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How to Expedite Green Card Processing for Pending I-485 (Expedite Request)

Updated: May 27

USCIS's green card processing times can be lengthy, and many of us wonder if we can make a green card expedited request, specifically an "I-485 Expedite Request".


  • For the first step of the green card processing, Form I-140, there is already a premium processing service available for $2,805, which you can use.


  • However, for the second step, Form I-485 (Adjustment of Status), there is no premium processing service available. In this case, you can submit an Expedite Request if you are eligible.


There could be various reasons why someone might want to expedite their I-485 application for a green card, such as maintaining visa status, job opportunities, medical emergencies, traveling outside the US, etc.


Table of Contents: I-485 Expedite Request



Note that the term "Expedite Request" is different from "Premium Processing". Here, I am sharing my I-485 Expedite Request experience. There is no I-485 premium processing, but you can submit an Expedite Request.


When to make an I-485 Expedite Request?

There are a few things to keep in mind before submitting an I-485 Expedite Request:


  • A pending I-485 can only be expedited once you have received your receipt number, and

  • Your biometrics have been completed.


If you are still waiting to receive your biometric notice from USCIS, please wait, get your biometrics done first, and then you can submit an I-485 Expedite Request to USCIS for your case.



Reasons for I-485 Expedite Request (Green Card)

In certain cases, you can request USCIS to expedite the I-485 application on a humanitarian basis but it is at the sole discretion of the officer handling your case. USCIS may require you to submit proper documentation for the I-485 Expedite Request. There are some situations when USCIS may consider your case to grant expedite. The reasons could be one or more of the following:

Severe Financial Loss to Individual or Company

  • You can demonstrate that if you lose the job then it will financially impact you severely like you bought a house or impact to kid's higher education but you need to have sufficient documentation to prove that.


  • Additionally, you can also show that your company/employer can face financial loss in case you lose your job since your role is critical in the company and they can't afford to lose you.



Urgent Humanitarian Grounds or Emergencies

  • This expedited request is related to human welfare. You can demonstrate that your health condition, someone in your family is sick or some ongoing medical treatment may require you to expedite I-485.


  • The emergencies could be if a foreign national fears persecution if they go back to their home country.


Compelling US government interest

U.S. government interests may include but are not limited to, cases identified as urgent by other government agencies, including labor and employment agencies, and public safety or national security interests.



Clear USCIS error (in RFE)

If USCIS had issued a request for further evidence (RFE) which was a clear error and you have already submitted the proofs then you can request to expedite green card processing.


There could be several other USCIS humanitarian reasons to make an expedited request. You can read about it in detail from the following blog.


How to submit a Green Card Expedite Request?

There are a couple of ways that I am aware of to make an I-485 Expedite Request.


Contact USCIS through Emma (USCIS Chat Service)

You can connect to a live chat representative through Emma. Connect with Emma and write in the chat box that you need to connect to a live representative. Then you have to wait in the queue till a representative comes online.



You need to provide your receipt number, name, and date of birth for verification purposes. Then you need to chat with a representative to expedite your case and you will be asked to provide the reason for your I-485 Expedite Request. As I mentioned above you need to see first if your reason qualifies for any of the top four reasons or any other humanitarian reason.


Then the representative will give you a referral ID and will tell you that you should hear back something in 7 business days or may take longer. You can choose to chat or call USCIS at 800-375-5283 but calling has a long wait time so chat service is recommended.


Contacting your Local Congressman

In case you have contacted USCIS but in vain then the other way is to contact your local congressman. You can find your local congressmen's contact information here. Once you have found your representative you can either call or email them.


The representative can also ask you for the documentation to expedite your case and may contact USCIS on your behalf. It's similar to how we did in the J1 waiver expedite request.



USCIS Expedite Request Fee

USCIS does not charge a fee for submitting an Expedite Request for the I-485 application. In contrast, there is a premium processing service available for the I-140, where an upfront payment of $2,805 is required. It's important to note that there is no premium service option for the I-485.


