Form I-130 Guide: Petition for Alien Relative

Starting your loved one’s journey to permanent residency in the United States begins with Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. This form establishes your qualifying family relationship and kickstarts the process, but filing or approval alone doesn’t grant them any immediate immigration status or benefits. However, filing Form I-130 is the crucial first step in their path to becoming a permanent resident. We encourage you to explore this guide for further details and guidance throughout the process.

What Is the I-130 Form?

If you dream of reuniting with your family permanently in the U.S., Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, makes that dream a step closer. This official document allows U.S. citizens, nationals, and lawful permanent residents like yourself to sponsor eligible family members living abroad for Green Cards.

The I-130 form helps establish your close relationship with your family members, justifying their eligibility for a family-based immigrant visa. With this visa, they can finally make the U.S. their permanent home, living and working alongside you legally.

Filling out Form I-130 involves sharing key details about both you and your family member, proving your genuine connection. Additionally, you’ll demonstrate your financial ability to support them, ensuring they won’t be a burden on the U.S. system.

If USCIS approves your application, your relative can petition for Lawful Permanent Resident status, also known as getting a Green Card. Relatives already in the United States with available visa slots might be eligible to submit Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

What Is the Purpose of the I-130 Petition?

Form I-130 is the opening step in the family-based green card application process. This form, administered by USCIS, seeks to establish a qualifying family relationship between a U.S. citizen or LPR and someone seeking permanent residency in the United States.

Why Is the Alien Relative Petition So Important?

Form I-130 involves sharing details about your relationship, like marriage certificates, joint bank statements, or photos. This helps USCIS understand the authenticity and strength of your family bond.

It also secures your place in line. Unless you’re an immediate relative (spouse, parent, or unmarried child under 21 of a U.S. citizen), your Green Card wait time depends on your “priority date” – the day USCIS receives your I-130 petition. The sooner you file, the sooner your turn comes!

Last but not least, the I-130 form proves a bona fide marriage. For spouses seeking Green Cards, this form is where you show your marriage is real, not just for immigration purposes. Submitting evidence like joint finances or shared activities showcases a genuine relationship.

Eligibility Criteria for the I-130 Form

While Form I-130 establishes eligibility for an immigrant visa, visa availability is crucial in the timeline. Certain relatives, categorized as “preference categories,” must wait until a visa number becomes available before proceeding with applications. This wait can vary depending on their country of origin and visa category.

However, “immediate relatives” – including spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens – enjoy the advantage of having visas readily available upon petition approval. This means they can apply for their Green Card through Form I-485 if they are already in the U.S. or through an immigrant visa at the U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.

It’s important to understand that visa wait times for preference categories can fluctuate, so stay informed about processing times for your relative’s specific category if applicable.

Who Can File Form I-130

U.S. citizens can use Form I-130 to sponsor various family members for permanent residency, including spouses, unmarried children of any age, married children of any age, siblings (if the petitioner is 21+), and parents (if the petitioner is 21+).

Lawful permanent residents can leverage Form I-130 to support their spouses and unmarried children under 21 for Green Cards. 

In these scenarios, the individual initiating the petition is referred to as the “petitioner” or “sponsor,” while the individual seeking permanent residency is known as the “beneficiary.” This distinction helps delineate roles and responsibilities throughout the Green Card application process. 

Check the table below for a better picture of how the I-130 petition works!


U.S. citizen

Lawful Permanent Resident

Eligible Beneficiary

Your spouse;

Your unmarried children under 21;

Your unmarried children 21 or older;

Your married children of any age;

Your siblings (you must be 21 or older);

Your mother or father (you must be 21 or older).

Your spouse;

Your unmarried child under 21;

Your unmarried child is 21 or older.


If you are filing for your spouse, they must fill out and sign Form I-130A. If your spouse is abroad, Form I-130A must still be filled, but your spouse does not have to sign Form I-130A. Forms I-130A and Form I-130 must be submitted together.

Same as U.S. citizen

Must be unmarried at the time of filing and remain unmarried until immigration.

If you hold the status of a lawful permanent resident and have submitted Form I-130 for your unmarried offspring, yet they enter into marriage before they immigrate to the United States or their adjustment to lawful permanent resident status, USCIS will either reject or revoke your petition by default.

Exceptions to Form I-130: USCIS Help for Abuse Victims

U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents mainly employ Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, to advocate for family members seeking Green Cards. However, it’s important to note that there are specific provisions for individuals who have suffered abuse within these familial connections.

