I'm asking about these two forms,

These can be filed concurrently, though regardless if you file an I-130 online, you have to file the I-485 with paper.

What happens though if you file an I-130 but NOT and I-485.

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I'm not really sure what you mean by "what happens". Neither having a pending I-130 nor having a pending I-485 changes your existing "status". However, having a pending I-485 confers certain benefits, including allowing you to legally stay in the US regardless of whether you have status, allowing you to apply for an EAD which allows you to work, allowing you to apply for Advance Parole, etc. Having a pending or approved I-130 by itself does not confer any such benefits.

  • What I didn't know at the time I asked, which should be included here for perpetuity is as that, as I now understand it, an I-130 does nothing without a subsequent document. That is to say, if you don't file an I-485 concurrently or after you do not get a green card. The I-130 merely establishes preliminary eligibility and gets you a priority date for the person you're petitioning. I could still be wrong on all that. Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 5:06

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