USCIS: How to File an I-130. Filing an Immigration Marriage Petition
The I-130 Form or the Petition for Alien Relative is a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services petition that allows U.S. Citizens and permanent residents to sponsor spouses for a Green Card.
OVERVIEW:The I-130 Form or the Petition for Alien Relative is a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services petition that allows U.S. Citizens and permanent residents to sponsor spouses for a Green Card. Both the sponsor and the beneficiary will have to establish their eligibility. Usually, the process varies depending on whether the sponsor is a U.S. Citizen or a Permanent Resident. U.S. Citizens can sponsor spouses as “immediate relatives” which means that there is no need to wait for a visa to become available. If the beneficiary and the spouse are both in the U.S., that beneficiary will have to apply on behalf of their spouse with USCIS. However, if the spouse is outside of the U.S. he/she will have to file for an immigration visa with a U.S. Consulate having jurisdiction in their place of residence.
PETITIONS:Usually, when filing the I-130 Form, you will need to discuss with your immigration lawyer whether the immigrant is also eligible to file for adjustment of status. Other supplementary forms you may need to file include the biometrics form, along with a financial affidavit.
ELIGIBILITY FOR IMMEDIATE RELATIVE:
- Children, unmarried and under age 21
- Parents, if you are age 21 or older
FILING THE I-130 APPLICATION:Fees and Forms:
- $535 Filing Fee
- USCIS Fee Calculator
Things to Consider:
- When preparing the USCIS I-130 Petition, it is important to send only copies of requested documents and not the originals as you may not be able to get them back.
- Documents that are not in English need to include a word-for-word translation along with a signed certificate of translation.
- Be sure to have a complete copy of your I-130 petition including all documents submitted and a copy of your check payment. This is to prevent issues if USCIS claims they lost your petition or any components of it.
- Speak to or seek legal counsel from a certified immigration attorney as they can walk you through the process thoroughly and ensure your petition is correctly filed.
USCIS Contact Center Help or call 1-800-375-5283 to speak with a representative.
EVIDENCE:Disclaimer: This does not include all the evidence required. For detailed guidance on what evidence to submit with your I-130 Form, please visit USCIS I-130 Instructions for Form I-130 PDF.
Evidence of U.S. citizenship, lawful permanent residence, or U.S. national status:
- Copy of your birth certificate, naturalization or citizenship certificate
- Copy of unexpired passport
- Copy of front and back of your Permanent Resident Card
Evidence of family relationship
- Copy of your marriage certificate
- Children; parent; and or sibling’s birth certificates
Evidence of the bona fides of the marriage, if petitioning for a spouse:
- Copies of documentation establishing an ongoing marital union
- Copies of documentation establishing joint tenancy, financials, and joint ownership
- Copies of birth certificates of children born to you and your spouse
- Copies of sworn affidavits affirmed by third parties that know of your bona fide marital relationship
WHAT ARE YOUR NEXT STEPS?- You will receive an I-797 Notice of Action receipt confirming that USCIS received the petition (2-3 weeks)
- A notice for a biometrics appointment date, if filing the Form I-130 and Form I-485 together;
- An interview appointment date may be scheduled; and
- A written notice of the decision.
REPRESENTATION BY COUNSEL:We strongly recommend having a consultation with a qualified immigration lawyer before you make a decision to file for any immigration benefits, as an immigration attorney can explain to you in full detail the process and requirements mandated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, help you file the necessary forms directly with the USCIS, as well as any other important associated issues you should consider.