Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative: Everything You Need to Know
If you are a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident, and you wish to sponsor a family member who is not a US citizen, then you will need to file a Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative. The form is used to establish the relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary, and to determine the eligibility of the beneficiary to immigrate to the United States.
In this article, we will break down the process of filing a Form I-130 and provide you with the most up-to-date information on how to navigate the process. We will also discuss important changes to the form and the application process, so you can be sure you have the most accurate and complete information available.
What is Form I-130?
Form I-130 is a form used by US citizens and lawful permanent residents who wish to sponsor certain relatives for immigration to the United States. The form establishes the relationship between the petitioner (the sponsor) and the beneficiary (the person being sponsored), and is the first step in the family-based immigration process.
The form is filed with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and must be accompanied by supporting documents that demonstrate the relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary.
Who Can Be Sponsored on Form I-130?
US citizens and lawful permanent residents have different categories of relatives that they can sponsor:
– US citizens can sponsor their spouse, children, parents, and siblings. Additionally, US citizens can sponsor their fiancé(e) for a K-1 visa.
– Lawful permanent residents can sponsor their spouse and unmarried children. They cannot sponsor their parents or siblings.
It is important to note that there are different waiting times for each category of relatives, and that the waiting time can vary depending on the country of origin of the beneficiary.
How to File Form I-130?
In order to file a Form I-130, the petitioner must:
1. Download and complete the Form I-130
2. Pay the filing fee
3. Gather supporting documents that demonstrate the relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary
4. Send the completed form, supporting documents, and filing fee to the appropriate USCIS address
Completing Form I-130
The form itself is fairly straightforward. The petitioner will need to provide basic information about themselves and the beneficiary, including their names, addresses, dates of birth, and country of citizenship.
The petitioner will then need to provide information about their relationship with the beneficiary. This includes the date and place of marriage, if applicable, and details about any previous marriages or divorces.
The form also requires the petitioner to provide information about the beneficiary’s immigration history, if any, and details about their health and criminal history.
Supporting Documents for Form I-130
In order to establish the relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary, the petitioner must provide supporting documents. The required documents will vary depending on the petitioner’s relationship to the beneficiary, but may include:
– Birth or marriage certificates
– Adoption papers
– Divorce or death certificates
– Proof of US citizenship or lawful permanent residency
– Proof of the beneficiary’s identity and citizenship
– Evidence of joint ownership or joint bank accounts
It is important to consult with an immigration attorney or to thoroughly review the USCIS instructions for Form I-130 to ensure that you are providing the appropriate documents.
Filing Fee for Form I-130
As of February 2021, the filing fee for Form I-130 is $535. This is a non-refundable fee that must be paid at the time of filing.
The USCIS accepts payment by check or money order, made out to US Department of Homeland Security. The USCIS may also accept payment by credit card or debit card, but additional processing fees may apply.
Where to File Form I-130?
The USCIS has different addresses for filing Form I-130, depending on where the petitioner lives and whether the beneficiary will be filing for adjustment of status in the United States or applying for an immigrant visa from abroad.
It is important to carefully review the USCIS instructions and to ensure that the form is filed with the appropriate address.
Processing Time for Form I-130
The processing time for Form I-130 can vary widely, depending on the USCIS workload, the completeness of the application, and any issues that arise during the evaluation of the application.
The USCIS has a tool on its website that allows applicants to check the current processing time for each USCIS service center, based on the type of application and the filing date.
As of February 2021, the USCIS estimated that the processing time for Form I-130 was approximately 7.5 to 13.5 months.
Important Changes to Form I-130
In August 2020, the USCIS announced changes to Form I-130 and to the application process, in order to improve the accuracy and completeness of applications, reduce errors and rejections, and streamline the process. These changes include:
– New edition date: The latest edition of Form I-130 is dated 02/13/19, and must be used starting August 13, 2020. Older versions of the form will not be accepted.
– New instructions: The USCIS has revised the instructions for Form I-130 to provide clearer guidance on how to complete the form and what supporting documents are required.
– New evidence of citizenship and identity: The USCIS is now requiring petitioners who are US citizens to submit copies of a government-issued identification document and a birth certificate (or naturalization certificate, if applicable). This is to ensure that the petitioner is a US citizen and to reduce the risk of fraud.
– New evidence of lawful permanent residency: Petitioners who are lawful permanent residents are now required to submit a copy of both sides of their permanent resident card (green card), to ensure that their status is valid and to reduce the risk of fraud.
These changes are intended to improve the efficiency and accuracy of the application process, but it is important for petitioners to carefully review the USCIS instructions and ensure that they are submitting the appropriate documents and information.
Filing a Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative can be a complex and time-consuming process, but it is an important step in bringing your loved ones to the United States. By following the instructions carefully, providing accurate and complete information, and submitting the appropriate supporting documents, you can increase your chances of a successful outcome.
Remember that immigration laws and procedures can change frequently, so it is important to consult with an experienced immigration attorney or to check the USCIS website for the most up-to-date information.
By staying informed and being diligent in your application process, you can help ensure that your family members are able to join you in the United States and begin their own journey to the American Dream.
This United States government document is administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a federal agency which generally administers American immigration law as a section of the Department of Homeland Security. Form I-130 is officially referred to as the Petition for Alien Relative.
Function of Form 1-30
The Petition for Alien Relative document can be filed by either a citizen or legally recognized permanent resident of the United States to officially certify and give notice of his or her familial bond to a hopeful U.S. immigrant currently living abroad. The correct filing and processing of Form 1-130 can accordingly allow the family member of the petitioner to begin the process of obtaining a visa to travel to the United States and, potentially, to gain permanent residency rights within the country.
Permanent residency as ultimate goal for Form I-130
Permanent residency pertains to the ability to locate and legitimately hold employment within the U.S. as well as to the stated purpose of allowing for a long-term stay in the U.S. If the Petition for Alien Relative is filed correctly and accepted for these reasons by the USCIS, then it may eventually allow the subject to obtain a Permanent Residency Card, a document officially referred to as Form I-551 and commonly called the Green Card.
Description of Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative consists of 2 pages which must be filled out and completed by the person submitting this document. Additionally, Form I-130 will be received in a form which includes 7 more pages consisting of instructions.
In order for a submitted Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative to be accepted and processed by the USCIS, the petitioner must include the required filing fee of $420.
Method of filing
U.S. and Canadian residents submitting a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, will normally mail their completed form of the document, along with the aforementioned required fees of $420, to the agency’s Chicago Lockbox. The address of the Chicago Lockbox, a facility maintained for such purposes by the USCIS, can be found through the Filing Chart page on the website maintained by the agency. Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, can be submitted in this way either by itself or in conjunction with Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
Unavailability of e-filing
Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, is not one of the limited numbers of USCIS-administered documents which the agency allows to be filled out and submitted online. That being said, notice of USCIS receipt of Form I-130 can be provided through electronic means. A person who submits the Petition for Alien Relative can choose to be informed that the agency has received this document either by a text message or an e-mail.
In order to give notice and verify that you wish for this procedure to take place, attach a completed copy of Form G-1145, Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance to the front of Form I-130.