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides an alternative pathway for specific individuals who wouldn’t be able to rely on their abuser for sponsorship due to the abusive nature of the relationship. This option allows spouses, children, or parents of U.S. citizens or LPRs who have experienced abuse at the hands of their family members to petition for permanent resident status independently without involving their abuser in the process.

Therefore, if you find yourself in a situation where you qualify as a spouse, child, or parent of a U.S. citizen or LPR but fear abuse from them, Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant becomes relevant. This specific category, VAWA Self-Petitioning, offers a lifeline for seeking safety and legal independence.

For in-depth information and eligibility requirements, please visit the official USCIS webpage dedicated to Abused Spouses, Children, and Parents (Form I-360 VAWA Self-Petitioners).

Navigating situations involving abuse requires sensitivity and expert guidance. Should you have particular inquiries or need additional help, seek guidance from an immigration lawyer or specialist for tailored assistance and explore the accessible legal avenues.

Who Cannot File Form I-130

While Form I-130 opens the door to sponsoring certain family members for Green Cards, it’s essential to understand that not all family relationships qualify. You cannot file this petition for several categories of relatives, even if they fall within your broader family circle. These exclusions include:


Adoptive parent/child

Natural parent





Any person

Grandparent / grandchild

Nephew/niece / uncle/aunt



Reason for I-130 Ineligibility

Adoption after the child turns 16 or less than two years of legal custody / cohabitation

Petitioner gained LPR/citizenship through adoption or SIJ program

Marriage occurs after the child turns 18

Marriage not physically present (unless consummated)

Petitioner gained LPR through a prior marriage

Marriage during spouse's exclusion / deportation proceedings

Entering/attempting marriage to evade immigration laws

Not an eligible relative category

Not an eligible relative category

Not an eligible relative category

Not an eligible relative category

I-130 Exceptions

- N/A

- N/A

- N/A

- Marriage consummated

- Petitioner is now a U.S. citizen.
- Petitioner has been LPR for at least five years.
- Petitioner proves marriage not for immigration purposes (clear & convincing evidence).
- Prior marriage ended through spouse's death.

- Bona fide marriage exemption applies

- N/A

- N/A

- N/A

- N/A

- N/A


- Request exemption & prove legal marriage, good faith, and no fee/consideration for filing.
- Spouse lived outside the U.S. for at least two years after marriage.

While the previous list outlines exclusions for Form I-130 petitions, it’s crucial to remember that exceptions exist for some categories. In certain scenarios, you might still be able to file for specific relatives by providing additional supporting documentation.

For example, even if you obtained permanent residency through a prior marriage, you might be eligible to sponsor your current spouse under specific conditions: becoming a U.S. citizen, holding permanent residency for at least five years, or demonstrating the previous marriage wasn’t for immigration purposes.

Similarly, a “bona fide marriage exemption” might allow you to proceed for spouses married during exclusion proceedings. It’s important to remember that exceptions and requirements can be complex, so consulting with an immigration attorney or thoroughly reviewing USCIS resources is strongly encouraged before assuming ineligibility based on the initial exclusions. Always seek professional guidance and explore all possibilities before deciding on Form I-130 eligibility.

I-130 Processing Time and Timeline

While navigating I-130 processing times can seem daunting, understanding the factors and staying informed can help you plan and manage your expectations. So, how long can you expect to wait for your I-130 petition to be approved?

I-130 Processing Time for Parents of U.S. Citizens

  • Living abroad: As a U.S. citizen sponsoring your parents, anticipate a wait time of 13.5 to 15 months. While it’s faster than some categories, consider factors like current USCIS workloads and your specific service center. This also applies to unmarried children under the age of 21.
  • Living in the U.S.: If your parents already reside in the U.S., the processing time for your I-130 falls within the 13.5 to 20.5-month range. Remember, this doesn’t include the subsequent steps for adjusting their status within the U.S.

I-130 Processing Time for Spouses of U.S. Citizens

  • Living abroad: Whether you married recently or have been together for years, the wait time for your spouse’s I-130 petition averages 13.5 to 15 months if they live abroad. This also applies to unmarried children under the age of 21.
  • Living in the U.S.: The good news is, if your spouse resides in the U.S., the processing time is faster, ranging from 13.5 to 20.5 months. This often opens the door for concurrent filing, allowing them to apply for adjustment of status alongside their I-130 approval.

I-130 Processing Time for Siblings of U.S. Citizens

Unfortunately, siblings do not fall under the “immediate relative” category, meaning they cannot directly obtain green cards through your sponsorship. You’ll need to explore alternatives like employment-based or diversity visa programs, each with its own wait times and requirements.

