How Long Is An Approved I-130 Petition Valid?

Upon approval of your Form I-130, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) confirms the authenticity of your familial relationship with a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident. However, questions may arise about the duration of its validity and the circumstances that could render it invalid.

Learn the answer to these questions as you read on. Discover the factors that influence its validity and the significance of having an immigration attorney in the process.

Have More Legal Knowledge About The Duration Of An Approved I-130 Petition And How To Start One

What Does The I-130 Petition Entail?

Filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, is an initial step in pursuing an Immigrant Visa or adjusting the status to become a Green Card holder. It establishes the connection between an intending immigrant and a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR).

The petitioner initiates the process by filing it with the USCIS. Remember to submit a petition, one must be an American citizen or an LPR. On the other hand, the beneficiary is either a spouse, parent, child, or sibling seeking sponsorship for permanent residency in the United States.

How Long Is The Validity Of An Approved I-130?

Upon receiving approval, your petition contributes to your position on the Visa waiting list. As long as the qualifying relationship between the petitioner and beneficiary is upheld, the approved I-130 petition remains valid. This validity persists if the petitioner maintains their U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status.

While approved petitions typically lack a fixed expiration date, they can become invalid in specific situations. It’s essential to understand that the ongoing validity of the petition hinges on certain circumstances.

The Petitioner Withdraws The Application

An approved I-130 petition can be revoked when the petitioner withdraws it. To initiate the revocation, the petitioner must submit a written request to the USCIS. It should clearly state the intent to cancel the application.

While not always required, providing a brief explanation or reason for their decision to cancel can be helpful. This could be due to a change in circumstances or other personal reasons.

If there are any supporting documents or evidence related to the withdrawal, the petitioner should include them with the written request. These may be copies of the I-130 approval notice or other relevant correspondence.

Once the USCIS receives the request, they will process it and update their records accordingly. Depending on the circumstances, they may also notify the beneficiary or intending immigrant of the withdrawal.

The Embassy Terminates It

When a foreign national relative seeks an Immigrant Visa through consular processing, it’s crucial to understand that an approved I-130 petition can be at risk of revocation. This risk arises if the Embassy or Consulate managing the case decides to cancel the applicant’s registration. One common reason is failing to submit a Visa application within one year after the availability of a Visa.

Section 203(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act states: “The Secretary of State shall terminate the registration of any alien who fails to apply for an Immigrant Visa within one year following notification to the alien of the availability of such Visa, but the Secretary shall reinstate the registration of any such alien who establishes within two years following the date of notification of the availability of such Visa that such  failure to apply was due to circumstances beyond the alien’s control.”

To ensure the protection of your I-130 petition, foreign national relatives must initiate the Immigrant Visa application process within one year of being notified of Visa availability. This provision also allows the Embassy or Consulate to reinstate the applicant’s registration within two years of notification if circumstances beyond their control prevent timely application.

This offers flexibility to applicants facing exceptional circumstances that hinder timely Visa pursuit. It also emphasizes the need to start the process promptly. Additionally, it highlights the importance of compelling explanations if unforeseen obstacles prevent meeting the initial deadline.

When The Beneficiary Dies

If the beneficiary of an approved I-130 petition passes away, the petitioner can request the revocation of the approved petition. You can do it through a written request to the USCIS and a copy of the beneficiary’s death certificate.

In some cases, the USCIS may also take the initiative to revoke an approved I-130 petition if they become aware of the beneficiary’s death. To maintain accurate records and prevent the allocation of an Immigrant Visa number in the deceased beneficiary’s name, USCIS has the authority to revoke the petition.

When The Marriage Ends

An approved I-130 petition can be automatically invalidated when the marriage that forms the basis of the petition ends due to divorce or annulment. The USCIS considers the union the qualifying relationship that established the petition. With its termination, the eligibility for the immigration benefit also ceases.

What Happens When The Petitioner Dies?

When the petitioner passes away, the impact of the approved I-130 petition can vary, and it may not necessarily be revoked. The appropriate steps taken will depend on the stages of the immigration process. It may be whether they are still waiting for a Visa number, in the consular processing stage, or have already applied for adjustment of status within the United States. Moreover, it may also depend on the beneficiary’s relationship to the deceased petitioner.

Suppose an approved petition is revoked due to the petitioner’s passing. The primary beneficiary can still request for humanitarian reinstatement. To do this, a family member must submit an affidavit of support or Form I-864 as a substitute sponsor on behalf of the principal beneficiary.

This substitute sponsor must be a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident. It’s worth noting that USCIS does not levy any fees for requesting humanitarian reinstatement.

USCIS exercises its discretion when evaluating applications for humanitarian reinstatement. This means the agency considers positive and negative factors during the review process.

It is important to note that if the beneficiary has already entered the United States as a lawful permanent resident, the petitioner’s death generally does not affect their immigration status. The beneficiary’s status is not typically revoked due to the petitioner’s death because the Immigrant Visa has already been granted.

Given the complexities of these situations, you may find yourself grappling with questions about the process. Attempting to navigate it on your own could lead to frustration and confusion. That’s why seeking the guidance of a seasoned immigration attorney is essential.

Why Seek The Guidance Of An Immigration Attorney?

An immigration lawyer is vital in ensuring the continued validity of an approved I-130 petition. They provide valuable assistance in several ways.

With The Help Of An Immigration Attorney You Will Be Able To Obtain Your I-130 Petition If You Meet The Requirements To Apply For An I-130 Petition

Comprehensive Understanding Of Immigration Laws

Immigration laws are intricate and subject to frequent changes. Lawyers stay updated on the latest developments. They also provide accurate information regarding the validity period of an approved petition based on the current legal framework. They interpret the complexities of the law and advise petitioners on the appropriate steps to take.

Strategic Planning

A lawyer for immigration develops tailored strategic plans based on the petitioner’s specific circumstances. They assess the factors affecting the validity period, such as relationship status, priority date, and preference category. Moreover, they advise on the optimal timing for initiating the Visa application process, ensuring a seamless petition.

Communicate With USCIS

Legal counsels act as the primary point of contact between the petitioner and the USCIS. They handle all communication, inquiries, and updates concerning the approved petition. It ensures timely and appropriate responses to any notifications or requests from the agency.

Timely Petition Updates

An attorney for immigration is crucial in assisting petitioners when their circumstances change, whether due to address or marital status adjustments. They provide essential guidance on the proper USCIS notification procedures, ensuring all necessary information is promptly and accurately submitted.

This proactive approach helps maintain records’ accuracy and prevents potential issues or delays in the immigration process. Petitioners can navigate the system efficiently and minimize complications by entrusting these details to skilled lawyers.

Resolution Of Issues

In cases where issues or complications arise throughout the process, an immigration lawyer leverages their skills and legal knowledge to provide effective solutions. This can involve skillfully responding to Requests for Evidence (RFEs) or pursuing appeals when necessary. They ensure that legal obstacles are navigated successfully and facilitate a smoother path through the complex immigration system.


Upon the approval of an I-130 petition, USCIS confirms the authenticity of the familial relationship of the petitioner and the foreign beneficiary. However, approved petitions can still become invalid for several reasons. It includes the petitioner’s withdrawal, the death of the petitioner, and the termination of a qualifying marriage.

In cases where the petitioner dies, the primary beneficiary may request humanitarian reinstatement. In this provision, a substitute sponsor, who must be a U.S. citizen or an LPR, may be required. With all these complexities, immigration attorneys offer invaluable guidance in understanding the laws, strategic planning, paperwork preparation, and communication with USCIS.

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