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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Q & A: I-130 upgrade after sponsor becomes a US Citizen

Question: I filed an I-130 for my spouse when I had my green card. Two months ago we received a receipt notice with a file number. My spouse is in the US on an H1B and needs to adjust status. I just became a US citizen and want to apply I-485 for my spouse. How can I upgrade my I-130? What location should I file the I-485? For concurrent filing or location for just I-485 filing? Should I attach a copy of my citizenship certificate and a copy of I-130 and receipt notice with my I-485? Is that enough or I should call some number to update my I-130 status before I file I-485?

Answer: Hello and thank you contacting me. Congratulations on your naturalization! I believe your spouse should file an I-485, with a copy of her I-130 receipt notice (Form I-797) and your naturalization certificate. I would also make an effort to alert USCIS to the nature of your somewhat unique filing. Something like “I-485 filing based on pending I-130 & Upgrade to immediate relative category”. I would mark the FedEx like this, in addition to a brightly colored cover paper. Not the cover letter which lists the enclosed documents, but just a separate bright sheet of paper to alert USCIS. With respect to where to file, since she is filing an I-485, I would probably file here: http://bit.ly/i201Nw. Notably, the FedEx address for I-130 filings looks the same (http://bit.ly/fjcMk6). I noticed the calling talk in some of the forums as well. The comments seem a bit outdated though. Also, I have found that USCIS does not handle anything without a check attached very well. I don’t think calling the customer service number can hurt anything, but it seems to me the I-485 filing is more likely to be effective. Finally, the way you can tell if USCIS has understood and correctly processed her application is if you get the I-485 receipt notice. They won’t accept an I-485 application if the applicant is not eligible to file it.


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