IMPORTANT! If you’re a U.S. green card holder sponsoring a spouse or unmarried child under 21 for a green card, brace yourself for different waiting times depending on where they live. If your loved one resides abroad, the I-130 petition processing could take a hefty 33 to 37 months. On the brighter side, if they’re already living in the United States, processing typically falls within the faster 13.5 to 20.5-month range.

Remember, these are estimates, and individual processing times can vary. Be sure to check the USCIS website for the latest updates on the USCIS processing times of I-130 and consider legal guidance for navigating this critical step in your family’s Green Card journey.

What Happens After I-130 Is Approved?

Many people wonder what happens after their I-130 petition is approved.

As with everything related to immigration, things are not so simple.

Tracking Your I-130 Petition Status

Once you submit your Form I-130 petition, you’ll receive a receipt notice from USCIS by mail within a few weeks. This notice confirms they’ve received your petition, and it’s in the processing queue. The receipt notice includes a case number you can use to track your petition’s status online. Using this number, you can access the USCIS case status tracker on their website.

The tracker provides up-to-date information on the stage your petition is in, allowing you to monitor its progress throughout the waiting period.

Your I-130 Approved: What's Next?

Your I-130 petition may be approved, but the journey isn’t over. This detailed I-130 timeline, tailored to your family member’s category and location, will guide you through the process. Remember, consulting USCIS resources and an immigration specialist remains crucial for specific, up-to-date information.


Immediate Family

Immediate Family

Family Preference


Inside U.S.

Outside U.S.

Outside U.S.

Next Steps

File Form I-485 (concurrently or later)

1. NVC Processing (1 month): Fees, DS-260, document upload

2. Embassy/Consulate Interview

Wait for visa availability (years)

NVC Processing (waits for visa)

Processing Time

Varies, generally faster



Similar to Immediate Family (outside the U.S.)

Supporting Documents

Evidence of U.S. status, relationship proof, financial docs, medical exams

Biometrics appointment, optional interview

Civil docs, financial statements, medical results



Same documents


Flexible filling options & faster processing due to visa availability

Interview at U.S. Embassy / Consulate

Be prepared to answer questions

Track Visa Bulletin for estimated wait times

Embassy / Consulate interview & travel similar to Immediate Family (once visa available)

It’s important to clarify that Family Preference doesn’t apply within the U.S. If your family member falls under this category and resides within the U.S., they wouldn’t follow the standard family preference route. Additional options might exist depending on their specific circumstances, such as employment-based visas or potentially exploring humanitarian programs.

IMPORTANT! Once USCIS approves the I-130 petition, immediate relatives like spouses, parents, or unmarried children under 21 within the U.S. can apply for their green card directly. Others might need to wait for visa availability or go through further processing abroad.

Biometrics for I-130 Petitions

As part of the I-130 process, USCIS may request biometrics information, such as fingerprints and photographs, from various individuals involved in the petition. Form I-797C, the Notice of Action you receive after filing I-130, will inform you if biometrics are needed. If your petition is approved, the same form will include an appointment notice for providing biometrics at your nearest Application Support Center (ASC).

If you are required to submit biometrics as part of your I-130 petition, attending your scheduled appointment is crucial. During this appointment, you’ll be asked to sign an oath reaffirming the accuracy and completeness of the information provided in your petition. This essentially confirms that you:

  1. Personally provided or granted permission for others to submit all the details included in your I-130 petition.
  2. Thoroughly reviewed all the information and confirmed its accuracy and truthfulness as of when you filed.

The I-130 Petition Interview

Do I need to attend an interview for I-130? This question has multiple answers.

Although interviews for both the sponsor and the Green Card applicant are standard in many I-130 petition cases, there are exceptions to this requirement. During the interview, USCIS verifies the information submitted in your petition and assesses your relationship bona fides.

However, your petition might be approved without an interview in certain circumstances. This applies to:

  • U.S. citizens petitioning for their parents or unmarried children under 21 residing in the U.S. who have concurrently filed Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status).
  • Permanent residents petitioning for any of their children under the age of 14.

If you fall into one of these categories, you may receive approval without an interview stage.

Can I Expedite My I-130 Petition's Processing?

