The Form I-130, officially titled “Petition for Alien Relative,” is a form used by United States citizens or permanent residents to establish a qualifying relationship with a foreign relative who wishes to immigrate to the U.S. The primary purpose of the Form I-130 petition is to initiate the process of sponsoring a family member for a green card (lawful permanent residency).
Table of Contents
Key points about Form I-130:
- Family Sponsorship: The petitioner (U.S. citizen or permanent resident) files the Form I-130 to demonstrate the familial relationship with the intending immigrant.
- Qualifying Relationships: The form is typically used for spouses, parents, children, and siblings. The specific category depends on the nature of the relationship.
- Preference Categories: There are different preference categories for family-sponsored immigrants, and the availability of visas may vary based on the relationship. Immediate relatives (spouses, unmarried children under 21, and parents of U.S. citizens) have higher priority.
- Initiating the Immigration Process: Approval of the Form I-130 is the first step in the family-sponsored immigration process. Once approved, the intending immigrant can move forward with the application for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): The USCIS is responsible for processing the Form I-130. If the intending immigrant is outside the U.S., the case may be forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing.
It’s important to note that the Form I-130 is just the initial step, and successful approval is necessary before the intending immigrant can proceed with the next steps in the immigration process. The specific requirements and procedures may change, so it’s advisable to check the latest information on the official USCIS website or consult with an immigration attorney.
Form I-130 checklist of documents
The required documents for the Form I-130 petition may vary based on the specific relationship between the petitioner and the intending immigrant. However, here is a general Form I-130 checklist of documents commonly needed:
- Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative:
- The completed and signed Form I-130 must be submitted by the petitioner.
- Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Residency:
- For U.S. citizens: A copy of a birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or passport.
- For U.S. permanent residents: A copy of the green card (Form I-551) or other evidence of permanent residency.
- Proof of Relationship:
- Marriage certificate for spouses.
- Birth certificates for children.
- Documents proving the qualifying relationship, such as marriage certificates for siblings.
- Supporting Evidence:
- Any additional documents that can help establish the bona fides of the relationship, such as joint bank account statements, photographs, or other evidence of shared life.
- Filing Fee:
- The appropriate filing fee must be included with the petition. Check the USCIS website or the Form I-130 instructions for the current fee.
- If any of the documents are not in English, a certified translation must be provided.
- G-325A, Biographic Information (for the petitioner and, if applicable, the beneficiary):
- This form provides biographical information about both the petitioner and the intending immigrant.
- Affidavit of Support (Form I-864):
- U.S. citizens sponsoring immediate relatives generally need to submit an Affidavit of Support, demonstrating the financial ability to support the intending immigrant.
- Additional Documentation for Specific Relationships:
- Depending on the relationship, additional documents may be required. For example, evidence of the termination of previous marriages or proof of legal name changes.
- Checklist or Cover Letter:
- A checklist or cover letter summarizing the documents being submitted can be helpful for organization.