Form I-130, officially known as the “Petition for Alien Relative” is a USCIS form, which is used to establish a relationship between a U.S. citizen or  green card holder filing the form, and the relative wishing to seek a green card.

To learn about detailed and in-depth information regarding the purpose, eligibility, processing time and everything concerning the Form I-130, you can visit our guide.

It’s very important to carefully prepare and file the Form I-130 correctly, along with all the required forms and supporting documents, to avoid any delay in your relative’s green card application process.

The Petition for Alien Relative is a 12-paged USCIS form and consists of 9 sections

An overview of sections is below.

  • Part 1: Relationship (You, the U.S. citizen or the green card holder are the Petitioner. Your relative is the Beneficiary)
  • Part 2:  Information About You (Petitioner)
  • Part 3: Biographic Information (Petitioner)
  • Part 4: Information About Beneficiary (relative seeking the green card)
  • Part 5: Other information
  • Part 6: Petitioner’s Statement, Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature
  • Part 7: Interpreter’s Contact Information, Certification, and Signature
  • Part 8: Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature of the Person Preparing this Affidavit, if Other Than the Petitioner
  • Part 9: Additional Information

Can I Submit Form I-130 Online?

On October 30, 2019, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) enabled the petitioners to complete and file the Form I-130 online.

Online filing allows individuals to submit forms electronically and receive USCIS notices. 

However, for filing the form online, petitioners must first create a USCIS online account at myaccount.uscis.dhs.gov. This is free of cost.

This account helps a petitioner to:

  • Submit and track the status of their forms,
  • Pay fees online,
  • Track case status online,
  • Communicate with USCIS through a secure inbox, and
  • Respond to RFEs (Request for Evidence).

The USCIS also accepts the paper version of the Form I-130 by mail.

What Documents Do You Need To File Form I-130?

The “Petitioner” (U.S. citizen or green card holder) must file the Form I-130 with all the necessary supporting documents, to establish his/her relationship with the immigrant relative (beneficiary) seeking a green card.

It is recommended not to send any original documents unless specifically requested by the USCIS.

The I-130 petition also requires the U.S. citizen petitioner to submit the filing fee amount, along with the supporting documents. 

You can find the detailed checklist of all the supporting documents required to submit with your Form I-130 here.

How Long Does It Take To Approve Form I-130?

The processing time for your I-130 petition and the approval depends on a number of factors.

The most common factors:

It is also important to note here that USCIS functions at a first-come first-serve basis. So, it is important to file your petition early.

You can find the complete information about the processing time here.

What is a “Class of Admission” on Form I-130?

Class of Admission is a 3-character code, typically one or two letters followed by a number.

It is a designation given to nonimmigrants, when they enter the United States.

This alphanumeric code describes the visa category that was used to admit the non-immigrant citizen into the U.S., as a permanent resident.

Your Class of Admission can be found on your Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record and your green card (permanent resident or conditional resident).

It is located under the “Category” section on the front side of your green card. It can also  be located on the backside of older cards.

Where to Send Forms I-130 and I-485?

The location of filing the Form I-130 depends on where you physically reside. 

The latest filing locations for a Form I-130 can be found on the USCIS website here.

                     If you are filing a standalone Form I-130:

And you live in these statesMail your application to this address

Alaska

American Samoa

Arizona

California

Colorado

Florida

Guam

Hawaii

Idaho

Kansas

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Mexico

North Dakota

Northern Mariana Islands

Oklahoma

Oregon

Puerto Rico

South Dakota

Texas

Utah

Virgin Islands

Washington

Wyoming

USCIS Phoenix Lockbox

 

For the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) deliveries:

 

USCIS

Attn: I-130

P.O. Box 21700

Phoenix, AZ 85036

For FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:

USCIS

Attn: I-130

1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S

Suite 100

Phoenix, AZ 85034

     

                      If you are filing a standalone Form I-130:

If you live in these statesMail your application to this address

Alabama

Arkansas

Connecticut

Delaware

Georgia

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New York

North Carolina

Ohio

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

Tennessee

Vermont

Virginia

Washington, D.C.

