Concurrent filing is when an immigrant petition (form I-130) and the adjustment application (application for a green card, (from I-485) are filed together with all the required filing fees and supporting documentation to the same filing location. This is a One Step process.
Concurrent filing cannot occur in consular processed cases, because the immigrant petition is filed with USCIS and the application for an immigrant visa is filed with the Department of State. Therefore concurrent filing is only used for an immigrant who is adjusting to permanent resident status (a green card) while in the United States.
A petition and application may be filed concurrently when there is a visa number immediately available at the time of filing. Concurrent filing is always allowed for all immediate relatives of a United States citizen, since there are no numeric limitations in this category. However, in some categories, even if there is a visa number available at the time of filing, concurrent filing is not allowed as the intending must generally be in legal status before being allowed to file for adjustment of status. For more information on if you can file concurrently, refer to the instructions on your immigrant petition:
When adjudicating concurrent filings, the determination of eligibility for the immigrant visa petition is made first. If a visa number remains available for the immigrant classification and the Form I-485 is approvable (which in certain cases requires an interview) USCIS will generally consider the adjustment application at the same time. Separate decision notices will be sent for both forms.
For more information, see our Visa Availability & Priority Dates page.