health. You’ll also get a basic checkup (or “physical”). Unless you’re instructed to come back to the doctor’s office, the doctor will provide your medical exam results in a sealed envelope at the end of your appointment. Do not break the seal or open the envelope.
In addition, the doctor will look for specific conditions that fall into the following categories:
● Communicable diseases (including tuberculosis, syphilis, and gonorrhea)
● Drug abuse or addiction
● Physical or mental disorders associated with harmful behavior
● Conditions that make it impossible for you to support yourself
The doctor will perform the following tests to screen for these conditions:
● Tuberculosis test
● Blood and urine tests
● Vaccination screening
● Drug and alcohol screening

7. Pay your remaining Green Card filing fees

You will need to pay the following government fees when you file your application.

These fees change periodically, and we do our best to keep them updated. You can confirm the current filing fees for each of the forms in your packet here for USCIS and here for the State Department. You do not need to pay additional fees for Form I-131 and Form I-765 when you file them with an I-485.

Fees can be paid by money order, personal check, cashier’s check, and credit card. If you’d like to pay by credit card, you must fill out Form G-1450 and include it with your paperwork.

Checks and money orders should be made payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security.” You should include a separate check or money order per item, and reference the item you are paying for in the memo line (“Biometrics,” or “Form I-485.”)

If you need help with any part of the application process, you can reach us by clicking the green button below.

Biometrics

Most applicants: $85.

Applicants under 14 years old or over 79 years old: $0

Form I-485

Most applicants: $1,140.

Applicants under 13 years old applying with their parent(s): $750

8. Assemble your forms and supporting documents

Your completed packet needs to include these forms and the supporting documents listed under each. Be sure to sign all forms in the relevant places. In general, the forms and their supporting documents should be assembled in the order below.

It is a good idea to include a cover letter that lists all of the forms, supporting documents, and fee payments in your packet. This will help USCIS keep track of your documents as they process your application. You can find a sample cover letter here. Note that this sample may need to be edited to match your specific application, but the basic format will work for most applications.

OPTIONAL Form G-1145

(e-notice authorization if you want to receive an email when USCIS accepts your application)

OPTIONAL Form G-1450

(credit card charge authorization if you want to pay by credit card)


Form I-944

You would need a copy of your most recent US credit report (if you have US credit). You can get a free credit report here.


Receipt Notice (Form I-797) from your approved Form I-130

Form I-693

9. Mail your paperwork to USCIS

Mail your full application packet and fees to one the addresses below depending on what service you use to mail it. It is a good idea to send your packet with tracking so that you can keep tabs on it.

For FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:

USCIS
Attn: FBAS
131 South Dearborn - 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60603-5517

For U.S. Postal Service (USPS):

USCIS

PO Box 805887
Chicago, IL 60680-4120

10. Wait for notices about your Green Card application

You will receive a variety of notices throughout the application process. These will be mailed to the mailing address(es) you provided on your paperwork, and will provide you with updates on your case status, requests for more information, and notices of upcoming tasks and events. A standard application will receive the following notices:

Notice of Interview appointment date

  1. What is it?: The last step of the Green Card application process is an interview with USCIS. USCIS will schedule this interview once they have finished processing your application and will send you notice of the date, time, and location.
  2. When should you receive it?: 3-6 months after filing your application.

Requests for Evidence (RFEs)

  1. What are they?:: If USCIS needs any additional information to support your application, they will send you a notification of this the this.
  2. When should you receive them?:2-3 months after filing your application
  3. What should you do if you get an RFE? Respond as quickly as possible by following the steps in the Request and the guidelines in this article.

Biometrics Appointment Notice

  1. What is it?: As part of your Green Card application process, you will be required to attend a biometrics (photo and fingerprinting) appointment. USCIS will schedule you for this appointment and send you notice of the date, time, and location.
  2. When should you receive it?: 2-3 weeks after filing your application.

Receipt Notice

  1. What is it?: USCIS will send you a notice stating that they have received your application. This notice will include a unique code called a “Receipt Number” that consists of 3 letters and 10 numbers, such as ABC1234567891. Look for it in the notification letter, Form I-797C (officially called the “Notice of Action”), that you received when USCIS accepted your Form I-485. You can use this code to track the status of your application by following these instructions.
  2. When should you receive it?: 2-3 weeks after filing your application.

How do I schedule the exam?

Use the USCIS “find a doctor” tool or call the USCIS Contact Center at 1-800-375-5283 to locate a nearby civil surgeon authorized to perform immigration medical exams. Let the doctor’s office know that you are contacting them to set up a medical exam appointment for immigration purposes.

What should I bring to the exam?

