Family-based Petition Understanding Form I-130: A Comprehensive Guide

Family Immigration | Petition for Alien Relative: form i130 | Global Immigration PartnersWhat is form Form I 130 used for? Also known as the Petition for Alien Relative, is a crucial document in the process of sponsoring a family member for immigration to the United States. This comprehensive guide aims to provide a detailed understanding of Form I-130, its purpose, requirements, and the steps involved in completing and submitting the form. Whether you are a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident seeking to bring a family member to the United States, this guide will help you navigate through the complexities of Form I-130.

Importance of Form I-130

Form I-130 is an essential part of the immigration process. It is the first step in establishing a legal relationship between a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident and a foreign relative who wishes to immigrate to the United States. Without this form, the immigration process cannot begin.

Who Can Use Form I-130?

Form I-130 can be used by U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who wish to sponsor a family member for immigration to the United States. This includes spouses, parents, children, and siblings. The form is utilized to determine the qualifying connection between the individual filing the petition and the recipient.

What is I 130 Form?

Global Immigration Partners Law Firm | Petition for Alien Relative: form i130 | Global Immigration PartnersForm I-130 is a petition filed by a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident to establish the relationship between themselves and a family member who wishes to immigrate to the United States. This form represents the initial phase in the family-oriented immigration procedure and serves to validate the eligible relationship between the individual filing the petition and the recipient.

The Role of Form I-130 in Immigration

Form I-130 plays a crucial role in the immigration process. It is the first step in establishing a legal relationship between a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident and a foreign relative who wishes to immigrate to the United States. The form is used to prove the qualifying relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary.

How to Obtain Form I-130

Form I-130 can be obtained from the official website of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It is important to download the most recent version of the form to ensure that all the information is up-to-date.

Purpose of Form I-130

The primary purpose of Form I-130 is to establish the qualifying relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary. This form is used to demonstrate the familial relationship and to prove that the petitioner is eligible to sponsor the beneficiary for immigration to the United States. The U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident petitioner must provide evidence of their relationship with the beneficiary, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, or adoption papers.

Establishing the Qualifying Relationship

The main purpose of Form I-130 is to establish the qualifying relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary. This is done by providing evidence of the familial relationship, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, or adoption papers. The form also requires the petitioner to provide information about their relationship with the beneficiary, such as the date and place of birth, and the date and place of marriage, if applicable.

Proving Eligibility to Sponsor

In addition to establishing the qualifying relationship, Form I-130 is also used to prove that the petitioner is eligible to sponsor the beneficiary for immigration to the United States. This involves providing evidence of the petitioner’s U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident status, such as a U.S. passport, a Certificate of Naturalization, or a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card).

Requirements for Form I-130

To successfully file Form I-130, certain requirements must be met. These requirements vary depending on whether the petitioner is a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident. Here are the key requirements for each category:

U.S. Citizen Petitioner

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Must provide proof of citizenship, such as a U.S. passport or a Certificate of Naturalization
  • Must establish a qualifying relationship with the beneficiary, such as being a spouse, parent, child, or sibling
  • Must provide evidence of the qualifying relationship, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, or adoption papers

Additional Requirements for U.S. Citizen Petitioner

In addition to the basic requirements, a U.S. citizen petitioner must also provide evidence of their U.S. citizenship, such as a U.S. passport or a Certificate of Naturalization. They must also provide evidence of the qualifying relationship, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, or adoption papers.

Lawful Permanent Resident Petitioner

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must be a lawful permanent resident of the United States
  • Must provide proof of lawful permanent resident status, such as a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)
  • Must establish a qualifying relationship with the beneficiary, such as being a spouse or an unmarried child under the age of 21
  • Must provide evidence of the qualifying relationship, such as birth certificates or marriage certificates

Additional Requirements for Lawful Permanent Resident Petitioner

In addition to the basic requirements, a lawful permanent resident petitioner must also provide evidence of their lawful permanent resident status, such as a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card). They must also provide evidence of the qualifying relationship, such as birth certificates or marriage certificates.

Steps to Complete Form I-130

Immigration Lawyer | Petition for Alien Relative: form i130 | Global Immigration PartnersCompleting Form I-130 can be a complex process, but following these steps will help ensure that you provide all the necessary information and documentation:

  • Download Form I-130 from the official website of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS forms).
  • Read the instructions carefully to understand the requirements and gather all the necessary documents.
  • Fill out the form accurately and completely. Provide all the required information, including personal details, contact information, and information about the beneficiary.
  • Include supporting documents to establish the qualifying relationship, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, or adoption papers.
  • Double-check the form for any errors or omissions. Make sure all the information is accurate and up-to-date.
  • Sign and date the form. If the petitioner is unable to sign, a legal guardian or attorney can sign on their behalf.
  • Pay the filing fee, if applicable. The existing charge for Form I-130 stands at $535, however, this may vary, hence it’s crucial to verify the USCIS website for the latest fee details.
  • Duplicate the filled-out form and all accompanying documents for your personal files.
  • Submit the form and supporting documents to the appropriate USCIS address. The address can be found in the instructions for Form I-130.