While waiting for your I-130 petition to be processed can feel like an eternity, there are ways to expedite the process:

  1. Start strong: Submit a complete and error-free I-130 application from the get-go. Double-check for missing information and ensure you’ve included all required documents. This avoids delays caused by USCIS requesting additional clarification or evidence.
  2. Act early: Submit your I-130 petition as soon as possible to minimize the waiting time. Remember, visa categories can experience fluctuating processing times, so applying earlier puts you in line sooner.
  3. Consider an expedited request: In certain urgent situations, you can request expedited processing from USCIS. However, these requests have strict criteria and are rarely granted. Consult USCIS guidelines and immigration experts to assess your eligibility and chances of success.
  4. Seek congressional help: If you haven’t exhausted other options, reaching out to your congressional representative might be worth exploring. While they cannot directly influence USCIS decisions, they can sometimes intervene and inquire about the status of your case.
  5. Stay informed: Don’t leave yourself in the dark. Regularly check the status of your I-130 petition online through USCIS resources or by contacting them directly. Staying updated can help you anticipate any potential delays or next steps.

Remember, these methods are not foolproof, and processing times vary. Consulting with immigration law firms or service providers is highly recommended for personalized guidance in exploring all available options to optimize your I-130 journey.

How Much Does the I-130 Form Cost?

Taking the first step towards sponsoring a family member’s green card with Form I-130 involves not just paperwork but also financial considerations. Let’s see the I-130 associated costs.

I-130 Form Fee (Effective from April 1, 2024)

The current USCIS I-130 form fee is $675. This mandatory, non-refundable fee applies to each individual Form I-130. Whether your petition is approved or denied, the fee remains the same.

Before applying, verify the current fee on the official USCIS website for Form I-130. You can also call the National Customer Service Center (1-800-375-5283) for confirmation. Remember, separate applications are required. If sponsoring multiple relatives, file and pay for Form I-130 for each person.

Additional Costs for Filing the I-130 Petition

While the core filing fee for the I-130 application covers most cases, additional costs might arise depending on your situation:

  • Legal representation: Seeking guidance from an immigration attorney or using expert immigration consultation, while not mandatory, can offer peace of mind and ensure accurate filing, potentially saving time and reducing the risk of rejection due to mistakes.
  • Translation services: Translation fees may apply if documents are submitted in languages other than English.

How to Pay for the I-130 Form Application

As payment options go, you can pay the USCIS fees for I-130 by money order, check, cashier’s check, or credit card. Opting for a check? Make it payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security.” If you pay by credit card, you have to use Form G-1450 for submission.

When filing multiple applications, petitions, or requests with USCIS, it’s vital to submit separate payments for each form. Combining payments for multiple submissions can result in processing delays or even rejection of your entire package.

Are There USCIS I-130 Form Fee Exemptions?

There is a temporary filing fee exemption for filing form I-130 for certain Afghan nationals.

If you sponsor an Afghan national relative for a Green Card using Form I-130, a temporary fee exemption may apply depending on their country of birth. This exemption is currently in effect until September 30, 2024.

To be eligible for the fee exemption, your Afghan national relative must meet the following criteria simultaneously:

  • They were not born in Afghanistan.
  • You are filing a paper version of Form I-130. Online filing is not available for this exemption.

If your relative meets both eligibility criteria, clearly write “OAW” at the top of your paper Form I-130 before submitting it.

For complete details and instructions on filing Form I-130 for Afghan nationals, refer to the official USCIS website.

What Documents Are Required to File Form I-130?

To ensure your I-130 petition is complete and processed without delays, gather the following USCIS-required initial evidence (documents) based on your situation. Remember that you may need additional documents depending on your circumstances.


U.S. Citizenship or National Status

Evidence of Family Relationship

Bona Fides of Marriage

Other Requirements

Adopted Child (Form I-130)







Document Type

Birth certificate

Naturalization or Citizenship Certificate

Form FS-240

Unexpired U.S. passport

Statement from U.S. Consular Officer

Permanent resident card (Green Card/form I-551)

Marriage certificate

Evidence of Termination of Prior Marriages

Child's birth certificate(s)

Your birth certificate

Birth certificate for you and your sibling

Joint ownership of property

Lease showing joint tenancy

Combined financial resources documentation

Children's birth certificates

Affidavits by third parties

Other relevant documentation

Proof of legal name change

Passport-style photographs

Adoption decree

Legal custody evidence

Joint residence evidence

Hague Adoption Convention non-applicability


Supplied by a civil registrar or other civil authority in the U.S.

