Filing form I-130 is one of the initial steps to petition for your alien relatives to immigrate to the United States. Bringing them to the country can be challenging due to its complexities. It involves the processing time, which can vary depending on many factors, including the workload of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Here, you will learn how long the I-130 form filing process takes. You will also understand who is qualified to apply and how an immigration lawyer can help you with such a case.
The Form I-130 Filing Process
To file form I-130, the petitioner must meet specific requirements. They must be a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen who is at least 18 years old. Additionally, the petitioner must show proof of their status in the United States. It includes a copy of their U.S. passport or Green Card.
It is essential to fulfill these requirements before filing the form. They must present proof of their relationship with the alien relative they wish to petition. It may include birth and marriage certificates or adoption records. These documents serve as evidence to establish the familial connection between the petitioner and the alien relative.
It is important to note that the alien relative being petitioned must also meet specific criteria. They must be admissible to the United States. It means they should not have disqualifying factors such as a criminal history. They must also meet the necessary medical, security, and other immigration requirements set forth by the U.S. government.
Upon the approval of the form, the foreign national can proceed with their application for permanent resident status. Even with the support of Form I-130, the foreign national must go through a legal process to obtain a Visa. They should gain approval for admission into the United States.
Only after this process can they work on becoming a permanent resident. It involves additional steps such as changing their status by filing form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. With this, it is essential to understand how long the process will take after filing.
How Long Is The Waiting Time After Filing?
The approval timeline for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens typically spans from six to 12 months following the submission of the petition. Close relatives encompass spouses, unmarried children (below 21 years old), and parents of U.S. citizens, benefiting from the availability of an unlimited number of immigrant Visas.
Conversely, other family preference categories operate under an annual quota of limited Visas. This applies to relationships like siblings or married adult children of U.S. citizens.
It’s worth noting that the review process may extend beyond initial expectations due to various factors. Factors contributing to potential delays encompass a high influx of applications, requests for supplementary documentation, and the complexity of individual cases. These circumstances necessitate additional time and resources by USCIS to ensure a comprehensive and accurate evaluation.
Moreover, it remains crucial to determine family members’ eligibility for the petition, ensuring they meet the necessary criteria.
Qualified Family Members
The USCIS typically divides the eligibility criteria for family members into two categories: immediate relatives and other family members.
U.S. citizens’ immediate relatives, including spouses, children under 21, and parents, are granted priority status in the immigration process. This special consideration results in expedited processing of their applications, ensuring a quicker path to reunification with their U.S. citizen family members.
This treatment underscores the U.S. government’s commitment to family unity, recognizing the importance of keeping close-knit families together. By prioritizing immediate family members, immigration authorities facilitate a swifter and smoother immigration journey for these individuals.
Other Family Members
On the other hand, U.S. citizens can petition for other family members to obtain a family-based Green Card. These include unmarried children over 21, married children of any age, and siblings of U.S. citizens.
Although they are not considered immediate relatives, they can apply for a permanent resident card. It means that they can go through the immigration process. If authorities approve their application, they can reunite with their U.S. citizen family members in the United States.
Consulting a skilled immigration lawyer is crucial to determining the exact eligibility of your family members. They can provide guidance and understand the requirements that applicants must meet for petitioning.
Seek Help From An Immigration Lawyer
An immigration lawyer at Lincoln-Goldfinch Law plays a crucial role in bringing your family members to the United States. With their unwavering support, you can confidently navigate the intricate path toward a successful immigration journey.
Prepare Form I-130
An experienced I-130 lawyer can provide valuable assistance in completing and submitting the form. They assist you in navigating the process, ensuring accurate submission of all necessary information. It includes verifying the correct spelling of names and giving exact dates of birth. It also includes accurately describing the relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary.
A lawyer helps minimize the risk of errors or omissions that could cause delays or complications in the petition process. Furthermore, they are well-versed in the filing deadlines the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) set. They make sure to submit the form within the required timeframe.
Gather Supporting Documents
A skilled lawyer can be instrumental in helping you collect and compile the essential supporting documents. They will guide you through the process of identifying the specific documents required. It includes birth certificates, marriage certificates, or adoption records, depending on your relationship with your relative.
An experienced attorney can obtain and organize all the necessary paperwork thoroughly and accurately. They strengthen your case and maximize the chances of a successful petition.
Give Legal Advice & Guidance
Lawyers provide legal counsel on I-130 petitions by assessing eligibility, guiding document preparation, and developing legal strategies. Doing so ensures proper filing, addressing USCIS inquiries, and assisting with consular processing. They stay updated on immigration laws, offer representation, and help navigate complex issues and appeals.
Furthermore, a skilled immigration attorney provides valuable insights and proactive guidance to help you navigate any challenges that may arise during the process. They meticulously review your forms to ensure accuracy and completeness, preventing potential delays or rejections.
Additionally, they keep you informed about the progress of your petition and take charge of communication with the USCIS on your behalf. With unwavering advocacy, they address any concerns or issues that may surface, ensuring a smoother and more efficient process.
Respond To Requests For Evidence
An attorney can be instrumental in crafting a thorough and compelling response to USCIS requests for additional evidence. They will incorporate all essential documentation and clarifications, bolstering the strength of your case. By carefully reviewing the request, gathering necessary information, and presenting your response in an organized manner, they ensure clarity and coherence.
Moreover, they will emphasize the merits of your case and offer compelling explanations where required. This enhances the overall persuasiveness of your response.
Communicate With USCIS
An attorney can act as your spokesperson with the USCIS, managing all communication about your petition. It includes your letters and inquiries. They meticulously ensure the accuracy and timeliness of all correspondence. Furthermore, they keep you in the loop, providing regular updates and informing you about any developments or modifications in your case.
Having a lawyer by your side means you don’t have to manage USCIS matters personally. They handle all the details, allowing you to concentrate on other priorities.
Legal Advocacy In Case Of Complications
If you encounter any obstacles or complications with your petition, a skilled attorney can provide valuable assistance. They are equipped to furnish legal support and representation to guide you through intricate circumstances. An experienced immigration lawyer can vigorously advocate for your rights and interests. Their knowledge enables them to manage any necessary legal actions that may arise adeptly.
Their support assures that a dedicated advocate is safeguarding your interests, substantially enhancing your prospects for a successful immigration process for your family. You can believe they will diligently work to secure the best possible outcome and a seamless journey through the immigration process.
Submitting form I-130 is one of the first steps a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident must take to help their relatives apply for a Green Card. This form allows them to establish their relationship with their foreign relative who wants to immigrate to the United States. Although getting approval after filing this form generally takes six to 12 months, various factors affect how long the process takes.
Consulting with an immigration lawyer is essential to understand eligibility and navigate the process. A skilled attorney helps with form preparation, gathers supporting documents, and provides legal advice. They also respond to requests for evidence, communicate with USCIS, and offer legal advocacy if complications arise.