Form I-130, officially known as the “Petition for Alien Relative,” is a document used by U.S. citizens or permanent residents (green card holders) to establish the qualifying relationship with a foreign relative who wishes to immigrate to the United States. The primary purpose of Form I-130 is to demonstrate the familial relationship and initiate the process for family-based immigration.

Here’s a breakdown of the key points regarding Form I-130:

  • Sponsorship: The form is typically filed by a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who wants to sponsor a family member for immigration to the United States. The sponsored family member is referred to as the “beneficiary.”
  • Family Relationships: Form I-130 is used for various family relationships, including spouses, parents, children, and siblings. The specific category depends on the nature of the relationship between the petitioner (U.S. citizen or permanent resident) and the beneficiary.
  • Purpose of Immigration: The petitioner must indicate the purpose of immigration, such as family reunification or permanent residence for the beneficiary.
  • Submission: Once completed, the petitioner submits Form I-130 to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) along with the required supporting documentation and fees.
  • Approval: If USCIS determines that the petitioner has established a qualifying family relationship, they approve Form I-130. The approval is not a grant of immigration status but establishes the basis for the beneficiary to apply for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status.
  • Further Immigration Process: After the approval of Form I-130, the beneficiary may proceed with the next steps in the immigration process, which may include applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate abroad or adjusting status if the beneficiary is already in the United States.

It’s important to note that Form I-130 is just the initial step in the family-based immigration process. The subsequent steps may involve additional forms, documentation, and processing through different government agencies. The immigration process can vary depending on the specific family relationship and other factors, so individuals are advised to follow the instructions provided by USCIS and seek legal advice if needed.

You can learn more about Form I-130 here.

How to fill out Form I-130 step-by-step instructions

Filling out Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, involves providing detailed information about both the petitioner (the U.S. citizen or permanent resident filing the petition) and the beneficiary (the foreign relative seeking immigration). Below are step-by-step instructions on how to fill out Form I-130:

Always refer to the latest version of the form and the USCIS website for the most up-to-date guidance.

  • Download the Form:
    • Obtain the latest version of Form I-130 from the official USCIS website to ensure you are using the most current version.
  • Read the Instructions:
    • Before you begin, carefully read the instructions provided with the form. This will help you understand the requirements and gather all the necessary supporting documents.
  • Complete Part 1: Petitioner’s Information:
    • Provide your personal information as the petitioner, including your name, address, date of birth, and contact details.
  • Complete Part 2: Information About You (Petitioner’s) Beneficiary:
    • Provide the beneficiary’s information, including their relationship to you, their personal details, and their address.
  • Complete Part 3: Additional Information About You (Petitioner):
    • Answer the questions about your citizenship or immigration status, previous marriages, and other relevant details.
  • Complete Part 4: Information About Beneficiary’s Parent:
    • If the beneficiary is the spouse or child of a U.S. citizen, provide information about the beneficiary’s parent.
  • Complete Part 5: Information About Your (Petitioner’s) Previous Petition for Your Relative:
    • If applicable, provide information about any previous petitions you filed for the same beneficiary.
  • Complete Part 6: Signature of the Petitioner:
    • Sign and date the form. By signing, you certify that the information provided is true and accurate.
  • Submit Supporting Documents:
    • Include the required supporting documents, such as proof of your U.S. citizenship or permanent residency, evidence of the family relationship, and any other documents specified in the instructions.
  • Submit Filing Fee:
    • Include the appropriate filing fee with your application. Check the USCIS website for the current fee amount and acceptable payment methods.
  • Mail the Form:
    • Mail the completed form, along with supporting documents and the filing fee, to the address provided in the instructions.
  • Check Application Status:
    • After submitting the form, you can check the status of your application online using the USCIS Case Status Online tool.

Always ensure that you are using the most recent version of the form and refer to the USCIS website for any updates or changes to the filing process. If you have any doubts or concerns, consider consulting with an immigration attorney for personalized guidance.