I-485 transfer

If you have a pending I-485 Adjustment based on an underlying I-130 Petition or I-140 Petition and the wait time for the preference category you field under has changed, you may be able to transfer your pending I-485 to another preference category with a shorter wait time. This is commonly referred to as “interfiling.” We discuss how to transfer your I-485 to a different preference category here.

What types of petitions qualify for interfiling?

Any type of underlying petition can be interfiled including  USCIS Form I-140 Petition for Foreign Worker and Form I-130 Petition for Foreign Relative.

What are the advantages of interfiling?

Here are a few of the advantages of interfiling or transferring your preference category:

  • No additional filing fees
  • No need to re-do any previously filed forms
  • Speeds up the process to obtain an immigrant visa or green card

Factors to consider when interfiling?

Before you decide to change your preference category through interfiling, you should consider the following:

  • You must maintain your underlying eligibility to adjust your status until the date USCIS receives the transfer request
  • You must prove your eligibility for the new preference category
  • The priority date for the new preference category must be current on the date the transfer request is made

Does USCIS have to accept my interfile request?

The approval of a request to change your preference category is purely at the discretion of USCIS. Request to change preference categories between the first three employment-based categories are typically granted. USCIS will consider the following when reviewing a transfer request:

  • The reason(s) for the request
  • The burden required to gather evidence to support the request
  • The documentation to support the new claim
  • The burden of obtaining files from other USCIS offices
  • The burden of determining eligibility, and
  • The work already performed on the pending adjustment application

How do I make a request to transfer employment-based preference categories?

Written requests to transfer should be submitted, with a completed I-485 Supplement J, to the following address:

Attn: I-485 Supp J
U.S. Department of Homeland Security USCIS Western Forms Center
10 Application Way Montclair, CA 91763-1350

If you are requesting to transfer based on a Form I-140 that is pending, you do not need to submit I-485 Supplement J.

How do I make a request to transfer other preference categories?

A request to transfer preference categories should be made in writing directly to the USCIS office with the pending application.  Your request must detail the reason for the transfer and provide the receipt numbers for the pending I-485. You should include copies of all receipt notices.

Visa Bulletin Explained: What are “Priority Dates”, “Final Action Dates”, and “Dates for Filing Applications”?

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