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Strategic Immigration Planning: Can You File Multiple I-485 Applications?


Highly skilled professionals, driven by the American dream, often find themselves navigating a complex immigration landscape. For those with multiple I-140 approvals across different employment-based categories, and in some cases I-130 approvals as well, the prospect of filing multiple I-485 applications can be both tantalizing and daunting. However, the question remains: Is it a wise strategy? While some attorneys caution against it, suggesting potential pitfalls such as straining limited visa numbers and inviting heightened scrutiny from immigration authorities, we believe that the advantages outweigh the risks in many cases.

Why Consider Filing Multiple I-485 Applications?

The immigration journey can be long and arduous, with substantial waiting times caused by visa bulletin backlogs in certain employment-based visa categories. By strategically filing in multiple categories, you can sidestep these delays and select a category with a more favorable priority date. Additionally, your eligibility for specific visa categories may evolve over time due to changes in employment, qualifications, or personal circumstances. Multiple I-485 applications offer the flexibility to adapt to these shifts while maintaining your green card process. In cases of visa retrogression, which leads to extended wait times, filing in multiple categories can help expedite your path to a green card. Furthermore, if you have immediate family members who are U.S. citizens or green card holders, exploring family-based categories alongside employment-based ones can broaden your options for securing permanent residency. For dependent children on the verge of aging out of eligibility, filing in multiple categories may act as a safety net to secure their green cards before they age out.

Navigating the Complexity:

While the benefits of multiple I-485 filings are clear, managing these applications can be legally intricate. Any errors or inconsistencies between applications could result in complications or even denials. Therefore, utmost attention to detail and accuracy is essential when completing each I-485 application to ensure a smooth and successful process.

Seeking Professional Guidance:

Ultimately, the decision to file multiple I-485 applications should be made after a thorough evaluation of your unique circumstances, visa categories, and immigration goals. We strongly advise individuals to consult with experienced immigration attorneys who can offer personalized guidance tailored to their specific situations. Our team is here to help you unlock the full potential of your immigration journey, ensuring that every step you take aligns with your aspirations and mitigates risks effectively.

By: Emily Neumann

Emily Neumann is Managing Partner at Reddy Neumann Brown PC with over 15 years of experience practicing US immigration law providing services to U.S. businesses and multinational corporations. Emily has helped transform the firm from a solo practice to Houston’s largest immigration law firm focused exclusively on U.S. employment-based immigration.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Central Michigan University and her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Houston Law Center. Emily is a frequent speaker and has been quoted in Bloomberg Law, U.S. News & World Report, Inside Higher Ed, and The Times of India on various hot topics in immigration. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and Society for Human Resource Management.

Reddy & Neumann has been serving the business community for over 25 years and is Houston’s largest immigration law firm focused solely on US. Employment-based immigration. Reddy & Neumann is certified as a woman business enterprise by NWBOC. We work with both employers and their employees, helping them navigate the complex immigration process with confidence. Don’t let uncertainties hold you back from achieving your American dream. Contact our immigration attorneys to discuss your options, evaluate your eligibility, and embark on a strategic immigration path that aligns with your goals. Your dreams of permanent residency in the United States are within reach, and we’re here to guide you every step of the way.