Filling out Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, is an important step in the process of sponsoring a family member for immigration to the United States. Here are step-by-step instructions for completing the form:
Step 1: Obtain the Form I-130
You can download Form I-130 from the official website of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or request a paper copy by calling the USCIS Forms Line at 1-800-870-3676.
Step 2: Read the Instructions
Before filling out the form, carefully read the instructions provided with Form I-130. The instructions will guide you through each section and provide important information about eligibility criteria, required documents, and fees.
Step 3: Gather Supporting Documents
Collect all necessary supporting documents as listed in the instructions. This may include proof of your U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status, proof of your relationship with the beneficiary, and other supporting evidence.
Step 4: Complete Part 1 – Information About You (Petitioner)
Provide your personal information in Part 1 of the form, including your full name, address, date of birth, and other details. Be sure to use black ink and write legibly.
Step 5: Complete Part 2 – Information About Beneficiary
Fill in the beneficiary’s information in Part 2, including their full name, address, date of birth, and other relevant details.
Step 6: Complete Part 3 – Additional Information About You (Petitioner)
Answer the questions in Part 3, which inquire about your citizenship status, previous marriages, and other background information.
Step 7: Complete Part 4 – Information About Your Alien Relative (Beneficiary)
Provide information about the beneficiary’s marital history, current marital status, and other details in Part 4.
Step 8: Complete Part 5 – Information About Your Prior Spouse(s)
If applicable, provide information about your prior spouses in Part 5, including their names, dates of birth, and dates of marriage and divorce.
Step 9: Sign and Date the Form
Sign and date the form in the designated spaces. If the form is prepared by someone other than you, the preparer must also sign and provide their information.
Step 10: Prepare Supporting Documents Package
Compile the completed Form I-130 with the supporting documents as specified in the instructions. Make sure to organize the documents in the correct order.
Step 11: Pay the Filing Fee
Include the appropriate filing fee with your application. Check the USCIS website or call the USCIS Customer Service Center to verify the current fee amount and acceptable payment methods.
Step 12: Mail the Application
Mail the completed Form I-130 and supporting documents, along with the filing fee, to the address provided in the instructions. Make a copy of the entire package for your records.
Form I-130 is Approved – What to Do Next?
Congratulations on the approval of Form I-130! Once your petition is approved, the process may vary depending on the immigration category and the relationship between the petitioner and beneficiary. Here are the general steps to follow after the approval of Form I-130:
Notification of Approval:
- You will receive a notification of the approval of Form I-130 from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This notification typically comes in the form of a Form I-797, Notice of Action, indicating that your petition has been approved.
For Immediate Relatives (Spouses, Parents, and Unmarried Children Under 21 of U.S. Citizens):
- If the beneficiary is an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, they are generally eligible for an immigrant visa without waiting for a visa number. The case is then forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC), which will contact the petitioner and the U.S. embassy or consulate in the beneficiary’s home country.
For Family Preference Categories (Siblings, Married Children, and Adult Unmarried Children of U.S. Citizens, and Spouses and Unmarried Children of Permanent Residents):
- If the beneficiary is in a family preference category, they may need to wait for an available visa number. The NVC will notify the petitioner when the visa number becomes available.
National Visa Center (NVC) Processing:
- The NVC will be responsible for processing the case further. They will request additional documentation, such as the Affidavit of Support (Form I-864), the immigrant visa application (Form DS-260), and supporting civil documents. Pay the necessary fees as instructed by the NVC.
Consular Processing or Adjustment of Status:
- Depending on the circumstances, the beneficiary may go through consular processing at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country or adjust their status if they are already in the United States. The NVC will guide you on the appropriate steps.
Medical Examination and Visa Interview:
- If consular processing is required, the beneficiary will undergo a medical examination by an approved panel physician and attend a visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate. During the interview, they will be asked about their eligibility for an immigrant visa.
Receive Immigrant Visa or Adjust Status:
- Once the immigrant visa is approved, the beneficiary can travel to the United States and will be admitted as a permanent resident. If adjusting status within the U.S., the beneficiary will receive a green card through mail after USCIS processes the adjustment application.
Travel to the United States:
- The beneficiary can then travel to the United States and will be admitted as a U.S. permanent resident. If they are overseas, they should enter the U.S. before the expiration date on the visa.