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I-130, Petition for Alien Relative

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ALERT:  On Feb. 21, 2020, the Supreme Court stayed the statewide injunction issued by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois affecting Illinois filers. USCIS implemented the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds final rule nationwide, including in Illinois, on Feb. 24, 2020. USCIS will apply the final rule to all applications for adjustment of status, and applications and petitions for extension of nonimmigrant stay or change of nonimmigrant status postmarked (or, if applicable, submitted electronically) on or after that date. For applications and petitions that are sent by commercial courier (for example, UPS, FedEx, or DHL), the postmark date is the date reflected on the courier receipt. USCIS will reject any affected application or petition that does not adhere to the final rule, including those submitted by or on behalf of aliens living in Illinois, if postmarked on or after Feb. 24, 2020.

The final rule requires applicants for adjustment of status who are subject to the public charge ground of inadmissibility and certain applicants and petitioners seeking extension of stay and change of status to report certain information related to public benefits. Due to litigation-related delays in the final rule’s implementation, USCIS is applying this requirement as though it refers to Feb. 24, 2020, rather than Oct. 15, 2019. Please read all references to Oct. 15, 2019, as though they refer to Feb. 24, 2020.

USCIS will not consider, and applicants for adjustment of status do not need to report, the application for, certification or approval to receive, or receipt of certain previously excluded non-cash public benefits (such as SNAP, most forms of Medicaid, and public housing) before Feb. 24, 2020. Similarly, USCIS will not consider as a heavily weighted negative factor receipt of previously included public benefits (such as SSI and TANF) before Feb. 24, 2020, in a public charge inadmissibility determination.

Certain classes of aliens are exempt from the public charge ground of inadmissibility (such as refugees, asylees, certain VAWA self-petitioners, U petitioners, and T applicants) and therefore, are not subject to the final rule. 

Read the final rule here (PDF)

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).

Submitting Form I-130 is the first step in helping an eligible relative apply to immigrate to the United States and get 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. This is the second step in the process. Certain relatives must wait until a visa number is available before they can apply. If your relative qualifies as an immediate relative, an immigrant visa always is available.

  • 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.
  • If your relative is ineligible to get their Green Card in the United States by filing Form I-485, or if your relative lives outside the United States, 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 ineligibility, please visit our Green Card webpage.

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 webpage.

Help for immigration crime victims
Different types of support are available through ICE’s Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) Office.

Help for victims of abuse
If you are a battered spouse, child, or parent, you may be eligible to file a petition for yourself independent from your U.S. citizen or LPR abuser. For more information, go to the Battered Spouse, Children, and Parents webpage.

What This Form Can Help You Do

Forms and Document Downloads

Form Details

Edition Date

02/13/19. 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.

Where to File

The filing location for a Form I-130 depends on where you live.

If you reside in the United States, file at the Chicago, Dallas, or Phoenix Lockbox, depending on where you live and whether your relative is also concurrently filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. For a complete list of addresses, visit our Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-130 webpage.

If you reside outside of the United States, you may:

  • File at the USCIS Dallas Lockbox facility;
  • 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, please consult the Department of State’s website at travel.state.gov.

Special note for U.S. citizens residing in the United Kingdom or Ghana: 

If you reside in country, we will continue to accept and adjudicate Forms I-130 until March 31, 2020. In this case, you do not need to establish exceptional circumstances (as listed in USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 6, Part B, Chapter 3) for these offices to accept your Form I-130 petition.

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.

Filing Fee
$535.

You may pay the fee with a money order, personal check, or cashier’s check. When filing at a USCIS Lockbox facility, you may also 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. Service centers are not able to process credit card payments.

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.

Checklist of Required Initial Evidence (for informational purposes only)

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 one 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.
  • 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 
  • Two passport-style photographs (if applicable).

If you are filing Form I-130 for your adopted child

  • Evidence of U.S. citizenship:
    • 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 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; or 
    • An original statement from a U.S. consular officer verifying that you are a U.S. citizen with a valid passport.
  • Evidence of family relationship, such as a final adoption decree;
  • Evidence you have had legal custody of the adopted child for two years; and
  • Evidence you have had joint residence with the adopted child for two years
Special Instructions
  • 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 webpage.
    • 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. citizenYou should notify:Mail your notification to:And include:
Before we make a decision on your Form I-130the 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.
  • A short letter explaining you are now a U.S. citizen
  • Photocopies of your:
    • Naturalization certificate; and
    • Form I-130 receipt notice
  • “I-130 Upgrade” on the outside of the envelope.
After we approve your Form I-130the National  Visa Center (NVC)

National Visa Center
31 Rochester Ave.
Suite 200
Portsmouth, NH  03801-2915

  • A short letter explaining you are now a U.S. citizen; and
  • Photocopies of your:
    • Naturalization certificate; and
    • Form I-130 approval notice
  • “I-130 Upgrade” on the outside of the envelope.

For more information, call the NVC at 603-334-0700.

 

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