Issued by USCIS or the former INS

Supplied by a U.S. Embassy or Consulate

Verifying U.S. citizenship with a valid passport

Copy of the front and back

If applicable

Common residence proof

Born to you and your spouse together

Must include full name, address, date/place of birth of the affiant, and details of the marital relationship

To establish an ongoing marital union

If applicable

2 photographs, if applicable

Before the child turned 16 (or 18 for sibling exception)

For 2 years

For 2 years

If the child is from a Hague Adoption Convention country

Before submitting your Form I-130 petition, review the official USCIS I-130 document checklist to ensure you have included all necessary paperwork. Original documents should only be sent if explicitly requested through instructions or related regulations.

A complete and accurate English translation and a translator’s certification are required for any documents submitted in a language other than English. The translator’s certification should verify their competency in both languages and the accuracy of the translation.

Following these guidelines helps ensure a smooth and efficient processing experience for your I-130 petition.

Missing Documents in Your I-130 Petition: What to Do

Discovering missing documents after submitting your I-130 petition can be concerning. However, understanding your options can help you navigate the situation effectively.

Secondary Evidence for Missing Documents in I-130 Applications

Sometimes, obtaining specific documents required for your I-130 petition might be challenging. However, you can still submit alternative documentation, known as “secondary evidence,” to help USCIS assess your case.

Remember, the key is to demonstrate the validity of your I-130 claims. If, for example, your birth certificate is unavailable, consider these options:

  • Official statement: Obtain a written statement from the issuing government agency in your home country confirming the birth certificate’s unavailability.
  • Substitute records: Submit alternative documents like baptismal certificates, school records, or immunization records that mention your birth details.
  • Witness affidavits: Include sworn statements from relatives or individuals with personal knowledge of your birth and family relationships.

While these examples provide a starting point, consult USCIS resources or seek legal guidance for detailed instructions and acceptable forms of secondary evidence specific to your situation.

Consequences of I-130 Form Missing Documents

USCIS may issue an RFE requesting the missing documents, potentially delaying processing. Responding promptly and effectively is crucial. In severe cases, missing crucial I-130 initial or secondary evidence could lead to your petition’s denial.

IMPORTANT! Completing your I-130 petition with all required documentation optimizes your chances of smooth processing and approval. If you discover missing documents, promptly address them by seeking alternatives or obtaining confirmations. Don’t hesitate to seek expert assistance to optimize your chances of a successful outcome!

How to Petition for Alien Relative Immigration with the I-130 Form

Two primary options exist for submitting your I-130 petition: online or by mail. The optimal route depends on your specific circumstances and location.

I-130 Petition Filing Methods

Filing the petition I-130 online requires creating a USCIS online account. The good news is that it suits both U.S. and non-U.S. residents. The bad news is that you cannot submit the petition online if you apply for I-130 fee waivers. 

Filing the I-130 form by mail means downloading and completing the paper version of the I-130 form. Use black ink, as you should always do with USCIS paperwork, forms, applications, and petitions. Follow the USCIS instructions for mailing your application to the relevant USCIS Lockbox based on location.

Where to File Form I-130

If you reside in the U.S., file at the designated USCIS Lockbox (Chicago, Dallas, Elgin, or Phoenix) based on your and your relative’s location (concurrent I-485 filing may impact the address). Refer to the official USCIS website for specific addresses.

If you reside outside the U.S., choose one of the following options: 

  • Submit online through the USCIS website.
  • File by mail to the USCIS Elgin Lockbox.
  • In specific cases, request filing at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate (applicable only to U.S. citizens petitioning for immediate relatives). Refer to USCIS Policy Manual guidelines for eligibility and details.

Additional Considerations When Filing Form I-130

  • Concurrent filing: This might affect the designated filing location if your relative is also filing Form I-485 concurrently.
  • Fee waivers: We said this before, but online filing is unavailable if you qualify for a fee waiver. Apply by mail and follow specific instructions regarding fee waiver documentation.

How to Fill in Form I-130: Instructions and Tips

Filing Form I-130 accurately and comprehensively helps ensure a smooth processing experience. USCIS wants you to know from the start. In Part 4 of the I-130 form, you must indicate whether the beneficiary plans to apply for adjustment status within the U.S. (Question 61) or pursue visa processing abroad (Question 62). Do not select both, or leave this section blank!

