Form I-130 Explained
What is Form i-130?
You must file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, if you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (Green Card holder) and desire to sponsor a qualifying relative for a Green Card.
This petition proves your tie to an eligible relative who wishes to immigrate to the United States permanently.
Who can file Form I-130
You can file the I-130 petition for your spouse, children, parents, and siblings if you are a US citizen. You can file an I-130 petition for your spouse and unmarried children if you have a Green Card.
The sponsor or petitioner is the person who files the I-130 petition as a U.S. citizen or Green Card holder. The beneficiary is the qualifying relative for whom you are sponsoring a Green Card.
Note that the Form I-130 is 12 pages lengthy, plus 12 pages of instructions. Form errors might result in rejections or even denials. For such immigration forms, Immigration Direct offers online form preparation services. So, to prepare your Form I-130 and transmit it to the USCIS with confidence, consider using our online service.
Form I-130 Processing Times
The I-130 petition processing period is determined by the USCIS office to which you send your petition, your family relationship with the beneficiary, and, if you are sponsoring your spouse, whether your spouse is physically present in the United States or abroad.
Because there are so many factors influencing Form I-130 processing time, it varies greatly from person to person. As of this writing, processing times range from a week to more than 12 years.
This may discourage you from continuing with the application, but keep in mind that applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis, so having an application in the processing stage is preferable to having none. There are so many changes in the immigration system, and you never know when something unexpected can happen to expedite your application.
If you were planning on filing Form I-130, we recommend that you do so now. Consider using our Form I-130 preparation service as well.
You can check the processing times on the USCIS website for more realistic processing times based on your specific immigration status.
What happens after I file the I-130 petition?
You will receive an application receipt notification once the USCIS receives your I-130 petition. If your petition is incomplete, USCIS may reject it or request additional evidence or information. This will cause the processing time to be extended, so make sure you deliver all of the essential documents the first time.
The USCIS will notify you after they have made a decision on your petition. The USCIS will transmit your petition to the Department of State's National Visa Center if it is granted (NVC). The NVC will notify you and your relative when your relative's priority date becomes current, and invite your relative and any qualifying dependents to apply for immigrant visas.
How much does the I-130 cost?
An I-130 petition costs $535 to file with the government. Form G-1450 can be used to pay by check or credit card.
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What if I became a U.S. citizen after I filed the I-130 petition?
If you become a US citizen after filing the I-130 petition, you can notify the appropriate office about your naturalization and improve your relative's visa classification. If you've petitioned your spouse, parent, or any unmarried children under the age of 21, they won't have to wait for a visa. They will be able to obtain visas immediately following your citizenship.
What happens if my Form I-130 is denied?
An application may be declined for a variety of reasons. You will get Form I-797 ("Notice of Action") in the mail if USCIS declines your I-130 petition.
If you believe your I-130 was denied unfairly, you may be entitled to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) within 30 days of receiving your notice (not from when the notice was received).
Can I file I-130 and I-485 together?
You may be eligible to file Form I-485 with your relative if you file Form I-130 and they are already in the United States. This is known as concurrent filing.
If your relative isn't a close family member, such as your spouse, kid, or parent, you may need to ensure that they have a visa before submitting concurrently.
To be considered together, you must file Form I-130 and Form I-485 at the same time, along with the requisite filing fees and supporting documentation, to the same address. If you have filed Form I-130 online or by mail and it is still pending when your relative files Form I-485 to change their status, it will be regarded filed concurrently.
Both of these forms are eligible for concurrent filing because they are processed by USCIS. Because immigrant visas are handled by the Department of State, you will not be able to submit for adjustment of status at the same time if your relative is not currently in the United States.