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The Form I-485 Green Card Application and the Cross-Country Chargeability

Hi William,

I was born in India and my wife was born in Bangladesh. We plan to file Form I-140 and I-485 for our Green Cards. At what stage of Green Card processing can the "cross-country chargeability" be used?


A foreign national must wait for his or her country’s quota to become current before applying for U.S. permanent resident status. However, under the doctrine of cross-chargeability, a green card applicant may use the country of chargeability of his or her spouse in order to gain a leg up on the per-country quota.

If your country has a long wait time for approval of a green card due to over utilization of the green card quota, you may be able to use the country of origin of your spouse to receive your green card sooner that what you had originally anticipated.

The cross-country chargeability is most useful when the priority dates are backlogged for certain countries. For your case, the husband was born in India and the wife was born in Bangladesh, then the person born in India can request chargeability under the spouse to file the I-485 application, if and when the priority date would not allow the filing by the person from India.

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