West Virginia

Wisconsin

USCIS Dallas Lockbox

 

For U.S. Postal Service (USPS) deliveries:

USCIS

Attn: I-130

P.O. Box 650264

Dallas, TX 75265

 

For FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:

USCIS

Attn: I-130

2501 S. State Hwy, 121 Business

Suite 400

Lewisville, TX 75067

 

                                                       If you are filing a standalone Form I-130:

And you live outside the United StatesMail your application to this address

You may request to file at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, if you:

 

  • Reside outside the United States,
  • Are a U.S. citizen, and
  • Are filing your Form I-130 for your immediate relative

USCIS Dallas Lockbox

 

For U.S. Postal Service (USPS) deliveries:

USCIS

Attn: I-130

P.O. Box 650264

Dallas, TX 75265

 

For FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:

USCIS

Attn: I-130

2501 S. State Hwy, 121 Business

Suite 400

Lewisville, TX 75067

 

If you and your relative, both live in the U.S., and your relative is concurrently filing the Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, file your petition at Chicago, Dallas, or Phoenix Lockbox, depending on your location.

 

You and your immigrant relative, both live in the United StatesMail your application to this address
If you are filing Form I-130 with Form I-485, concurrently

USCIS Chicago Lockbox

 

For U.S. Postal Service (USPS) deliveries:

USCIS

P.O. Box 805887

Chicago, IL 60680-4120

 

 

For FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:

 

USCIS

FBAS

131 South Dearborn, 3rd Floor

Chicago, IL 60603-5517

How to Write a Check for Form I-130

If you are paying your I-130 fees by check, make sure to follow these guidelines.

Personal checks must be pre-printed with your name and your bank’s name. Your address and phone number must be pre-printed, typed, or written in ink.

Use the following guidelines when you prepare your check or money order for the Form I-130:

  • The check can be drawn on only banks or other financial institutions located in the United States and must be payable in U.S. currency, and 
  • The check will be payable to the “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”. Do not use the initials like “USDHS” or “DHS”. 
  • Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate for instructions regarding payment method, for the ones living abroad.
  • The date should be in accordance with the U.S. style of month/day/year. 
  • Use numerals to represent the exact amount of the fee.

 

How Much Does it Cost to File Form I-130?

The filing fee for Form I-130 is $535. You can find the latest Form I-130 fees on the official USCIS website.

The total cost to petition a relative varies from $1,400 to $1,900 per immigrant.

The costs associated with filing an I-130 petition depend on the number of relatives you want to sponsor and their location (in the U.S. or abroad). 

For sponsoring more than one family member, separate I-130 petitions must be filed, along with corresponding filing fees, for each of them.

 

Below we will guide you how to fill the I-130 Form step-by-step. Let’s get started.

 

How to Fill Form I-130 for Parents 

Only U.S. citizens can file Form I-130 to obtain their parents a green card. Lawful permanent residents cannot sponsor their parents.

USCIS will reject any outdated forms. The latest version of Form I-130 can be downloaded here

  • You can fill the form on a computer or an electronic device so that you can make changes to your form later, if required.
  • The form must have an original ink signature, in black. 
  • Submit only legible photocopies of documents requested, unless the instructions specifically state that you must submit an original document.

 

Part 1: Relationship (You are the Petitioner. Your relative is the Beneficiary)

If a question does not apply to you, type or print “N/A”. 

  • Item 1: Please check the ‘Parent’ box (you can check only one box)
  • Item 2: Select the most relevant option (you can check only one box)
  • Item 3: Leave it blank, this question does not apply to you
  • Item 4: Answer “Yes” or “No”. If you have gained your U.S. permanent residency through adoptive parents, you no longer can file a petition for your biological parents.