I-485 Expedite Experience

When my I-485 bio-metric was done, within a month or so I connected with a live USCIS chat representative through Emma. I kept all the information handy like my case number and other personal information. I told the USCIS representative that my reason was a severe financial loss. I gave the following reasons for the I-485 Expedite Request:


  • My J1 visa was about to end so I could go out of status which could result in the loss of my job.

  • We were expecting our first baby at that time so another reason was to support my child and I needed to have a job to do that.

  • We purchased a house during that time and the loss of a job can delay the mortgage payment.


I just wrote this to the USCIS live agent and I got a response that I will hear back something from USCIS within 7 days or may take longer and USCIS will contact me if they need any evidence for my case through email.



USCIS Expedited Processing Time

It will be very hard to predict the USCIS expedited processing time but it may take as little as 7 days or can take as long as 3 months. Sometimes, it is possible that USCIS can say that your case does not qualify for an expedited request or even deny your request if the USCIS officer is not satisfied with the evidence you have provided. There is no set timeline since it varies from case to case and officer to officer.


USCIS Expedite Request Status Check

You can check the status of your Expedite Request on the USCIS website. Sometimes, USCIS changes the status to 'Expedite Request Approved,' and sometimes it does not. In my case, the status was not updated on the website, but I received a letter from USCIS stating that they had accepted my Expedite Request. Next, I waited for the I-485 application to be approved.



Expedite Request Approved What Next

Surprisingly, after a month our (mine and my spouse's) I-485 Expedite Request got approved and I received the green card. Before receiving the green card, I also received a letter from USCIS stating that 'USCIS has received my Expedite Request and has taken action on it'.


Green Card Expedite Request Approved

USCIS never asked me for any evidence but I had all the evidence prepared. In most cases, USCIS may ask you to fax the evidence so be prepared for everything in advance.


I am not a lawyer and I have only shared my experience to help people going through the same process. Please leave your questions in the comment section and I will try my best to answer them.


FAQs on I-485 Expedite Request

Can you expedite I-485?

Yes, you can request faster processing of I-485 based on humanitarian reasons, financial loss, etc. There is no USCIS premium processing service for the I-485 form.


How to expedite the I-485 application?

You can request USCIS to expedite the I-485 application through chat service (Emma) or by calling USCIS at 800-375-5283. You would need your receipt number and reasons to expedite the I-485 request.


What are the Reasons to Expedite Green Card?

There are four major reasons to expedite a green card:


How long after the I-485 Expedite Request is Approved?

After the I-485 Expedite Request approval, it took approximately a month to receive the green card.


How much is the USCIS Expedite Request Processing Time?

There is no set timeline for USCIS Expedite Request processing; it could vary from a week to 3 months, depending on whether your Expedite Request was accepted.



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5 Comments


Hi Hina

I hope you are doing well

This is Silab I live in Houston Texas

It’s been 6 months since I have applied for I-485 and still waiting for interview

Can I expedite my application because my has several bad health conditions and still suffering will this work as a reason

Please let me know

Thanks for you great post

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Replying to

Hi Silab, The decision to consider an expedite request is entirely in the hands of USCIS, and your reason should be time-sensitive. I would suggest that if your current visa status is about to expire and the faster approval of I-485 can help you avoid that situation so that you don't need to leave the country and continuously take care of your mom's health, there is no harm in requesting an expedite request. Thanks.

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Hi Hina! Thanks for your wonderful post. Were you doing your expedited request based on your pending I-485 based on a marriage petition? I want to do that with mine but I am wondering if that's an option for marriage-based applicants. Thank you so much!

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Hina Singh
Hina Singh
Jun 30, 2023
Replying to

Hi Carolina,


Yes, I think you can raise an expedite request as long as you have a valid reason and the paperwork to prove that. Everything else lies on the officer to accept or deny your request. Worth trying!


Thank you,

Hina

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