How To Fill Out Form I-130 Petition For An Alien Relative?

Filling out immigration forms can be complex and daunting, especially regarding form I-130. This form establishes a relationship between a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and a foreign relative seeking to live in the United States. The application’s success relies on your thorough and accurate completion of this application form.

Read on to learn how to submit a petition for an alien relative. It will help ensure you have all the necessary information and resources to navigate this essential immigration document.

Find Out How To Fill Out And File Form I-130 For Family Petitions And Have A Successful U.S. Immigration Case

What Is Form I-130?

The Petition for Alien Relative form lets American citizens and Green Card holders sponsor eligible family members for U.S. immigration. The goal is to establish the qualifying relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary or the family member wanting to immigrate. The petitioner must be an LPR (lawful permanent resident) or a U.S. citizen. On the other hand, the beneficiaries or the foreign family member can be a spouse, parents, children, and siblings.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services handles I-130 petitions. After approval, beneficiaries can seek an immigrant Visa or adjust their status for U.S. permanent residency. You must know that processing times vary based on the petitioner’s status, the beneficiary’s relationship, and the home country.

Moreover, it will help speed up the process if you submit sufficient evidence demonstrating your relationship with your beneficiary. Required documentation includes birth and marriage certificates, proof of the petitioner’s status, and relationship proof.

Who Are Eligible To Sponsor A Foreign Family Member?

Family-based immigration in the United States starts with the crucial step of obtaining an immigrant Visa for an eligible family member. However, not just anyone can submit such a petition; stringent requirements and criteria must be met to qualify for sponsorship.

U.S. citizens can sponsor various family members, each reflecting the diverse nature of familial ties. These categories include spouses, single children, and married children of any age. Parents and siblings, provided that the sponsoring citizen is older than 21, are also qualified. This comprehensive list encompasses immediate family members as well as more distant relatives. It allows U.S. citizens to facilitate immigration for a broader spectrum of loved ones.

Conversely, legal permanent residents have a more limited scope of sponsorship. They can petition for the immigration of their spouses and single children who are under 21 years old. However, the sponsorship rights do not extend to more distant relatives.

It is important to note that U.S. immigration laws strictly dictate the eligible categories for sponsorship. Moreover, petitions that include relatives beyond the specified categories, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, etc., may be denied.

Understanding the specific categories and their associated requirements is vital when considering family-based immigration. Doing so ensures that the petition aligns with the legal framework and maximizes the chances of success in reuniting with loved ones in the United States.

How Long Does The Process Take?

The approval process for a U.S. citizen’s application to sponsor a close relative in the United States typically spans seven to 13 months. The United States restricts the number of Visas allocated to individuals seeking to reunite with their overseas family members.

Once the available Visa slots are exhausted, applicants are placed on a waiting list and advised to await the availability of Visas. This waiting period can vary significantly, ranging from several months to a few years for family members residing abroad.

Ensuring that your petition for an alien relative includes all the required documents when filed is crucial. This helps mitigate potential delays or rejections. Form I-130 is the gateway to sponsoring eligible family members seeking immigration to the United States. Thus, it is crucial that you, as a petitioner, know how to fill out the form correctly.

How To Fill Out The Petition For An Alien Relative Form?

Properly completing Form I-130 is crucial to ensure the smooth processing of your petition. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to fill out this form:

1. Obtain The Latest Version Of Form I-130

Before you begin, ensure you have the most current version of Form I-130 from the official website of the USCIS. Immigration forms are occasionally updated, so it’s essential to use the current version to avoid any delays or complications.

2. Read The Instructions

Read the accompanying instructions carefully. They provide essential guidance on completing the form, including explaining terms and specific requirements. Understanding the instructions thoroughly will help you avoid errors.

3. Choose The Appropriate Category

Determine which category is the most suitable for your situation. Select the one that corresponds to your relationship with the beneficiary.

4. Gather Required Documentation

Gather all the necessary supporting documents before you start filling out the form. When establishing familial connections for immigration purposes, certain documents are required to provide evidence of the relationship.

For Familial Connections

The following support your petition for a parent, child, or sibling.

  • A copy of the child’s birth certificate.
  • For parents: A copy of your birth certificate proving your parent’s identity. 
  • For siblings: A copy of your birth certificate and your sibling’s birth certificate.

For Spouse

These documents prove your relationship with your spouse and ensure a smooth immigration process.

  • Proof of joint property ownership.
  • You must have joint residency evidence, such as a lease.
  • You must show the official record of shared assets.
  • You must possess other proof of marriage (wedding photos, gift receipts, vacation receipts, emails, text messages, phone calls, etc.).
  • Legal marriage documentation is a piece of solid evidence that you can provide.

5. Complete The Form

A successful immigration process heavily relies on precise form completion, such as Form I-130, with essential guidelines to follow. Legibility is key. You must use black ink and ensure neat handwriting to prevent misinterpretations and processing errors.

For irrelevant questions, marking “N/A” signifies intentionality, ensuring no questions were missed. Most of all, you need to remember that honesty remains paramount, as misrepresentation carries severe consequences.

6. Include All Necessary Information

Pay attention to the specific requirements for the category you selected. For example, if you petition for a spouse, you must provide details about your marriage, including the date and place.

 7. Sign The Form & Review Your Application

The petitioner must sign and date the form where indicated. Before submitting your application, carefully check all the information you have provided to ensure completeness and accuracy. Double-check your documentation and verify that you have signed and dated the form.

9. Mail Your Application

Mail the completed Form I-130, along with all required supporting documents and the appropriate filing fee, to the address provided in the instructions. If you encounter any difficulties or have questions during the process, consider seeking guidance from an immigration attorney.

Learn About The Form I-130 Filing Process For Family Petitions, Ensuring The Success Of Your U.S. Immigration Case

How Can An Immigration Attorney Help You?

Seeking the guidance of an immigration lawyer when dealing with petition forms is a prudent choice, particularly in the realm of immigration. Immigration attorneys focus on navigating the complexities of this process and offer invaluable assistance.

Hiring an experienced legal professional grants access to their profound knowledge of immigration law. It ensures precise completion of the petition form, including all required information. They are well-versed in common pitfalls, reducing the risk of delays or rejections.

Moreover, I-130 lawyers review supporting documents for compliance with USCIS requirements, including proper translation and authentication. They provide tailored solutions beyond one’s consideration. An attorney also offers peace of mind by advocating for your interests, aiding with eligibility questions, and guiding you through potential interviews.

Selecting a seasoned immigration lawyer focusing on family-based petitions is vital. Look for a track record of success and positive client feedback, ensuring meticulous adherence to current laws and regulations. Immigration lawyers at Lincoln-Goldfinch Law simplify the process, ensuring accurate form completion and a higher chance of a successful outcome.


Filling out legal forms, particularly form I-130, is a complex process crucial for family-based immigration in the United States. This form establishes a sponsor’s relationship with a foreign family member seeking to immigrate to the country. U.S. citizens and LPRs can sponsor various family members. These individuals, with specific eligibility criteria, include spouses, parents, children, and siblings.

When filing Form I-130 for an alien relative, it’s essential to gather all required documentation, follow step-by-step guidelines, and maintain accuracy and honesty. Moreover, seeking assistance from an immigration attorney can simplify the process, ensuring precise completion and compliance with regulations. As you rely on them, it would increase the chances of success of your petition.

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