 

Part 2:  Information About You (Petitioner)

In this part, U.S. citizen who’s sponsoring his/her parents, must answer the following questions:

  • Item 1. Alien Registration Number (A-number): An Alien Registration Number is an identification number issued for an immigrant by the immigration authorities. You can put N/A here if you don’t have one.
  • Item 2. USCIS Online Account Number: You will have this USCIS account number if you have created an online account in the past, for immigration-related purposes. You can leave this blank, if you don’t have one.
  • Item 4.a. Family name (last name): Please provide your last name as it appears in your official documents (passport, government-issued ID, birth certificate). If you have changed your last name, provide your previous last name(s) in the “Other names used” section on the next page of this form.
  • Item 4.b.: Given name (first name): Please provide your first (given) name(s) as it appears in your official documents (passport, government-issued ID, birth certificate). If you have changed your first name, provide your previous first name(s) in the “Other names used” section on the next page of this form.
  • Item 4.c.: Middle name: Please provide your middle name, if you have one. If you don’t have a middle name, leave it blank.
  • “Other names used”, Items 5.a. – 5.c.: If you have ever used any other names, have legally changed your name, please provide all your previous names in this section. If you need more space, you can provide all your other names at the end of the Form I-130, on Page 12, “Additional Information”. Enter the page number, form’s part number and item number.
  • Items 10.a. – 10.i. Mailing address: Provide the Petitioner’s address in this section. USCIS will send all notices in your case via mail. Make sure to update the USCIS if you change your mailing address.
  • Item 16. How many times have you been married? Enter “0” if you have never been married. Enter “1” if you are currently married. If you have been married to the same spouse several times, enter each marriage separately.
  • Items 18-19: Leave them blank if you are unmarried.
  • Items 39.a. – 39.c.: The ‘Certificate Number’ is your naturalization certificate number, which you can find on the top side of your certificate. You can find the place of issuance and date of issuance on your naturalization certificate as well.
  • Item 40. Class of Admission: You can find your ‘Class of Admission’ on the front side of your green card, under the ‘Category’ section.  The ‘Date of Admission’ is the ‘Resident Since’ field on your green card. 

Part 3: Biographic Information

Provide your biographical information here. Choose the option that most accurately describes your race and ethnicity.

You can find the categories and definition for ethnicity and race as defined by the USCIS here.

Part 4. Information About Beneficiary

This section covers all the required details about your parent. 

  • Items 1-3: Provide your parent’s Alien Registration Number, USCIS Online Account Number and U.S. Social Security Number. If your parent has never been previously in the U.S., he/she most likely doesn’t have these numbers. Leave these fields blank if your parent doesn’t have any.
  • Item 10: If someone has ever filed a Form I-130 for your parent previously, answer “Yes”. 
  • Items 25-44: Carefully enter relevant details of your parent’s spouse and all children, including you. 
  • Item 46.a: If your parent is currently in the U.S., provide your parent’s “class of admission”. If your parent entered the U.S. on a visa, the class of admission is provided in his or her I-94 record. For instance, if your parent entered on a tourist or business visa, his or her class of admission might be B-1 or B2.

The beneficiary would have  an electronic Form I-94 issued by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or USCIS, on admission in the U.S. after April 30, 2013. 

One can also visit http://www.cbp.gov/i94 for obtaining a paper version of their Form I-94.

  • Items 46.b-46.d: The Form I-94 issued by CBP or USCIS to the beneficiary provides the form number, along with the expiry date for his/her  authorized period of stay. “D/S” is usually granted only to beneficiaries admitted in the U.S. on a student visa or exchange visitor programs.
  • Items 47-50: If the parent has entered the U.S. using a passport or a travel document, then enter the document’s number, even if the document has expired.
  • Item 53. Was the beneficiary EVER in the immigration proceedings: If your parent was ever in immigration court in deportation (removal) proceedings, answer “Yes”. Immigration proceedings include removal, exclusion/deportation, rescission and other judicial proceedings.
  • Items 61.a.-61.b. – If your parent is currently in the U.S.., entered the U.S. on a visa and will apply for the green card within the U.S., choose this option. Provide the city or town and state of the current residence in the U.S.
  • Items 62.a.-62.c. – If your parent is outside the U.S. and will be applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, then choose this option. Provide the city or town, province and the country of your parent’s residence.

