What is Form I-130?
Form I-130 is an immigration form to create a relationship to foreign relatives who want to enter the United States. In this guide, learn whether you can use Form I-130 and how to complete and file it.
The I-130 form helps US citizens or lawful permanent residents bring family members into the United States. The form establishes the relationship between the petitioner (citizen of permanent resident) and beneficiary (intending immigrant).
In addition to the completed form, you’ll need to attach certified copies of your green card, birth certificate, or US passport.
You must complete a separate I-130 for every different relative who hopes to immigrate to the United States.
Who should use Form I-130
A US citizen or lawful, permanent resident of the US can file Form I-130. If this description fits you, you can file an I-130 on behalf of the following family members:
- unmarried children younger than 21
- unmarried son or daughter older than 21
If you are a US citizen age 21 years or older, you can also file Form I-130 on behalf of your brother, sister, mother, or father. If you are a US citizen of any age, you can also file a form for your married son or daughter.
Who should not use the form
Do not use this form if you are not a permanent resident or citizen of the United States. You may not file this form on behalf of a relative if any off the following applies to them.
Children that are not eligible:
- Adoptive children, if the child was adopted after age 16 or the child has not lived with the parent for at least the last 2 years
- Stepchildren, if you married the child’s parent after their 18th birthday
Parents that are not eligible:
- Adoptive parents
- Biological parents, if you gained permanent residence through adoption
- Stepparents, if the marriage that created the relationship occurred after your 18th birthday
Reasons your spouse may not be eligible :
- If you gained permanent residence through an earlier marriage to an American citizen or permanent resident, in most cases
- If you married while they were in the exclusion, deportation, removal, or rescission process, in most cases
- If it’s determined they have attempted to enter a marriage to bypass immigration laws
Completing Form I-130
Type or clearly print the answers to every question on the form using black ink. Make sure you do not skip a question and be sure to answer all questions completely and accurately. If you don’t have the space you need to answer a question, attach a continuation sheet.
If a question is not applicable to you, mark N/A. If the answer is none, write None.
Unless requested, you can send photocopies of documents instead of originals, as originals may not be returned to you.
Prove your status and relationships
You must also give documents to show your US citizenship or permanent residency.
Documents that can prove citizenship:
- Birth certificate
- Naturalization certificate or certificate of citizenship
- Form FS-240, Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States
- Valid US passport
- Original statement from US consular officer verifying your citizenship
Documents that can prove permanent residency:
- The front and back of your permanent resident card
- Your passport biographic page and the page showing admission as a permanent resident
- Any documents proving your relationship to your relative
You may also need to add the following attachments to your form:
- Any continuation sheets showing the rest of your answers that you could not fit on the form. Make sure to show the item number your answer refers to. Sign and date each continuation sheet.
- Any evidence to prove your relative should be exempt from typical exclusions
- Complete English translations of any foreign language documents. An English translator should certify these documents as complete and correct.
- The English translator’s certification of qualifications, if necessary
Where to file Form I-130
You should send your form to a USCIS lockbox. Lockboxes are services that receive and process payments. Residents of the following states should send their I-130 form and all paperwork to the USCIS Phoenix Lockbox:
Residents of the following states should send their I-130 form and all paperwork to the USCIS Chicago Lockbox:
- American Samoa
- Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
- New Mexico
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- South Dakota
- Virgin Islands
- Maine, Maryland
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina,
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- Washington, D.C.
- West Virginia
- Other locations outside the United States
Consult USCIS for the current address of the USCIS lockbox for your state.
You must also pay the $420 filing fee when submitting your completed Form I-130.