When it comes to reuniting families and bringing alien relatives to the United States, form I-130 plays a vital role. This form, known as the Petition for Alien Relative, is filed by U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. It establishes a relationship between them and their foreign family members.
As the first step in obtaining a family-based immigrant Visa, it is crucial to know how to correctly fill out the form. Read on to learn more about it and how having an immigration attorney by your side makes the process easier.
Understanding Form I-130
The primary purpose of Form I-130 is to demonstrate the familial relationship between the petitioner and their foreign relative. It is used to petition for immediate family members. These include spouses, parents, and unmarried children (both minor and adult) of U.S. citizens. Moreover, lawful permanent residents can also use this form to petition for their spouses and unmarried children.
It is important to note that the availability of Visas for specific categories of relatives may be subject to Visa quotas and priority dates. These factors can impact the overall processing time. Meanwhile, knowing the respective category is essential to the details needed to fill in the form.
Information To Provide In The Form
When preparing to complete Form I-130, it is essential to gather the necessary information to complete it accurately. You will need The following details:
- Petitioner’s Information: Provide your full legal name, date of birth, current address, and contact information. You must also specify your citizenship status (U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident) and provide your alien registration number (A-number) if applicable.
- Beneficiary’s Information: Include the full legal name, date of birth, current address, and contact information of the alien relative you are petitioning for. Additionally, you must provide the beneficiary’s relationship to you (spouse, child, parent, or sibling).
- Biographical Information: Provide details about the petitioner’s and beneficiary’s marital history. It includes information about previous marriages and divorces, if applicable.
- Petitioner’s Immigration History: If you are a lawful permanent resident, you must provide information about your immigration status. This includes the date and place of your admission to the United States.
- Beneficiary’s Immigration History: If the beneficiary has previously been to the United States, you must provide details about their immigration history. It includes any previous Visa applications, entries, or periods of stay in the U.S.
While it is important to be factual when filling out the form, you must also ensure that the information is backed up with the necessary documents. These papers are impactful to your application as they prove the genuineness of your statement.
The documents required may vary depending on the relationship you are establishing and the circumstances of your case. Here are some common supporting documents:
- Proof of Petitioner’s U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Resident Status: This can include a copy of your U.S. passport, certificate of naturalization, or permanent resident card (Green Card).
- Evidence of Family Relationship: This can include birth certificates showing parent-child relationships, marriage certificates, or adoption papers.
- Passport-style Photos: Include passport-style photographs of both the petitioner and beneficiary. The photos must meet specific requirements outlined by the USCIS. You must provide two identical color passport-style photographs of yourself and, if your spouse is in the United States, of them as well. Be sure that they are taken within 30 days of filing this petition. The photos must feature a white to off-white background. It should also be printed on thin paper with a glossy finish.
- Proof of Legal Name Changes: If the petitioner or beneficiary has legally changed their name, include marriage certificates, divorce decrees, or court orders reflecting it.
- Proof of Termination of Prior Marriages: If the petitioner or beneficiary was previously married, include divorce decrees, annulment records, or death certificates to demonstrate the termination of prior marriages.
- Affidavit of Support (Form I-864): In some instances, such as when petitioning for a spouse or child, you may be required to submit an Affidavit of Support. It is to demonstrate that you have sufficient financial resources to support the beneficiary.
It is essential to carefully review Form I-130 instructions so you can identify the necessary documents for your situation. As you provide the papers that back up the information you provided, you can support your petition and establish the validity of familial ties. This preparation ensures a smooth and successful application process.
Guide To Completing The Form
Accurately completing the I-130 ensures a smooth and successful application process. This section provides a step-by-step guide, instructions, and tips for filling out the form.
Completing Part 1 of Form I-130 requires carefully selecting the relevant box indicating whether the petition is for a child, spouse, sibling, or parent. When filing for a child, specify whether the child was born to parents married to each other at the time of birth.
If the child is adopted or your stepchild, mark the appropriate box accordingly. Similarly, when petitioning for parents, clarify whether they are your step-parents.
Information About You As A Petitioner
Within Part 2 of the form, furnish substantial details as the petitioner. Supply your full name, current mailing address, and address history. Thoroughly document your marital history, specifying details on any prior marriages and divorces where applicable.
This section further requires information on your parents, including their current residence and country of origin. Moreover, you must provide your comprehensive employment history spanning the last five years, whether overseas or within the United States. If currently employed, explicitly state your current employment status in this section. Providing accurate and complete information in this segment is crucial for thoroughly processing your immigration petition.
This section encompasses biographic details for both yourself and your beneficiary. Furnish information concerning your ethnicity, race, height, and weight. Additionally, include specific details about your eye and hair color.
Details About The Beneficiary
In this section, complete the beneficiary’s information, encompassing their birthdate, address, and contact details. If the beneficiary has been previously married, furnish comprehensive information about their former spouse(s), including full name, marriage date, and termination date, whether through divorce, annulment, or death.
Simultaneously, within this segment, supply information about the beneficiary’s entry, specifying if they have ever been in the United States or involved in immigration proceedings. Additionally, disclose whether the beneficiary is presently employed in the United States. This comprehensive data ensures a thorough evaluation of the immigration petition.
In Part 5, labeled ” Other Information, ” you must answer questions about your prior filings. It involves previous Visa petitions filed for the beneficiary.
You will also notice the warning in the form that states USCIS diligently examines asserted relationships and authenticates the legitimacy of submitted documents. Falsifying familial ties to secure a Visa may result in USCIS pursuing criminal prosecution against you.
This part also reminds you that engaging in a marriage contract to circumvent U.S. immigration law may lead to imprisonment for up to five years. You may pay a fine of $250,000 or both. Furthermore, intentionally falsifying or concealing a material fact may result in penalties of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for up to 5 years, or both.
Statements & Signature
In sections 7-8, check the appropriate boxes to confirm your proficiency in speaking and understanding English or indicate the presence of an interpreter. If someone on your behalf interpreted the form, furnish their details. Conclude the process by completing your signature and your interpreter’s signature.
When completing I-130, providing accurate and consistent information is vital. You must carefully read the instructions before filling it out to understand the requirements. Additionally, you should use clear and legible writing, whether printing or typing. This helps avoid delays or misunderstandings due to illegible information.
You must also provide complete answers to the questions. Make sure to fill out all fields to prevent requests for additional information or potential denial of your petition. It is also crucial to be consistent by ensuring that the information on the form matches the supporting documents you submit.
Before submitting the form, double-check for accuracy and review all information for errors to avoid complications during the application process. Moreover, it would also help to seek assistance from an immigration attorney for guidance on specific questions or help complete the form accurately.
Seek Help From An Immigration Lawyer
When tackling Form I-130, an immigration lawyer becomes an invaluable ally. They leverage their skills in immigration law to navigate the complexities seamlessly. Their skills extend to evaluating your case and aiding in document preparation.
As you seek their help, they can ensure you complete the form accurately. They can also communicate with USCIS and even offer legal representation if necessary. Tapping into their knowledge and guidance significantly increases the likelihood of a successful application. It fosters the prospect of reuniting with your alien relative in the United States.
Form I-130 is pivotal in reuniting families, allowing U.S. citizens or LPRs to petition for foreign relatives. With this, you must be aware of the form’s critical sections to complete it accurately and with the necessary documentation. You must also note warnings about potential legal consequences for document falsification.
In line with this, seeking assistance from an immigration lawyer for legal guidance is strongly recommended. Doing so would ensure a smooth process, accurate completion, and increased chances of a successful application for family reunification in the United States.
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