The I-130 form is an essential form in the family-based immigration process, which allows a US citizen or lawful permanent resident to sponsor a foreign-born relative for a green card.
This blog post will provide an overview of the I-130 form and discuss the important aspects that need to be taken into consideration when filing the form. Additionally, this post will provide guidance on what to do if the application is denied or delayed.
Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, is used to establish the relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary.
In order to be eligible to file for a relative, the petitioner must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident and must demonstrate that the beneficiary is a qualifying relative, such as a spouse, parent, child, or sibling.
This form can also be used to petition for stepchildren or adopted children, as long as the relationship is established before the beneficiary turns 18.
Form I-130 must be filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), along with supporting documents, such as proof of the petitioner’s citizenship or permanent residence, documents establishing the relationship such as a marriage certificate for spouses and stepchildren, birth certificates for parents, children and siblings, adoption decrees for adopted children.
It is important to ensure that all the immigration forms are properly completed, signed, and submitted to the USCIS with the correct filing fees in order to avoid any delays in the process.
Form I-130 must be signed and dated by the petitioner. Spouses must additionally fill out and sign Form I-130A, Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary, that is submitted together with I-130 form.
The I-130 form is the first step in bringing a relative to the United States and can take anywhere from 6 months to 12 months to get approved.
Form I-130 Cost
The filing fee for Form I-130 is currently set at $535. It’s important to note that this fee is subject to change and should be verified on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website before submitting the form. Failure to pay the correct filing fee will result in the form being returned to the sender.
In addition to the filing fee, there are other costs associated with filing Form I-130 such as attorney fees (if you decide to hire an attorney to help file your petition) and translation fees.
For individuals who are unable to pay the filing fee, they may be eligible for a fee waiver. It’s important to check with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website for more information about fee waivers and other requirements for filing Form I-130.
Who Can File Form I-130?
U.S. citizens who are over 21 years old have the most options for who they can file the form for, including their spouses, parents, unmarried children under 21, married children, siblings, and stepchildren, so long as the marriage creating the stepchild relationship took place before the child’s 18th birthday.
U.S. citizens can also file Form I-130 for their adopted children, provided the adoption took place before the child turned 16. Permanent residents can sponsor their spouses, unmarried children under 21, and unmarried children over 21.
It is important to note that the I-130 is only a petition establishing the relationship and does not grant any immigration benefits. After the petition has been approved, the foreign national must be eligible to apply for the desired immigration benefit. Some beneficiaries might have inadmissibility grounds such as:
- foreign nationals who are already in the U.S. without a valid visa
- individuals who are inadmissible to the U.S. on criminal, health, and security grounds
- individuals who have committed fraud or misrepresentation in a prior immigration application
- individuals who have been convicted of certain criminal offenses
- individuals who are subject to certain public charge grounds of inadmissibility
- individuals who have failed to comply with the requirements of the immigration laws of the United States, and
- individuals who have a communicable disease, physical or mental disorder, or are addicted to drugs or alcohol.
The I-130 can be a complicated process, but with the right guidance, it can be successfully completed. It is important to consult with an experienced immigration attorney throughout the process to ensure that all the necessary steps are taken and that all the required documents are properly completed. This will help ensure that the petition is processed quickly and that the foreign national is able to get the desired immigration benefit.
Form I-130 Required Documents
Before submitting the application, petitioners must ensure they include all the necessary documents. Required documents include a copy of the petitioner’s U.S. birth certificate or naturalization certificate, a copy of the beneficiary’s birth certificate, a copy of the beneficiary’s passport or other government-issued identification, and evidence of the petitioner’s relationship to the beneficiary.
In addition, petitioners must provide a copy of their marriage certificate, evidence of legal name changes. Additional documentation may be necessary depending on the individual circumstances of the applicant.
What Happens After the I-130 is Approved?
After Form I-130 is approved, the petitioning relative must submit a visa application to the National Visa Center (NVC) to begin the visa process. The NVC will then review the application and send an invoice for the visa application fees.
Once the fees have been paid, the NVC will forward the application to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the immigrant’s home country. The immigrant will then be required to attend an interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
After the interview, the immigrant will receive a visa, allowing them to travel to the United States and become a permanent resident.
Before an immigrant visa is issued, applicants will be required to complete a medical exam and have their fingerprints taken. After immigrants enter the U.S., they will receive Form I-551 (also known as a Green Card). This card grants them the legal status of a permanent resident in the United States.