Form I-130: The Ultimate FAQ for Family Immigration

How to fill out Form I-130?

Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, is used by U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (green card holders) to petition for certain eligible family members to immigrate to the United States. This form is the first step in the family-based immigration process. Here’s a general guide on how to fill out Form I-130:

  • Download the Form: You can download the latest version of Form I-130 from the USCIS website. Make sure you have the correct and most recent version of the form.
  • Read the Instructions: Before filling out the form, carefully read the accompanying instructions provided by USCIS. These instructions will explain the eligibility criteria, filing fees, and required supporting documents.
  • Part 1: Information About You (Petitioner):
    • Provide your full legal name, address, and contact information.
    • Indicate your U.S. citizenship or immigration status.
    • If you are a lawful permanent resident, provide your A-Number (alien registration number).
  • Part 2: Information About the Beneficiary:
    • Provide the full name, date of birth, and contact information of the family member you are sponsoring (the beneficiary).
    • Indicate the relationship between you and the beneficiary.
    • If there are multiple beneficiaries, you may need to submit separate I-130 petitions for each.
  • Part 3: Additional Information About You (Petitioner):
    • Answer the questions about your marital history, including your current and previous marriages.
    • If applicable, provide information about previous filings of Form I-130 for the same beneficiary.
  • Part 4: Information About Your Family:
    • Provide information about your parents and any siblings (brothers or sisters).
    • If you are a U.S. citizen petitioning for a married son or daughter, indicate the number of family members included in the petition.
  • Part 5: Information About Your Employment and Income (Petitioner):
    • Provide details about your employment, income, and assets.
    • Include supporting documentation to demonstrate your financial ability to support the beneficiary (such as tax returns, pay stubs, or an Affidavit of Support).
  • Part 6: Information About Your Previous Petitions (if applicable):
    • If you have previously filed a Form I-130 petition for the same beneficiary or other relatives, provide details about those petitions.
  • Part 7: Signature and Contact Information:
    • Sign and date the form.
    • Provide your contact information for correspondence.

Who needs to file Form I-130A?

Form I-130A, Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary, is typically filed in conjunction with Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. It is used when a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (green card holder) is petitioning for their spouse to immigrate to the United States. Form I-130A provides additional information about the spouse beneficiary and helps to establish their eligibility for immigration.

In summary, Form I-130A should be filed by the spouse beneficiary when:

  • A U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident is filing Form I-130 on behalf of their spouse.
  • The spouse beneficiary is the intending immigrant who wishes to come to the United States based on the family relationship with the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident petitioner.

The purpose of Form I-130A is to collect biographical information about the spouse beneficiary and to verify the information provided in Form I-130. It includes questions about the spouse’s address history, employment history, biographic information, and additional details to establish their identity and eligibility for immigration.

When filing Form I-130 and Form I-130A together, both forms should be submitted at the same time to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as part of the family-based immigration process. The petitioner (the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident) will submit Form I-130, while the spouse beneficiary will submit Form I-130A.

It’s important to note that immigration procedures and requirements may change over time. Therefore, it’s essential to consult the most up-to-date instructions and information on the USCIS website or seek legal advice if you have any questions or concerns about the immigration process for spouses. Additionally, USCIS may require supporting documents and evidence to accompany these forms, so be sure to review the instructions carefully.

Form I-130 checklist of required documents

When filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, to sponsor a family member for immigration to the United States, it’s important to include the required supporting documents to establish the qualifying relationship and eligibility. Below is Form I-130 checklist of commonly required documents and evidence:

Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative: Ensure that the form is correctly filled out, signed, and dated.

Filing Fee: Include the appropriate filing fee with your application. Check the USCIS website for the current fee amount and payment instructions.

Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Residency:

  • If you are a U.S. citizen, provide a copy of your U.S. passport, certificate of naturalization, or birth certificate.
  • If you are a lawful permanent resident (green card holder), provide a copy of your green card (front and back).

Proof of the Qualifying Relationship:

  • Marriage Certificate (for spouses)
  • Birth Certificate (for children)
  • Adoption Certificate (if applicable)
  • Divorce Decree (if petitioner or beneficiary has been previously married)

Proof of Legal Name Changes:

  • If either the petitioner or beneficiary has changed their name legally, provide documentation such as marriage certificates, court orders, or other legal documents.

Passport Photos:

  • Include passport-style photos of both the petitioner and beneficiary. Follow USCIS photo requirements.

G-325A, Biographic Information Form (if applicable):

  • This form may be required for both the petitioner and beneficiary, depending on the relationship and other factors. Check the current USCIS instructions to determine if it’s necessary.

Proof of Bona Fide Marriage (for spouse beneficiaries):

  • Include evidence such as joint bank account statements, joint lease agreements, photographs of the couple together, letters from friends and family, and other documents showing a genuine marital relationship.

Affidavit of Support (Form I-864 or Form I-864EZ):

  • If you are the petitioner and you are sponsoring a relative who is not an immediate family member (spouse, parent, or unmarried child under 21), you must submit an Affidavit of Support to demonstrate your financial ability to support the beneficiary.

Proof of U.S. Domicile:

  • To establish that you are domiciled in the United States, provide documents such as tax returns, mortgage or lease agreements, utility bills, and other evidence of residence.

Divorce or Death Certificates (if applicable):

  • If either the petitioner or beneficiary has previously been married and divorced or if a previous spouse has passed away, provide relevant certificates and documents.

Additional Documentation (as needed):

  • USCIS may request additional documents or evidence based on your specific case. Be prepared to provide any requested documents promptly.

Translation of Documents:

  • If any documents are not in English, include certified translations.

Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative (if applicable):

  • If you have an attorney or accredited representative helping you with your case, submit this form.