Part 5. Other Information

  • Items 1-5: This subsection asks if you have ever filed a Form I-130 for this parent or for any other relative. If you have ever filed previously the Form I-130, please provide the details (who did you sponsor, the date you filed the petition and the result).
  • Items 6-9: If you are submitting separate Forms I-130 for your other parent, child, spouse or siblings, provide the details in this subsection.

Part 6. Petitioner’s Statement, Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature

  • The petitioner (you, the U.S. citizen) must affirm to the information provided by you in this form.
  • If an interpreter assisted you in reading and understanding the questions in this form, check the box 1.b. and type or print your language;
  • Make sure to properly sign and date your petition and provide your contact details and email address. USCIS rejects unsigned forms.
  • A stamped or typewritten name in place of a signature is not acceptable. 

Part 7. Interpreter’s Contact Information, Certification, and Signature

If you have used an interpreter to help you prepare the form, this section must be completed by him/her. The interpreter must sign and date the petition.

Part 8. Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature of the Person Preparing this Petition, if Other Than the Petitioner

  • If an attorney or anyone else helped you to prepare this form, they must provide their information, sign and date it.
  • If you have prepared the application yourself, leave this section blank.
  • If the person helping you prepare your petition is an attorney or accredited representative, he/she must also submit a completed Form G-28, along with your petition.

Part 9. Additional Information

This section is for any additional information you want to provide. You can also make copies of this section, for extra space and file it with your petition.

Note: USCIS recommends you to save a copy of your completed petition to review in the future. 

Form I-130 Documents Checklist (Sponsoring parents)

Attach the following supporting documentation while submitting your parent’s Form I-130 petition. Submit only copies of original documents, unless mentioned specifically.

Document TypeAcceptable Documents
Proof of your U.S. citizenship
    • State-issued birth certificate
    • Naturalization certificate or  certificate of citizenship
    • Form FS-240, Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)
    • Valid and unexpired U.S. passport
Proof of permanent resident status
  • Copy of front and back of your green card (Form I-551), or
  • Copies of foreign passport’s biographic page, showing evidence of lawful permanent resident by USCIS 
Beneficiary parent is mother
  • Petitioner’s (your) birth certificate, listing you and your mother’s name, establishing proof of your relation
Beneficiary parent is father
  • Your birth certificate, listing both of your parents’ names
  • Your parents’ marriage certificate
Proof of termination of prior marriage(s)
  • Divorce decree, if either of your parents was in a prior marital relation
Beneficiary is an adoptive parent 
  • Adoption decree, depicting that you were adopted before 16 years of age.
  • Legal evidence (custody) showing that you and your adoptive parent lived together for at least 2 years before or after adoption.
Beneficiary is a step-parent
  • your birth certificate
  • marriage certificate of your step-parent and biological parent
  • divorce decree of any previous marriage(s) (if any)

How to Fill Out Form I-130 for Spouse 2020

USCIS will reject any outdated forms. The latest version of Form I-130 can be downloaded here

Part 1: Relationship (You are the Petitioner. Your relative is the Beneficiary)

  • Item 1: Please check ‘Spouse’.

Part 2: Information About You (Petitioner)

Petitioner is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident sponsoring his/her foreign spouse. This section asks questions about the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse.

  • Item 1. Alien Registration Number (A-number): An Alien Registration Number is an identification number issued for an immigrant by the immigration authorities. You can put N/A here if you don’t have one.
  • Item 2. USCIS Online Account Number: You will have this USCIS account number if you have created an online account in the past, for immigration-related purposes. You can leave this blank, if you don’t have one.
  • Item 4: If your name has changed after marriage or you have ever used other names, make sure to provide your previous names.
  • Items 10.a. – 10.i. Mailing address: Provide the Petitioner’s address in this section. USCIS will send all notices in your case via mail. Make sure to update the USCIS if you change your mailing address.
  • Item 17: Select your current recent marital status
  • Items 20-23: Enter the required information about your current spouse, along with any prior spouse(s), if applicable.
  • Items 36-39: The ‘Certificate Number’ is on the top right-hand side of your naturalization certificate. ‘Place of Issuance’ will be where you have taken your oath ceremony.
  • Item 40. Class of Admission: You can find your ‘Class of Admission’ on the front side of your green card, under the ‘Category’ section.  The ‘Date of Admission’ is the ‘Resident Since’ field on your green card.

Part 3: Biographic Information

Provide your biographical information here. Choose the option that most accurately describes your race and ethnicity. 

You can find the categories and definition for ethnicity and race as defined by the USCIS here.

Part 4: Information About Beneficiary

Beneficiary is a foreign spouse seeking a green card. This part asks questions about the foreign spouse.

  • Items 1-3: Provide your Alien Registration Number, USCIS Online Account Number and U.S. Social Security Number. If you have never been previously in the U.S., you most likely don’t have these numbers. Leave these fields blank if your were never issued these numbers.
  • Item 10: If someone has ever filed a Form I-130 for the foreign spouse previously, answer “Yes”.
  • Items 21-24: Carefully enter relevant details of beneficiary spouse’s marital history, including the current marriage to a U.S. citizen/lawful permanent resident.
  • Items 25-44: Mentioning you as the first family member in the list, provide information of all the children of the beneficiary.
  • Item 46.a: If the beneficiary is living in the U.S., provide his or her “Class of Admission” (B-1/B-2, F-1, etc.). You can find it on Form I-94.
  • Items 46.b-46.d: The Form I-94 issued by CBP or USCIS to the beneficiary. You can obtain it online (if the beneficiary entered the U.S. after April 30, 2013). Provide the beneficiary’s I-94 number, date of the last arrival and period of authorized stay. “D/S” is usually granted only to beneficiaries admitted in the U.S. on a student visa or exchange visitor programs.
  • Items 47-50: If beneficiary entered the U.S. using a passport or a travel document, then enter the document’s number, even if the document has expired.
  • Item 53. Was the beneficiary EVER in the immigration proceedings: If beneficiary was ever in immigration court in deportation (removal) proceedings, answer “Yes”. Immigration proceedings include removal, exclusion/deportation, rescission and other judicial proceedings.
  • Items 61.a.-61.b. – If the beneficiary is currently in the U.S., entered the U.S. on a visa and will apply for the green card within the U.S., choose this option. Provide the city or town and state of the current residence in the U.S.
  • Items 62.a.-62.c. – If the beneficiary is outside the U.S. and will be applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, then choose this option. Provide the city or town, province and the country of beneficiary’s residence.

Part 5. Other Information

  • Items 1-5: This subsection asks if you have ever filed a Form I-130 for this beneficiary or for any other relative. If you have ever filed previously the Form I-130, please provide the details (who did you sponsor, the date you filed the petition and the result).
  • Items 6-9: If you are submitting separate Forms I-130 for your other relatives (parent, child, spouse or siblings), provide the details in this subsection.

Part 6. Petitioner’s Statement, Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature

  • The petitioner (you, the U.S. citizen) must affirm to the information provided by you in this form.
  • If an interpreter assisted you in reading and understanding the questions in this form, check the box 1.b. and type or print your language;
  • Make sure to properly sign and date your petition and provide your contact details and email address. USCIS rejects unsigned forms.
  • A stamped or typewritten name in place of a signature is not acceptable. 

Part 7. Interpreter’s Contact Information, Certification, and Signature

If you have used an interpreter to help you prepare the form, this section must be completed by him/her. The interpreter must sign and date the petition.

Part 8. Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature of the Person Preparing this Petition, if Other Than the Petitioner

  • If an attorney or anyone else helped you to prepare this form, they must provide their information, sign and date it.
  • If you have prepared the application yourself, leave this section blank.
  • If the person helping you prepare your petition is an attorney or accredited representative, he/she must also submit a completed Form G-28, along with your petition.

