Do You Need A Lawyer To File An I-130 Form?

Filing an I-130 petition for an alien relative is a significant step in the immigration process. It often carries emotional and practical significance for families seeking reunification. However, navigating the intricacies of U.S. immigration law can be complex and daunting. It may leave many petitioners wondering whether they should enlist the services of an immigration lawyer to assist them in the process.

Learn the reasons why seeking the guidance of an immigration lawyer can significantly lessen the hassle of the process. While hiring legal representation for this petition is not mandatory, understanding how doing so can make a considerable difference.

A Form I-130 Immigration Attorney Can Help You Start Your Immigration Case To Adjust Your Status

I-130 Petition For Alien Relatives

The primary objective of this petition form is to help you establish a familial relationship with a foreign member. The I-130 form is used for immediate relatives such as parents, spouses, and unmarried children under 21 years old. Note that you can only petition for them if you are a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident.

It is also essential to note that this petition does not automatically grant your relative legal status in the United States. It instead initiates their eligibility to apply for an Immigrant Visa or adjustment of status, depending on their circumstances.

You must provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate your familial relationship with your beneficiary or foreign relatives. It can include birth certificates, marriage certificates, adoption decrees, or any other relevant documents that establish the legitimacy of your relationship.

As mentioned, filing for this petition is an initial step for your family member to obtain a Green Card. It means you have several things to deal with, which can get overwhelming. However, you do not have to grope on every step you take in this process. You can seek the advice and guidance of an experienced immigration attorney.

When you have an attorney to guide you, you will be familiar with the things you need to prepare and do for your immigration case. You can even depend on them from the beginning of the process, such as filing a petition for your alien relative.

Steps To File A Petition

A daunting task like petitioning for an alien relative can be simple, especially when your immigration lawyer helps you deal with it. Here are the things you need to note when filing for I-130.

  1. Gather all the required documents and information. It includes proof of your U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent residency and evidence of your relationship with the alien relative. You must also provide supporting documentation, such as marriage or birth certificates.
  2. Complete the I-130 accurately and thoroughly. This form is the official request to establish your familial relationship with the foreign national you wish to sponsor.
  3. After completing the form, submit it with all necessary supporting documents to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Make sure to include the filing fee and any additional fees that may apply.
  4. Once USCIS receives your petition, they will review it for completeness and accuracy. If there are no issues or missing information, they will send you a receipt notice acknowledging that they have received your application.

From here on out, it’s a waiting game. The time it takes USCIS to approve a petition depends on several variables. According to the agency’s classification, the closeness or distance of your family relationship matters.

Whether you hire a lawyer ultimately depends on your circumstances and comfort level with handling legal matters. You might think that these steps can be done by a person alone. However, it would be best to sit down and take a moment to consider the factors and benefits when you hire an attorney.

Factors To Weigh In When Looking For An I-130 Lawyer

As you navigate the intricate landscape of immigration, including filing an I-130 petition, you may wonder whether the assistance of an attorney is necessary. This pivotal decision involves weighing various factors. It includes the complexity of your case, your familiarity with immigration procedures, and your confidence in meeting all the requirements. With this, it is essential to consider these factors to avoid the risk of relying on making mistakes.

  • Relationship Complexity: The nature of your relationship with the beneficiary can significantly impact the complexity of your petition. The process is straightforward if petitioning for a spouse or child. However, the legal requirements and documentation can become more complex if you are petitioning for a sibling or a more distant relative. An attorney can guide you on how to navigate these complexities. 
  • Immigration History: If your family member was denied a Visa or had other immigration complications, you may want to consult a skilled lawyer. They can help you deal with potential pitfalls and ensure your petition is solid and well-documented. 
  • Criminal History: Certain criminal convictions can have severe implications for the immigration process. An experienced lawyer can help determine the impact of these convictions and guide you through any necessary steps to overcome these issues.

The decision to hire an attorney for filing the petition should be made after careful consideration of these factors. Yes, it is possible to complete the process without legal representation. However, the complexities of immigration law and the importance of family reunification make seeking professional guidance essential for many individuals and families.

Consulting with an experienced I-130 attorney can help ensure your petition is prepared and submitted correctly. It can increase the chances of a successful outcome for your loved one’s immigration journey.

Find The Immigration Lawyer For You

Finding the right immigration lawyer is crucial when navigating the complex immigration process. With so many attorneys to choose from, figuring out where to begin can be challenging. Therefore, it is vital to make a checklist of the ways to find the immigration lawyer that is right for you.

Research Online

Start by researching immigration lawyers focusing on family-based Visas, such as petitions for alien relatives. Check for reviews and testimonials from past clients and any relevant experiences they may have had.

Seek Recommendations

Ask friends, family members, or colleagues if they have worked with an immigration lawyer before and if they would recommend their services. Personal referrals can often be valuable when searching for legal representation.


Many lawyers offer initial consultations where you can discuss your case. It is the best way to get a sense of whether or not they are a good fit for you. Take advantage of these consultations to ask about their experience, fees, and approach to handling cases like yours.

Check Credentials

Ensure that any lawyer you consider hiring has a license and is in good standing with the state bar association. You can verify this information through online directories or by contacting the appropriate licensing authority.

Consider Communication Skills

Throughout the procedure, you and your attorney must communicate effectively. Look for someone who listens attentively to your concerns, explains things clearly, and responds promptly to emails or phone calls.

A skilled immigration lawyer can also help address any challenges that may arise along the way. Moreover, you must know that each case is unique and depends on your circumstances. Hence, hiring a lawyer before filing a petition for an alien relative can be beneficial.

An Immigration Attorney Specializing In Form I-130 Can Assist You In Initiating Your Immigration Case To Adjust Your Status

Let Lincoln-Goldfinch Law Help With Your I-130 Petition

It is not mandatory to have legal professionals monitor your step when you submit the petition. However, it would be highly beneficial to consider getting one and seeking their help.

First, the application can be complex and time-consuming. It requires gathering extensive documentation and filling out forms correctly. Any mistakes or omissions could delay or even deny your petition. When you have a lawyer who can guide you, you do not need to go back and forth to correct your mistakes. They will verify that you satisfy all eligibility requirements.

A skilled immigration attorney will also know about any recent changes in immigration laws that may affect your application. Therefore, they will ensure that they keep your documents current. Moreover, consulting with an attorney becomes even more crucial if you anticipate any complications, such as previous Visa denials. They can advise on how best to address these concerns and increase your chances of success.

It’s always wise to consult with an experienced immigration attorney at Lincoln-Goldfinch Law. Since the firm focuses on immigration, you can be confident that they will navigate the complexities of your application smoothly. Hiring a lawyer is an investment worth your time and money.


I-130, or the Petition for Alien Relatives, is a form to establish a relationship with a foreign family member and bring them to the United States. It requires evidence of the family’s relationship, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, or adoption decrees.

With all these complexities, hiring a lawyer can be beneficial for navigating immigration processes. To find the right legal representative, research online, seek recommendations, schedule initial consultations, check credentials, and consider communication skills.

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