From Start to Finish: Successfully Navigating Form I-130

Form I-130The Petition for Alien Relative, also known as the Petition for Alien Relative, is used by U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (green card holders) to establish qualifying kinship with an alien citizen relative who wishes to immigrate to the United States. This form is typically filed by a U.S. citizen or green card holder on behalf of their foreign citizen relative to help them obtain a family-based immigrant visa and eventually become a lawful permanent resident in the United States.

Here are the major categories of individuals who typically file Form I-130:

  • American citizen:
    • Sponsoring your next of kin, including spouses, unmarried children under 21, and parents.
  • Lawful Permanent Resident (Green Card Holder):
    • Sponsoring your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21.

How to Fill Out Form I-130 Step-by-Step

Filling out Form I-130The Petition for Alien Relative is an important step in the family-based immigration process. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to fill the form. Please note that these instructions are for general guidance, and it is important to view the latest version of the forms and instructions on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website, as requirements may change over time.

Step 1: Get the Form

You can download Form I-130 from the USCIS website or request a copy by calling USCIS at 1-800-375-5283.

Step 2: Read the Instructions

Before filling out the form, read the accompanying instructions (Form I-130A) carefully. This will help you understand the requirements and provide guidance on how to complete the form correctly.

Step 3: Complete Form I-130

  • Part 1 – Information about you (the petitioner): Provide your personal information, including your name, address, contact details, and your status (U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident).
  • Part 2 – Information about your beneficiary: Provide the beneficiary’s personal information, including their name, address, and relationship to you. You will also need to provide the beneficiary’s country of birth and the country where they are currently residing.
  • Part 3 – Additional information about you (the petitioner): Provide more details about your background, including your employment history and previous marriages (if applicable).
  • Part 4 – Information about your marital history (if applicable): If you are applying for a spouse, provide details about your current and previous marriages, including dates and venues.
  • Part 5 – Information about your former spouse (if applicable): If you or your spouse had previous marriages, provide details about those marriages.
  • Part 6 – Information about the beneficiary’s former spouse (if applicable): If the beneficiary had previous marriages, provide details about those marriages.
  • Part 7 – Additional information about the beneficiary: Provide details about the beneficiary’s marital history and past immigration history.
  • Part 8 – Other information (if applicable): Provide additional information about any other relevant matters, if applicable.
  • Part 9 – Petitioner’s Statement, Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature: Sign and date the form.

Step 4: Complete Form I-130A (Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary)

If you are filing for your spouse, you must also fill out Form I-130A. This form requires detailed biographical information about both you and your spouse.

Step 5: Gather Supporting Documents

Gather all necessary supporting documents, including the marriage certificate, divorce decree (if applicable), and proof of your U.S. citizenship or green card status.

Step 6: Pay the Filing Fee

Check the USCIS website for current filing fees, and include the appropriate fees with your application. You may pay by check or money order, payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security.”

Step 7: Mail the Application

Mail the completed Form I-130, Form I-130A and all supporting documents along with fee payment to the address specified in the form instructions.

Step 8: Get a Receipt Notification

Once USCIS receives your application, they will send you a receipt notice. Keep this notice for your records.

Step 9: Attend any required biometrics appointments

Depending on your case, USCIS may require you and your beneficiary to attend a biometrics appointment.

Step 10: Attend Any Interview

If required, attend an interview with USCIS. Be prepared to answer questions about your relationship and provide additional documentation.

Step 11: Wait for USCIS’s Decision

USCIS will review your application and supporting documents and notify you of its decision.

This is a general overview of the process. Specific requirements and procedures may vary depending on your specific situation and may change over time. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to refer to the latest instructions and consult an immigration attorney.