Why file Form I-130 for my relative?
If you are a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, is filed with USCIS to help certain family members obtain a green card. U.S. citizens and permanent residents can help their relatives immigrate to the U.S., but only certain relationships are eligible. The purpose of Form I-130 is to prove that you have an eligible relationship and request a visa number for the specified relative.
Who is eligible to file Form I-130 for a relative?
Form I-130 can only be filed by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident on behalf of the foreign-born relative.
Which relatives are eligible to be petitioned?
A U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident can only petition certain types of relatives with Form I-130. A U.S. citizen may petition for a:
- Son or daughter
- Brother or sister (petitioner must be age 21 or older)
- Parent (petitioner must be age 21 or older)
A lawful permanent resident may petition for a:
- Unmarried son or daughter
To learn more about eligible relatives and immigrant visa numbers, read Overview of the U.S. Immigrant Visa Process.
Which form should I file to help my fiancé immigrate to the U.S.?
To bring a foreign national fiancé to the United States for the purpose of marriage, a U.S. citizen can file Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé.
Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, should not be used for a fiancé. Form I-130 should only be used to help a spouse immigrate to the U.S. after marriage.
What is the USCIS filing fee for Form I-130?
When you file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, you are required to submit payment for the $535 filing fee. The check or money order must be drawn on a U.S. bank and made payable to “Department of Homeland Security.” USCIS does not accept a credit card or debit card as payment for this form.
What documents do I submit with Form I-130?
This depends if you a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and it depends on the type of relative that you are petitioning. You will need to prove your citizenship (birth certificate, naturalization certificate, citizenship certificate, passport, etc). You will also need to establish the relationship with the relative through a birth certificate, marriage certificate or other document. Depending on your answers on Form I-130, there could be several other items that need submitted with the petition.
If you use CitizenPath to prepare Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, our simplified filing instructions will tell you exactly what documents to submit for the relative that you have chosen. Learn more.
How long is the wait for a green card after filing Form I-130?
The length of wait depends on several factors, especially the type of relationship you have with your relative. It is very important to understand that petitioning to get a green card for a relative is only the first step. It may take USCIS several months to notify you of a decision on Immediate Relative Visas and several years for Family Preference Visas (For more information about Immediate Relative and Family Preference Immigrant Visas, read Overview of the U.S. Immigrant Visa Process). Once Form I-130 has been approved, your relative can apply for a visa at the nearest U.S. consulate in his/her home country. Alternatively, Immediate Relatives of U.S. citizens can apply for an Adjustment of Status (Form I-485) if the relative is already in the U.S. with a nonimmigrant type visa.
Can I list all my relatives on the same I-130 petition?
It depends. USCIS generally requires that you file a separate Form I-130 to petition for each family member.
If you are a U.S. citizen and your sponsored family member is your unmarried son or daughter (age 21 or older), your married son or daughter (of any age), or your brother or sister (age 21 or older), separate petitions are not required for his or her spouse or unmarried children under 21 years of age.
If you are a lawful permanent resident and your sponsored family member is your unmarried son or daughter (of any age), separate petitions are not required for his or her unmarried children under 21 years of age.
Can I check the status of my Form I-130 petition?
Yes, the easiest way to check the status of a Form I-130 petition is to go to My Case Status on the USCIS website. You’ll need the receipt number from the Form I-797, Notice of Action, that you receive approximately two weeks after filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
How does CitizenPath help with a Form I-130 petition?
CitizenPath.com was designed by immigration attorneys to make the preparation of Form I-130 simple and trouble-free. The software checks your petition for common errors, and we provide alerts if we ever detect a problem. CitizenPath even guarantees that USCIS will accept your petition. It’s free to get started. There is no credit card required to try it out. Start Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.