I-130, Petition for Alien Relative

Use this form if you are a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States who needs to establish their relationship to certain alien relatives who wish to immigrate to the United States.

Note: Filing a Form I-130 is only the first step in helping a relative immigrate to the United States. Eligible family members must wait until there is a visa number available before they can apply to become a lawful permanent resident.

How to report suspected marriage fraud: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has an online tip form to report suspected benefit/marriage fraud or other violations. 

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

Number of Pages

Form 12; instructions 12.

Edition Date

02/27/17. A new edition of this form is coming soon. In the meantime, you may file using the 02/27/17 edition. You can find the edition date at the bottom of the page on the form and instructions.

Where to File

File at the Chicago 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 where USCIS has an international office, you may file at the USCIS Chicago Lockbox facility. If you are a U.S. citizen age 21 years or older and are filing for a spouse or unmarried child under the age of 21 or a parent, you may also file at the USCIS international office in the country in which you reside. 

If you are a U.S. citizen and you reside outside of the United States where USCIS does not have an international office, you may file for an immediate relative at the U.S. Embassy or consulate having jurisdiction over the area where you live only if:

  • Exceptional circumstances (PDF, 61 KB) exist, and
  • The USCIS field office director with jurisdiction over that location determines that the embassy or consulate may accept and adjudicate the case. 

For a list of USCIS international offices and filing instructions, please visit uscis.gov/international.

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. Please note that service centers are not able to process credit card payments.

Checklist of Required Initial Evidence (for informational purposes only)  

Please do not submit this checklist with your Form I-130 and Form I-130A. 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 (Form I-551).
  • Evidence of family relationship with one of the following:
    • 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
    •  Any other relevant documentation to establish that there is an ongoing marital union
  • Proof of legal name change (if applicable) 
  • 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
  • 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.
  • You must also submit a 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 marital bona fides

Related Links

Last Reviewed/Updated: