Form I-130 Petition For Alien Relative & Its Documentation

Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, is crucial in sponsoring a family member to immigrate to the United States. When completing the form, it is essential to include all necessary supporting documentation. It strengthens the petition’s credibility and increases the chances of approval.

A comprehensive set of paperwork is important to verify the authenticity of the relationship and strengthen the case. Explore the eligibility requirements of the I-130 petition and its different supporting documents. You can also learn more about the processing time and the importance of an immigration attorney in your journey.

Learn More About The Requirements And Documents You Need To Have To Start Your I-130 Petition In The U.S.

Eligibility Requirements Of I-130 Petition

Filing Form I-130 is an essential initial step in the family-sponsored immigration process to the United States. Understanding the eligibility requirements is paramount for those seeking to bring family members to join them in the country. The criteria differ based on the petitioner’s status, whether a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, and the nature of the familial relationship.

Relatives Of U.S. Citizens

The I-130 petition allows familial relationships as a basis for obtaining a Green Card. For U.S. citizens, it encompasses the following:

  • Parent of a U.S. citizen.
  • Spouse of a U.S. citizen.
  • A U.S. citizen’s unmarried, adult son or daughter (age 21 or over).
  • Unmarried child (below 21 years old) of an American citizen.
  • Brother or sister of U.S. citizens.
  • A U.S. citizen’s married son or daughter (any age).

Lawful Permanent Residents

There are different categories of eligible relatives for Green Card holders. These involve:

  • Spouse or unmarried child (under age 21) of a permanent resident.

You can file an I-130 petition to bring your spouse or unmarried child under 21 to the United States. This allows your immediate family members to join you and live together.

  • Unmarried adult son or daughter of a permanent resident.

You can also file an I-130 petition for your unmarried adult son or daughter who is 21 or older. This category lets you initiate bringing your adult child to the United States as a permanent resident.

Understanding these eligibility criteria is vital in reuniting and building a future in the United States with your family members. With this in mind, knowing the necessary supporting documentation for the I-130 petition is also essential.

Supporting Documentation For I-130 Petition

Unlock the gateway to your application success by gathering the essential supporting documentation for your I-130 petition. Build a compelling case that paves the way for your loved one’s journey toward family-based immigration to the United States.

With these documents, you lay the foundation for a strong and persuasive application. It helps increase the chances of a successful outcome and unites your family in a brighter future filled with endless possibilities.

Proof Of Identity

Provide evidence of your undeniable status as a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. A copy of your U.S. birth certificate, naturalization certificate, passport, or Green Card should be included. These tangible proof of your legal identity serve as compelling evidence.

Proof Of Relationship

If the petition involves a foreign national spouse, additional documentation is necessary. It includes proof of the termination of any prior marriages, completion of Form G-325A or Biographic Information by both parties and evidence affirming the legitimacy of the marriage. This thorough compilation of supporting materials strengthens the petition and contributes to a smoother immigration process.

To establish a parent-child relationship, an individual must present the child’s birth certificate showing the names of both parents. Additionally, they must show photographs of the family together, school records, or other official documents indicating the relationship.

For siblings, documents must be presented proving the common parentage, such as the petitioner’s and beneficiary’s birth certificates showing the same parents. Other evidence of a close and bona fide sibling relationship, including family photographs, shared residence history, or joint financial commitments, can also be proof.

Affidavit Of Support (Form I-864)

Form I-864 is a pivotal document affirming the petitioner’s financial ability to support the intending immigrant. Beyond its declarative nature, the form substantiates the petitioner’s capacity to unlock doors of opportunity.

When submitting this form, essential attachments include tax returns, recent pay stubs, and W-2 forms, laying bare the petitioner’s annual earnings and associated tax withholdings. This comprehensive documentation reveals financial stability and underscores commitment. It demonstrates consistent income, assets, and sustained employment, further solidifying the petitioner’s reliability.

Passport-Style Photos

Crucial to the application process are passport-sized photos of the petitioner and beneficiary. It must adhere to specific dimensions, often 2 inches by 2 inches or 5 cm by 5 cm. These photos should present a clear, unobstructed view of the face, be in color, and be printed on high-quality photo paper, having a white or light-colored background.

The applicant’s face should be centered, directly facing the camera, with neutral expression and open eyes. These meticulous specifications ensure compliance with standards. It contributes to the overall completeness and professionalism of the documentation for a seamless processing experience.

Proof Of Legal Name Change (If Applicable)

Include supporting documentation when there is a legal name change for the petitioner or beneficiary. If the name change is due to marriage, you must include a certified copy of the marriage certificate. It confirms the union and establishes the legitimacy of the name transformation.

Conversely, if the name change results from divorce, it must include a certified copy of the divorce decree. This document substantiates the dissolution of the marriage and the subsequent name change.

It is important to note that the supporting documents required may vary depending on the petitioner’s and beneficiary’s circumstances. As you see the bigger picture of your situation with your beneficiary, you will also have a clear perspective of the duration of the petition process.

I-130 Petition Processing Time

The processing time for immigration petitions is subject to variation, primarily contingent on the specific category of the petition. USCIS prioritizes immediate relative petitions, typically taking at least six months to a year for processing. In the case of close relatives, the approval process extends from 10 to 14 months. Meanwhile, family preference categories for more distant members may require several years to complete.

Furthermore, submitting a meticulously prepared petition with all necessary supporting documents and accurate information enhances the chances of prompt approval by USCIS. Following instructions and providing accurate information is imperative to avoid unnecessary delays or complications.

Meeting all eligibility criteria is essential for a seamless immigration journey. Therefore, seeking guidance from an experienced lawyer, such as those at Lincoln-Goldfinch Law, ensures confidence and adept navigation through the complexities of immigration procedures.

Work With An Immigration Lawyer

Navigating the intricacies of I-130 documentation is a task best undertaken with the support of an immigration lawyer. Here’s why working with these legal professionals is crucial.

Rely On The Experience And Legal Expertise Of Immigration Attorneys Adjusting Your Status With An I-130 Petition

Legal Guidance

With a deep understanding of the immigration system, lawyers bring invaluable knowledge. They guide you through the intricacies of the process, ensuring clarity and compliance with all requirements.

Document Accuracy

Thorough and precise completion and submission of requisite documents are paramount in the immigration process. Lawyers play a pivotal role in this aspect, aiding in comprehensively gathering necessary materials. This involves meticulous attention to detail, particularly regarding marriage certificates and evidence substantiating familial relationships.

Procedural Efficiency

Immigration procedures can be daunting, but skilled lawyers alleviate the complexity. They provide quality guidance, ensuring a smooth journey by meticulously navigating each step and helping you avoid pitfalls in the intricate process.

Case Strength

Immigration attorneys provide valuable guidance in crafting a persuasive case, offering advice on compelling evidence that resonates with USCIS officials. Their skills enhance the likelihood of case approval by optimizing the presentation of relevant information.

Peace Of Mind

Working with an immigration lawyer instills confidence. It allows you to focus on the excitement of reuniting with your loved ones rather than getting lost in the complexities of paperwork.

Indeed, collaborating with them for I-130 documentation is an investment in a smoother and more efficient immigration process. By relying on legal guidance, you can reduce the risk of errors. It can mitigate the potential complications that result in delays or, in worst-case scenarios, denials.

You can expect this meticulous approach from Lincoln-Goldfinch Law. Their attorneys are dedicated to helping you as they ensure compliance with immigration regulations. With their assistance, you can confidently navigate living with your loved ones in the United States.


Form I-130 is a crucial document for sponsoring a family member’s immigration to the United States. It demands thoroughness in completing and submitting all required documentation for credibility and approval. Understanding eligibility criteria and collecting supporting documents, like marriage and birth certificates, is pivotal for success. The documentation includes proof of identity and relationship, the critical Affidavit of Support (Form I-864), passport-style photos, and, if applicable, evidence of legal name change.

Processing times may also vary, with immediate relative petitions taking 10 to 14 months. Therefore, it is essential to engage an immigration lawyer. Doing so will ensure accurate submissions and ease the journey toward family reunification in the United States.

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