Preparing to Complete Form I-130

Before you begin to fill out Form I-130, it is important to gather all the necessary documents. This includes proof of the petitioner’s U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident status, evidence of the qualifying relationship, and any other documents required by the form. It is also important to read the instructions carefully to understand the requirements and to ensure that you fill out the form accurately and completely.

Submitting Form I-130

Once you have completed Form I-130 and gathered all the necessary documents, you can submit the form and supporting documents to the appropriate USCIS address. The address can be found in the instructions for Form I-130. It is important to make a copy of the completed form and all supporting documents for your records before you submit them.

Affidavit of Support

Besides Form I-130, the petitioner might also need to provide an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) to prove their financial capacity to sustain the beneficiary. The Affidavit of Support is a legally binding contract in which the petitioner agrees to provide financial support to the beneficiary until they become a U.S. citizen or are credited with 40 quarters of work. This form is used to ensure that the beneficiary will not become a public charge and will have adequate financial support in the United States.

Purpose of the Affidavit of Support

The Affidavit of Support serves two main purposes. First, it is a legally binding contract in which the petitioner agrees to provide financial support to the beneficiary until they become a U.S. citizen or are credited with 40 quarters of work. Second, it is used to ensure that the beneficiary will not become a public charge and will have adequate financial support in the United States.

Completing the Affidavit of Support

Completing the Affidavit of Support involves providing detailed information about the petitioner’s income, assets, and financial obligations. The petitioner must also provide evidence of their ability to financially support the beneficiary, such as tax returns, bank statements, and employment records.

How long does the I-130 petition process take?

Right now, for immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen, e.g., spouse, unmarried child under age 21, or parent living abroad, the wait time for Form I-130 averages 13.75–15.5 months. For individuals residing in the U.S., the current processing duration is approximately 12.5–20.5 months.

For direct relatives (husband/wife or single offspring) of a U.S. green card possessor (lawful permanent resident) living overseas, the processing period for Form I-130 presently ranges from 26–36 months. For those living in the U.S., the processing time is currently 12.5–22.5 months.

The Role of an Immigration Lawyer

While it is possible to complete and submit Form I-130 without the assistance of an immigration lawyer, seeking professional help can be beneficial, especially in complex cases. An immigration lawyer can provide guidance throughout the process, help gather the necessary documents, ensure that the form is completed accurately, and address any legal issues that may arise. They can also assist with the Affidavit of Support and provide advice on the best course of action for your specific situation.

Benefits of Hiring an Immigration Attorney

Hiring an immigration lawyer can provide several benefits. First, they can provide guidance throughout the process, helping you understand the requirements and steps involved in completing and submitting Form I-130. Second, they can help gather the necessary documents and ensure that the form is completed accurately. Third, they can address any legal issues that may arise during the process.

When to Consider Hiring an Immigration Lawyer

While it is possible to complete and submit Form I-130 on your own, there are certain situations where it may be beneficial to hire an immigration lawyer. For example, if your case is complex, if you have a criminal record, or if you have previously been denied a visa or deported from the United States, you may want to consider hiring a lawyer.

Conclusion

Form I-130 is a critical document in the family-based immigration process. Understanding its purpose, requirements, and the steps involved in completing and submitting the form is essential for successfully sponsoring a family member for immigration to the United States. By following the guidelines outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can navigate through the complexities of Form I-130 and increase your chances of a successful immigration process. Remember, seeking the assistance of an immigration lawyer can provide valuable support and guidance throughout the process.

Importance of Understanding Form I-130

Understanding Form I-130 is crucial for successfully sponsoring a family member for immigration to the United States. By understanding its purpose, requirements, and the steps involved in completing and submitting the form, you can increase your chances of a successful immigration process.

Seeking Professional Help

While it is possible to complete and submit Form I-130 on your own, seeking the assistance of an immigration lawyer can provide valuable support and guidance throughout the process. They can help you understand the requirements, gather the necessary documents, ensure that the form is completed accurately, and address any legal issues that may arise.

 

HOW WE HELP CLIENTS

Global Immigration Partners | Petition for Alien Relative: form i130 | Global Immigration PartnersGlobal Immigration Partners PLLC is a specialized immigration law firm. A substantial part of our practice focuses on assisting business owners and investors with E1, E2, L1 and EB-5 visas.Through our international presence we have specialist knowledge of the specific procedures in multiple embassies and consulates around-the-world.

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