I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition

If you have been admitted to the United States as a principal refugee or if you were granted status in the United States as a principal asylee within the previous two years, you may file a Form I-730 to request follow-to-join benefits for your spouse and/or unmarried children under 21 years of age only. In some cases, USCIS may grant a waiver of the 2-year filing deadline for humanitarian reasons. See Form I-730 instructions (linked above) for further information.

Number of Pages

Form 8; Instructions 7.

Edition Date

05/30/17. We will publish a new edition of this form soon. In the meantime, you may file using the 05/30/17 edition. You can find the edition date at the bottom of the page on the form and instructions.

Where to File

If you live in:Then mail your petition to:
North Dakota
South Dakota

Nebraska Service Center
P.O. Box 87730
Lincoln, NE 68501-7730

District of Columbia
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
Puerto Rico
Rhode Island
South Carolina
U.S. Virgin Islands
West Virginia
Texas Service Center
P.O. Box 852824
Mesquite, TX 75185

Don’t forget to sign your form!  We will reject any unsigned form.

Filing Fee


Checklist of Required Initial Evidence (for informational purposes only)

Please do not submit this checklist with your Form I-730. 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?

  • Proof of your status as an asylee or refugee in the United States
  • One passport-style photograph of every family member for whom you are filing
  • Primary evidence of a family relationship:
    • Husband or wife: A copy of your marriage certificate, a copy of your spouse’s birth certificate, evidence you each legally terminated previous marriages (if applicable), and evidence of legal name changes (if applicable)
    • Mother and child: A copy of your child’s birth certificate showing their name and your name, and evidence of legal name changes if the names on the birth certificate do not match the names on the petition
    • Father and child: A copy of your child’s birth certificate showing the child’s name and your name and a copy of your marriage certificate if you were married to the child’s mother. Otherwise, submit evidence that the child was legitimated by civil authorities and that a bona fide parent/child relationship exists.
    • Stepchild: A copy of your child’s birth certificate, a copy of the marriage certificate between you and the child’s natural parent, and evidence of legal name changes (if applicable)
    • Adopted child: A certified copy of the adoption decree, evidence that you lived with the child for at least two years, a certified copy of the court order granting custody (if applicable), and evidence of legal name changes (if applicable)
  • If primary evidence is not available from civil authorities (or if secondary evidence along with a statement from civil authorities stating that the required documents are not available), submit a:  
    • Religious institution record;
    • School record; or
    • Census record.
  • Affidavits, if secondary evidence is not available
  • A copy of both sides of your alien relative’s Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, if they are in the United States

Special Instructions

For beneficiaries who are located overseas

On January 12, 2018, USCIS changed the domestic processing location for certain Form I-730 petitions filed by individuals who were admitted to the United States as refugees. Previously, the Service Center Operations Directorate processed these forms. Now the International Adjudications Support Branch (IASB) in the Refugee, Asylum, and International Operations Directorate will process them. 

Petitioners and/or accredited representatives who file refugee-based Form I-730 petitions will receive further instructions when IASB receives their filings. 

Once IASB completes domestic processing, it will send the case abroad to either a USCIS international field office or to the Department of State in cases where the beneficiary (following-to-join relative) will be interviewed in a country without a USCIS office. If the case is sent to the Department of State, IASB will adjudicate the case before sending it abroad. In some instances, USCIS may also be responsible for cases in certain countries where the Department of State is unable to process the case and the following-to-join refugee cannot travel.  

All USCIS international field offices now adjudicate Form I-730 petitions for beneficiaries they interview. Find a list of countries with USCIS field offices on our International Immigration Offices page.

This change will not affect Form I-730 petitions filed by individuals granted asylum where the beneficiary is located overseas. For asylum cases, when USCIS service centers transfer a case to an international field office for adjudication, we will send a transfer notice to the petitioner and any representative. This notice will identify the USCIS international field office responsible for adjudicating the Form I-730. Once the international field office receives the petition, we will notify the petitioner, the beneficiary, and any representative, and will provide further processing instructions. 

It may take up to two months for transferred cases to reach a USCIS international field office. It is important to notify USCIS or Department of State if the contact information for the petitioner, representative, or beneficiary changes. To update your address, submit Form AR-11 or submit your Change of Address online and, if applicable, contact the international field office, embassy or consulate processing your case abroad. The contact information for an international field office is listed on its webpage.  

New security measures for following-to-join refugees

On February 1, 2018, USCIS and the Department of State implemented new procedures to ensure that all individuals admitted as refugees receive similar, thorough vetting – whether they are principal refugees, accompanying family members, or following-to-join refugees. 

The new security measures that will apply to following-to-join refugees processed overseas include: 

  • Ensuring that following-to-join refugees receive the full baseline interagency checks that other refugees receive.  
  • Requesting that the following-to-join refugee submit his or her Form I-590, Registration for Classification as Refugee (PDF, 652 KB), in support of the principal refugee’s Form I-730 petition earlier in the adjudication process. USCIS or DOS will contact petitioners directly to request this information until filing instructions are updated.
    • Note: You cannot use Form I-590 to request refugee status directly with USCIS.  For information about the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, go to our the Refugees page   
  • Vetting certain nationals or stateless persons against classified databases. 

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