I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
Use this form if you are a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) and you need to establish your relationship to an eligible relative who wishes to come to or remain in the United States permanently and get a Permanent Resident Card (also called a Green Card).
Make sure that you (as the petitioner) select only 1 option for Part 4 (Question 61 or 62) to indicate if the beneficiary intends to apply for adjustment of status inside the United States or will pursue visa processing abroad. Do not complete both questions and do not leave this section blank.
Submitting Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative is the first step in helping an eligible relative apply to immigrate to the United States and get a Green Card. The filing or approval of this petition does not give your relative any immigration status or benefit.
We will generally approve your Form I-130 if you can establish a relationship between you and your relative that qualifies them to immigrate to the United States. Generally, once we approved the petition, your relative may apply to become an LPR (get a Green Card). If your relative is already in the United States and a visa is available, they may be eligible to get their Green Card by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
Certain relatives must wait until a visa number is available before they can apply for either a Form I-485 (to adjust their status if they are in the United States) or for a visa (if they are outside the United States). If your relative qualifies as an immediate relative, however, an immigrant visa is always available.
If your relative is already in the United States but is not eligible to get their Green Card by filing Form I-485, either because a visa is not immediately available or for another reason, they may apply for an immigrant visa with the U.S. Department of State at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their country. For more information on eligibility and process for applying for a Green Card, please visit our Green Card Eligibility Categories page.
When completing Form I-130, please make sure that you (as the petitioner) select only 1 option when indicating that the beneficiary intends to apply for adjustment of status inside the United States or will pursue visa processing abroad. If the Form I-130 is still pending with us and you want to change your selection (to either consular processing abroad or adjust status in the United States), you may contact the USCIS Contact Center and request a change. If you want to change your selection after we have already approved the form, you may need to file Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition.
How to Report Suspected Marriage Fraud: We encourage you to report suspected immigration benefit fraud and abuse, including marriage fraud. For more information, please visit our Reporting Fraud page.
Help for victims of abuse
If you are the spouse, child, or parent of a U.S. citizen who has abused you, or the spouse or child of a lawful permanent resident who has abused you, you may be eligible to file a petition for yourself independent from your U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident abuser. For more information, go to the Abused Spouses, Children, and Parents (Form I-360 VAWA Self-Petitioners) webpage.
07/20/21. You can find the edition date at the bottom of the page on the form and instructions.
Dates are listed in mm/dd/yy format.
If you complete and print this form to mail it, make sure that the form edition date and page numbers are visible at the bottom of all pages and that all pages are from the same form edition. If any of the form’s pages are missing or are from a different form edition, we may reject your form.
If you need help downloading and printing forms, read our instructions.
You have 2 options for filing your Form I-130 petition with USCIS:
- Online; or
- By mail (paper).
The filing location for your Form I-130 depends on where you live and if you are filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, at the same time (this is called “concurrent filing”).
You can file Form I-130 online even if your relative is in the United States and will file Form I-485 by mail. Once you submit your Form I-130 online, we will send a receipt notice to your USCIS online account. Provide a copy of the receipt notice to your relative to include in their Form I-485 packet.
You cannot file your Form I-130 online if you are applying for a fee waiver.
You cannot file Form I-485 or Form I-129F online at this time. Please see our Form I-485 and Form I-129F pages for current filing information, and refer to the form instructions for specific instructions on completing each of these forms. We will only accept and adjudicate forms that have been properly filed. We will not accept or adjudicate any Form I-485 or I-129F included as supporting evidence for a Form I-130 that was filed online.
Filing Your Form I-130 By Mail
If you reside in the United States, file at the Chicago, Dallas, Elgin, or Phoenix Lockbox, depending on where you live and whether your relative is also concurrently filing Form I-485. For a complete list of addresses, visit our Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-130 page.
If you reside outside of the United States, you may:
- File at the USCIS Elgin Lockbox (see our Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-130 page for the address);
- File online using the USCIS website; or
- Request to file at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in certain limited circumstances, as described in USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 6, Part B, Chapter 3, if you are a U.S. citizen and you are filing your Form I-130 for your immediate relative (your spouse, your unmarried child under the age of 21, or your parent (if you are 21 years of age or older)). For a list of U.S. Embassies and Consulates, go to the Department of State’s website.
If you are filing Form I-130 on behalf of your Afghan national relative whose country of birth in Part 4, Item 7, is not Afghanistan, please write “OAW” at the top of your Form I-130 to be considered for a fee exemption that is effective through Sept. 30, 2023. For those petitioners that wish to be considered for the fee exemption and whose Afghan national relative was not born in Afghanistan, you cannot submit your petition online. You must complete a paper version of Form I-130 (PDF, 689.95 KB) and follow the instructions for filing the Form I-130 by mail (paper).
You may pay the fee with a money order, personal check, cashier’s check or pay by credit card using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions. If you pay by check, you must make your check payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
When you send a payment, you agree to pay for a government service. Filing and biometric service fees are final and non-refundable, regardless of any action we take on your application, petition, or request, or if you withdraw your request. Use our Fee Calculator to help determine your fee.
Pay each filing fee separately. We are transitioning to electronically processing immigration benefit requests, which requires us to use multiple systems to process your package. Because of this, you must pay each filing fee separately for any form you submit. We may reject your entire package if you submit a single, combined payment for multiple forms.
Please do not submit this checklist with your Form I-130 (and Form I-130A, if required). It is an optional tool to use as you prepare your form, but does not replace statutory, regulatory, and form instruction requirements. We recommend that you review these requirements before completing and submitting your form. Do not send original documents unless specifically requested in the form instructions or applicable regulations.
If you submit any documents (copies or original documents, if requested) in a foreign language, you must include a full English translation along with a certification from the translator verifying that the translation is complete and accurate, and that they are competent to translate from the foreign language to English.
Did you provide the following?
- Evidence of U.S. citizenship, lawful permanent residence, or U.S. national status:
- A copy of your birth certificate, issued by a civil registrar, vital statistics office, or other civil authority showing you were born in the United States;
- A copy of your naturalization or citizenship certificate issued by USCIS or the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS);
- A copy of Form FS-240, Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), issued by a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate;
- A copy of your unexpired U.S. passport;
- An original statement from a U.S. consular officer verifying you are a U.S. citizen with a valid passport; or
- A copy of the front and back of your Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card or a Form I-551).
- Evidence of family relationship with 1 of the following (see form instructions for more detailed guidance):
- Spouse: A copy of your marriage certificate
- Evidence you or your spouse terminated any prior marriages (if applicable)
- Child: A copy of your child’s birth certificate(s).
- Parent: A copy of your birth certificate.
- Brother/Sister: A copy of the birth certificate for you and your sibling.
- Spouse: A copy of your marriage certificate
- Evidence of the bona fides of the marriage, if petitioning for a spouse:
- Documentation showing joint ownership of property;
- A lease showing joint tenancy of a common residence, meaning you both live at the same address together;
- Documentation showing that you and your spouse have combined your financial resources;
- Birth certificates of children born to you and your spouse together;
- Affidavits sworn to or affirmed by third parties having personal knowledge of the bona fides of the marital relationship. Each affidavit must contain the full name and address of the person making the affidavit; date and place of birth of the person making the affidavit; and complete information and details explaining how the person acquired their knowledge of your marriage; and
- Any other relevant documentation to establish that there is an ongoing marital union.
- Proof of legal name change (if applicable); and
- 2 passport-style photographs (if applicable).
If you are filing Form I-130 for your adopted child
- Evidence you meet requirements for the family-based petition process, including:
- A copy of the adoption decree showing the adoption took place before the child turned 16 (or 18 if the sibling exception applies);
- Evidence you have had legal custody of the adopted child for 2 years;
- Evidence you have had joint residence with the adopted child for 2 years; and
- Evidence the Hague Adoption Convention process does not apply if you or your spouse is a U.S. citizen and the child is from a Hague Adoption Convention country. (For more information, visit the USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 5, Adoptions, Part A, Adoption Processes and Part E, Family-Based Adoption Petitions, Chapter 3, Hague Restrictions on Family-Based Petitions.)
Filing Tips: Go to our Tips for Filing Forms by Mail page for information on how to help ensure we will accept your application.
Filing Tips for Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
Complete all sections of the form. We will reject the form if these fields are missing:
- Part 1 – Relationship
- Part 2 – Information About You
- Your Full Name
- Date of Birth
- Mailing Address
- Your Marital Information
- Part 4 – Information About Beneficiary
- Beneficiary Full Name
- Date of Birth
- Beneficiary’s Physical Address
- Beneficiary’s Marital Information
Don’t forget to sign your form! We will reject any unsigned form.
When completing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, please make sure that you (as the petitioner) select only 1 option for Part 4 (Question 61 or 62) to indicate if the beneficiary intends to apply for adjustment of status inside the United States or will pursue visa processing abroad. Do not complete both questions and do not leave this section blank.
- You must file a separate Form I-130 for each eligible relative, unless they can be considered a derivative beneficiary. See the form instructions for more information.
- If you submit a petition for your spouse, you must also submit Form I-130A, Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary.
- To receive an email or text message when we accept your form, complete Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance and clip it to the front of the petition.
- Do not include:
- Anything that contains electronic chips and batteries (such as musical greeting cards) or any non-paper materials such as CD-ROMS, DVDs, toys, action figures, or thumb drives. We will not accept these types of materials. However, we will accept photographs or copies of these items.
- Any biological or genetic samples as DNA evidence. For information on DNA testing and submitting DNA samples, please visit the Department of State’s page.
- Graphic photos of childbirth or intimate relations as evidence of a relationship or marriage.
You must submit a separate Form I-130 for each child if:
- The relative you are applying for is your spouse;
- Together you have biological children, stepchildren, or adopted children, and
- You did not file separate petitions for them.
When you submit their forms, you must include:
- Evidence of your U.S. citizenship, such as a photocopy of your naturalization certificate or your U.S. passport; and
- A photocopy of your original Form I-130 receipt notice.
What if I submitted a petition for a relative when I was a permanent resident, but I am now a U.S. citizen?
If you become a U.S. citizen while your relative is waiting for a visa, you can upgrade your relative’s visa classification by notifying USCIS or the Department of State of your naturalization. If you are a U.S. citizen, your spouse and unmarried children under 21 will have immigrant visas immediately available to them.
|If you become a U.S. citizen||You should notify:||Send your notification to:||And include:|
|Before we make a decision on your Form I-130||the USCIS office that is processing your case.||The office address printed on your Form I-130 receipt notice. This infographic shows where to find the address on your receipt notice.|
|After we approve your Form I-130||the National Visa Center (NVC)|
National Visa Center's
- How Do I Help My Relative Become a Permanent Resident? (Guide for U.S. Citizens) (PDF, 688.27 KB)
- How Do I Help My Relative Become a Permanent Resident? (Guide for Permanent Residents) (PDF, 577.38 KB)
- Immigrant Visa Petitions Returned by the State Department Consular Offices
- Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
- Form Filing Tips