How do I apply for an I-130?

Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative is the first step for U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents seeking to help relatives immigrate to the country. This form verifies the relationship between the two parties, and may be filed along with an I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, depending on the category of relative petition.

The process of filing Form I-130 can be complicated. But we are here to help.

Who can file an I-130?

 As a U.S. citizen, you can file for:

  • Your spouse
  • Your children (of any age and married or unmarried)
  • Your siblings*
  • Your parents*

*You must be age 21 or older to file

As a lawful permanent resident, you can file for:

  • Your spouse
  • Your children (of any age, but must be unmarried)

Important note: You must file a separate form for each eligible relative.

What type of documents do I need?

  1. U.S. citizens need to show proof of citizenship.
  2. Permanent residents must include a copy of their permanent residence card.
  3. All applicants must prove the relationship to the relative on the application. This will include documentation such as the following (depending on the relationship):
  • Marriage certificate
  • Documents evidencing bona fides of your marriage
  • Passport-style photos
  • The applicant’s birth certificate

Where do I file?

You may file in-person under certain circumstances, but generally, you must mail your form to one of the USCIS Lockbox facilities. Be sure to check for updated filing address information online.

Final Thoughts on Form I-130

While it is possible to file these forms on your own, we always caution people about the risks of doing so without working with a licensed immigration attorney. The processes are complicated and even small oversights or errors not only lead to wasted application fees, but can hurt families’ future chances for residency or citizenship.

When you retain experienced, Board Certified immigration lawyers like those at Shane & Shane, you ensure that you are giving you and your loved ones the best chance of success for your situation. To schedule a consultation, please contact us today.