How to fill out Form I-130?
Filling out Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, can be a crucial step in helping a family member immigrate to the United States. This form is used to establish a qualifying relationship between a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (green card holder) and their eligible foreign relative who wishes to come to the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident. Follow these step-by-step instructions to accurately fill out Form I-130:
Step 1: Download the Form Visit the official U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website and download the latest version of Form I-130. Make sure you have the most up-to-date form to avoid any delays or complications.
Step 2: Gather Required Documents Before you begin filling out the form, gather all necessary documents. This may include proof of your U.S. citizenship or permanent residency, as well as documents that establish the relationship between you and the foreign relative, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, or adoption papers.
Step 3: Complete Part 1 – Information About You Provide your personal information, including your name, address, date of birth, and contact details. If you’re a permanent resident, you’ll also need to provide your alien registration number.
Step 4: Complete Part 2 – Information About Your Beneficiary Enter the information of the foreign relative you’re petitioning for. This includes their name, date of birth, country of birth, and relationship to you.
Step 5: Complete Part 3 – Additional Information About You (If Applicable) If there are any additional circumstances or information relevant to your petition, such as previous marriages, previous petitions, or criminal history, provide the required details in this section.
Step 6: Complete Part 4 – Signature of Petitioner Read the certification statement and sign and date the form. By signing, you’re confirming the accuracy of the information provided and your intention to sponsor your relative’s immigration.
Step 7: Prepare Supporting Documents Attach all required supporting documents, including proof of your U.S. citizenship or permanent residency and evidence of the qualifying relationship between you and your relative. Make sure to organize these documents neatly to avoid confusion.
Step 8: Pay the Filing Fee Include the appropriate filing fee with your application. Check the USCIS website for the current fee amount and acceptable payment methods.
Step 9: Review Your Application Before submitting the form, carefully review all the information you’ve provided and ensure that all required fields are filled out accurately. Double-check the spellings of names, dates, and other important details.
Step 10: Mail the Form Place the completed form, supporting documents, and the filing fee in an envelope and mail it to the address provided in the instructions. It’s recommended to use a trackable mail service to ensure your application is received.
Remember that immigration laws and forms can be complex, and errors or omissions can lead to delays or denials. If you’re unsure about any part of the process, consider seeking legal counsel or assistance from immigration experts to ensure a successful application.
Can I file Form I-130 online?
You can file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, online using the USCIS online filing system called “USCIS Online Account.” This allows you to create an account on the USCIS website, complete the form electronically, upload necessary documents, and submit your petition online. Online filing offers several benefits, including immediate confirmation of submission and the ability to track the status of your petition online.
Keep in mind that USCIS processes and systems might change over time, so we recommend visiting the official USCIS website to confirm the most up-to-date information on online filing options for Form I-130.
Checklist of Form I-130 supporting documents for petitioning a spouse
When filing Form I-130 to petition for a spouse, you’ll need to provide supporting documents to establish the validity of your marriage and the legitimacy of your relationship. Here’s a checklist of common supporting documents you might need to include:
- Proof of Identity and Citizenship/Permanent Residency:
- Copy of your U.S. passport, birth certificate, or Certificate of Naturalization/Citizenship.
- If you’re a permanent resident, include a copy of your green card (both sides).
- Proof of Marriage:
- Marriage certificate: A copy of your official marriage certificate issued by the appropriate government authority.
- Wedding photos: A few photos from your wedding ceremony showing you and your spouse together.
- Proof of Legitimate Marriage Relationship:
- Joint financial records: Examples include joint bank account statements, joint credit card statements, joint mortgage or lease agreements.
- Joint tax documents: Copies of jointly filed federal and state tax returns.
- Shared bills or utilities: Copies of bills or statements addressed to both you and your spouse at the same address.
- Insurance policies: Any insurance policies that list each other as beneficiaries or dependents.
- Correspondence: Letters, emails, or cards exchanged between you and your spouse over time.
- Proof of Bona Fide Marriage (to demonstrate a real, ongoing marriage):
- Affidavits from family and friends: Letters from friends and family members attesting to the legitimacy of your marriage and relationship.
- Photos: Pictures of you and your spouse together at different stages of your relationship.
- Travel records: Copies of plane tickets, hotel reservations, or travel itineraries showing trips taken together.
- Lease agreements: A copy of a lease or rental agreement with both names on it.
- Proof of Legal Termination of Previous Marriages (if applicable):
- Divorce decrees or death certificates: If either you or your spouse had previous marriages, include documents to prove that those marriages were legally terminated.
- Passport-Style Photos:
- Recent passport-sized photos of both you and your spouse. These should meet the USCIS photo requirements
Remember, each case may have unique circumstances, so you should carefully review the instructions for Form I-130 and tailor your supporting documents to your specific situation. Additionally, it’s advisable to keep copies of all documents you submit and to consider consulting with an immigration attorney if you have any concerns or questions.