Part 9. Additional Information

This section is for any additional information you want to provide. You can also make copies of this section, for extra space and file it with your petition.

Note: USCIS recommends you to save a copy of your completed petition to review in the future. 

Form I-130 Documents Checklist (Sponsoring spouse)

Attach the following supporting documentation while submitting your spouse’s Form I-130 petition. 

Document TypeRequired Documents
Proof of your U.S. citizenship
    • State-issued birth certificate
    • Naturalization certificate or  certificate of citizenship
    • Form FS-240, Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)
    • Valid and unexpired U.S. passport
Proof of permanent resident status
  • Copy of front and back of your green card (Form I-551), or
  • Copies of foreign passport’s biographic page, showing evidence of lawful permanent resident by USCIS 
Passport-style color photographs
  • Two identical passport size color photographs of you and your spouse, taken at most a month prior.
Proof of a lawful marriage
  • Marriage certificate
  • Legal valid record (court order) of name change, if any
Proof of termination of any prior marriage(s), if applicable
  • Divorce certificate, or
  • Certificate of annulment
Proof of good faith marriage

Submit one or as much as you can, of these documents:

  • Joint bank account statements (credit, checking and saving accounts)
  • Documents showing joint ownership of property
  • Joint residency lease 
  • Joint income tax returns
  • Copies of gas, electric, telephone and other utility bills
  • Birth certificates of children born, while together
  • Photographs showing both spouses together, with family and friends
  • Joint travel records
  • Witness affidavits confirming your good faith marriage
  • Any other evidence establishing the ongoing marital relation

 

Can I File Form I-130 and I-485 Together?

If the immigrant spouse is living in the U.S. and entered the U.S. on a valid visa, the petitioner, who is a U.S. citizen can submit the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative and Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust status to the USCIS at the same time, also termed as ‘concurrently’.

In this case, the foreign-born spouse is eligible to “adjust status” (apply for the Green Card) at a USCIS office, without leaving the U.S.

This is called “adjustment of status”.

This means you no longer need to wait anymore for submitting the adjustment of status application, until the I-130 petition is approved, for spouses of U.S. citizens.

However, spouses of green card holders can submit Form I-485 only after the Form I-130 is approved and the visa number is available.

What is an “Alien registration Number” in I-130 Form? 

An Alien Registration Number is an eight- or nine-digit identification number issued to foreign born nationals, by the immigration authorities.

You can find this number on your green card, under the label “USCIS #”.

We have covered a detailed guide, explaining where you can find your Alien Registration Number. You can find it here.

What is the “Date of Admission” on Form I-130?

“Date of Admission” is the date you were granted a permanent resident or conditional permanent resident status by the USCIS.

It is not the date you entered the U.S.

You can find the date of admission on the front side of your permanent resident card, in the “Resident Since” field.

What is ‘In Care of Name’ in Form I-130?

In “Part 2. Information About Petitioner“ section of the I-130 form, there is an item marked ‘10.a’, or ‘In Care of Name’ field.

If the petitioner wants to receive the mail at an address where he/she doesn’t reside, or at an address with many occupants, you can provide the name of the person who will receive the mail on your behalf.

You may also leave the section blank, if it does not apply to you.

What is “Place of Admission” on Form I-130?

  • For a foreign national, who obtained the U.S. green card through an immigrant visa, the Place of Admission will be the place where you entered the U.S. for the first time.
  • For a foreign national obtaining a green card through adjustment of status method, the ‘Place of Admission’ will be the city in which USCIS approved your green card application, namely, where you appeared for your adjustment of status interview.

What’s Next After Form I-130 is Approved?

Once your I-130 petition has been approved, you have successfully completed the first step in your relative’s immigration process to the U.S. 

You can find detailed and complete information about what to do next once your I-130 petition is approved, in our exclusive guide here.

File Your Form I-130 with SelfLawyer 

You can always file Form I-130 online with SelfLawyer.

SelfLawyer gives you a licensed immigration attorney review, online preparation, affordable fees and same day filing with USCIS.