Here are other special instructions and tips to remember when you complete the I-130 petition:

  • Ensure all fields are filled in accurately because of missing information in crucial sections like your details, the beneficiary’s details, or relationship information. Missing information can lead to petition rejection. 
  • Don’t forget to sign your completed form. Unsigned petitions will be rejected.
  • If you petition for your spouse, include Form I-130A, Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary.
  • If you petition for multiple children related to your spouse, submit separate Form I-130s for each child unless you previously filed individual petitions. Include photocopies of your U.S. citizenship proof (e.g., naturalization certificate or passport) and your original Form I-130 receipt notice with each child’s petition.
  • Avoid sending items with electronic components (e.g., musical cards), non-paper materials (CDs, DVDs, toys), or biological/genetic samples. Photos or copies of these items are acceptable.
  • Refrain from graphic (intimate) photos as evidence of your relationship or marriage.
  • To receive notification of your form’s acceptance via email or text, complete and attach Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance.

Consulting immigration experts can provide personalized guidance and clarify any specific questions regarding completing Form I-130, attaching documentation, and following USCIS instructions and tips for a successful application.

Can USCIS Deny Your I-130 Application?

Unfortunately, yes. USCIS will detail your situation in the Form I-797, ” Notice of Action,” which they will mail. Here are some of the most common reasons for I-130 denial and how to mitigate them:

Reason for I-130 Denial

Incomplete or incorrect information


Unverifiable petitioner status

Insufficient proof of family relationship

USCIS Errors

How to Prevent Petition Denial

Carefully review and complete all sections of the form. Ensure documents are clear, translated if necessary, and originate from official sources. Respond promptly and thoroughly to any "Request for Evidence" (RFE) from USCIS.

Verify your eligibility to file and ensure the beneficiary's relationship qualifies. Research all the requirements for adoptive or step-relationships and gather adequate documentation to prove eligibility, even if obtaining them poses challenges.

Include valid proof of your U.S. citizenship or permanent residency with your petition. Acceptable documents include birth certificates, naturalization certificates, passports, or Green Cards.

Gather reliable evidence based on your specific relationship. For non-traditional family structures, explore alternative documentation options.

While regrettable, be diligent in preparing your petition to minimize errors. Maintain clear organization and document copies. If you believe an error led to your petition denial, consult immigration attorneys for potential reconsideration options.

What to Do If USCIS Denies Your I-130 Petition

Receiving an I-130 denial for your petition to sponsor a family member for a green card can be disheartening. However, it’s crucial to understand that options exist depending on the reason for the denial.

File a New I-130 Application

This course of action might be suitable if the denial stemmed from missing or insufficient evidence. Ensure you have all required documentation before resubmitting. Remember that simply re-filing the petition without addressing the initial issues will unlikely yield a different outcome.

Appeal the I-130 Denial Decision

You should consider appealing to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) if you believe the denial was based on incorrect information or USCIS misinterpreted your case. Remember that appeals involve legal complexities and a deep understanding of immigration law, so seeking legal representation is highly recommended.

IMPORTANT! Specific denials, especially those questioning the validity of marriage or family relationships, can complicate future petitions. For this reason, proactive and meticulous preparation goes a long way in preventing denials. Ensure your relationship meets eligibility requirements, gather ample evidence, and carefully assemble your I-130 application package.

Form I-130 Frequently Asked Questions

If there are still some things you’re unclear about regarding Form I-130, maybe other petitioners like yourself can help. Check the answers we have already offered clients in your situation!

What Is an I-130 Visa, and Who Needs It?

An I-130 visa, formally known as a Petition for Alien Relative, isn’t a visa itself but rather the first step in the process for a family member of a U.S. citizen or green card holder to permanently live in the U.S. Think of it as a request for permission. If approved, it opens the door to applying for a Green Card, the document granting permanent residency.

Even if you filed your I-130 petition as a permanent resident and became a U.S. citizen before your relative receives their visa, you can “upgrade” their visa category by notifying USCIS or the Department of State about your naturalization. As a U.S. citizen, your spouse and unmarried children under 21 can qualify for immediately available immigrant visas. You must inform the authorities about your new status, so check the USCIS website for the appropriate form.

I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, is the initial form filed by a U.S. citizen or Green Card resident to help a family member get a Green Card. It establishes the relationship and basic eligibility.

I-130A, Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary, is only needed if the beneficiary is the petitioner’s spouse. It gathers additional biographical details about the spouse specifically. Think of it as an add-on form providing deeper information.

Get Started with Form I-130 Today!

Form I-130 holds the key to uniting families! Whether you’re a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, understanding this crucial petition is vital for sponsoring your family members and navigating the immigration process confidently. With ImmigrationDirect‘s user-friendly online software and optional lawyer support, you can complete your I-130 accurately and efficiently. Don’t delay your family reunion journey – contact us today and take the first step towards a shared future!

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