Having all of your documents ready before your appointment will help the medical exam go smoothly. Here’s what you’ll need to bring with you:
● Your immunization or vaccination records
● A copy of your medical history
● Copies of any previous chest X-rays, if any
● A letter from your regular doctor outlining the treatment plan for any health problems you have
● A government-issued photo ID, such as your passport, state ID, driver’s license, travel permit, or work permit
● Payment for the medical exam fee (check with the doctor’s office before your appointment for acceptable payment options)
● Your health insurance card, if any (check with the doctor’s office before your appointment if they accept your insurance)
● A blank copy of Form I-693

What happens during the medical exam

During the medical exam, the doctor will review your immunization and medical history with you. They will ask both general and specific questions about your health. You’ll also get a basic checkup (or “physical”). Unless you’re instructed to come back to the doctor’s office, the doctor will provide your medical exam results in a sealed envelope at the end of your appointment. Do not break the seal or open the envelope.
In addition, the doctor will look for specific conditions that fall into the following categories:
● Communicable diseases (including tuberculosis, syphilis, and gonorrhea)
● Drug abuse or addiction
● Physical or mental disorders associated with harmful behavior
● Conditions that make it impossible for you to support yourself
The doctor will perform the following tests to screen for these conditions:
● Tuberculosis test
● Blood and urine tests
● Vaccination screening
● Drug and alcohol screening

11. Attend your biometrics appointment

What is it?

As part of applying for a Family Green Card, you are required to attend a biometrics (photo and fingerprinting) appointment. The purpose of this appointment is to ensure you do not have a serious criminal record or any relevant prior immigration violations.

This article provides a great overview of what to expect during your biometrics appointment.

When is it?

Applicants will attend their biometrics appointment at a local USCIS office fairly early in the application process, typically 5-8 weeks after filing their Green Card application.

How do I schedule the exam?

Use the USCIS “find a doctor” tool or call the USCIS Contact Center at 1-800-375-5283 to locate a nearby civil surgeon authorized to perform immigration medical exams. Let the doctor’s office know that you are contacting them to set up a medical exam appointment for immigration purposes.

What should I bring to the exam?

Having all of your documents ready before your appointment will help the medical exam go smoothly. Here’s what you’ll need to bring with you:
● Your immunization or vaccination records
● A copy of your medical history
● Copies of any previous chest X-rays, if any
● A letter from your regular doctor outlining the treatment plan for any health problems you have
● A government-issued photo ID, such as your passport, state ID, driver’s license, travel permit, or work permit
● Payment for the medical exam fee (check with the doctor’s office before your appointment for acceptable payment options)
● Your health insurance card, if any (check with the doctor’s office before your appointment if they accept your insurance)
● A blank copy of Form I-693

What happens during the medical exam

During the medical exam, the doctor will review your immunization and medical history with you. They will ask both general and specific questions about your health. You’ll also get a basic checkup (or “physical”). Unless you’re instructed to come back to the doctor’s office, the doctor will provide your medical exam results in a sealed envelope at the end of your appointment. Do not break the seal or open the envelope.
In addition, the doctor will look for specific conditions that fall into the following categories:
● Communicable diseases (including tuberculosis, syphilis, and gonorrhea)
● Drug abuse or addiction
● Physical or mental disorders associated with harmful behavior
● Conditions that make it impossible for you to support yourself
The doctor will perform the following tests to screen for these conditions:
● Tuberculosis test
● Blood and urine tests
● Vaccination screening
● Drug and alcohol screening

12. Attend your Green Card Interview

What is it?

Almost everyone must attend a Green Card interview as the final step of their application process.  This interview has two goals:

  1. To establish whether the Beneficiary is eligible for a Green Card.
  2. To determine whether the information provided in the forms and supporting documents is valid.

If the Green Card is for a spouse, both spouses will need to attend the interview. If it is for any other family member, only the Beneficiary needs to attend.

For more information about what to expect at the interview, check out out this guide.

When is it?

The interview is the last step of the Green Card process. It typically occurs 7-15 months after filing. USCIS will notify you of your interview date, time, and location by mail once they have approved your application. The interview will typically take place at the closes local USCIS, which you can find here.

Biometrics

Most applicants: $85.

Applicants under 14 years old or over 79 years old: $0

Form I-485

Most applicants: $1,140.

Applicants under 13 years old applying with their parent(s): $750

OPTIONAL Form G-1145

(e-notice authorization if you want to receive an email when USCIS accepts your application)

OPTIONAL Form G-1450

(credit card charge authorization if you want to pay by credit card)


Form I-944

You would need a copy of your most recent US credit report (if you have US credit). You can get a free credit report here.


Receipt Notice (Form I-797) from your approved Form I-130

Form I-693

13. Receive Your Green Card!

The interviewing officer will usually approve your Green Card application at the interview. Once approved, you should receive your Green Card in the mail 2-3 weeks after approval.