[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ admin_label=”section” _builder_version=”3.22″][et_pb_row admin_label=”row” _builder_version=”3.25″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” custom_padding=”19px|||||”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”4.7.7″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”]Updated Apr. 22, 2021

Form I-130 of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is used to prove a relationship with an eligible relative who wishes to enter the United States permanently.

Officially called “Petition for Alien Relative,” the filing of Form I-130 is the first step in a family member’s immigration process.

The USCIS will approve your I-130 petition if you can show a valid relationship with your sponsored relative.

Once approved, your family member can apply for a permanent residency that allows you to live and work in the U.S.

The filing and approval of your I-130 petition does not automatically offer immigration status or benefits.

Your sponsored family member must complete the immigration process to become a lawful permanent resident.

Who Files Form I-130?

Form I-130 can only be filed by a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident.

And you must file a separate form for each eligible family member you seek to sponsor.

Who Qualifies as an Eligible Family Member?

If you are a U.S. citizen, you can sponsor:

If you are a lawful permanent resident, you can sponsor:

No other relatives may be included in an I-130 petition.

Applications with grandparents, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, etc. will be denied.

Filing Form I-130 in the U.S. and Abroad

Regardless of where one is living – in the United States or abroad – Form I-130 can always be filed online with the help of SelfLawyer.

Get help with Form I-130 from SelfLawyer here.

I-130 Application Fee

For each I-130 form submitted, a $535 filing fee is charged.

This fee is nonrefundable regardless of the outcome of your petition.

This fee is subject to change. You can check the current Form I-130 fee on the USCIS website.

How USCIS Processes I-130 Applications

The USCIS processes all I-130 petitions in the order they are filed.

Once an I-130 application is filed, USCIS will mail you Form I-797C (Notice of Action).

Keep this I-797C notice in a safe place because it will:

Form I-130 Processing Time

Now long it takes USCIS to approve an I-130 petition depends on many factors:

For applications from U.S. citizens sponsoring an immediate relative currently living in the United States, it usually takes between 7 and 13 months for approval.

For applications sponsoring other family relatives living outside the United States, the U.S. limits the number of visas available.

When the allotted number of visas are depleted, visa applicants are placed on a list until a visa becomes available.

This, for family relatives living abroad, it may take months to several years for approval.

Form I-130 Processing Time

Form type Application center Processing time
U.S. citizen filing for a spouse, parent, or child under 21 Nebraska Service Center 12.5 Months to 16 Months
Potomac Service Center 7 Months to 9 Months
Texas Service Center 5 Months to 7 Months
Vermont Service Center 17.5 Months to 22.5 Months
Permanent resident filing for a spouse or child under 21 California Service Center 8.5 Months to 11 Months
Nebraska Service Center 20.5 Months to 26.5 Months
Potomac Service Center 1 Week to 7 Months
Texas Service Center 5 Months to 7 Months
Vermont Service Center 17 Months to 22.5 Months
U.S. citizen filing for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 California Service Center 56.5 Months to 73.5 Months
Nebraska Service Center 12.5 Months to 16 Months
Potomac Service Center 7 Months to 9 Months
Texas Service Center 5 Months to 7 Months
Vermont Service Center 58.5 Months to 76 Months
Permanent resident filing for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 California Service Center 53.5 Months to 69.5 Months
Nebraska Service Center 20.5 Months to 26.5 Months
Potomac Service Center 1 Week to 7 Months
Texas Service Center 5 Months to 7 Months
Vermont Service Center 56.5 Months to 73.5 Months
U.S. citizen filing for a married son or daughter over 21 California Service Center 92.5 Months to 120 Months
Nebraska Service Center 12.5 Months to 16 Months
Potomac Service Center 7 Months to 9 Months
Texas Service Center 5 Months to 7 Months
Vermont Service Center 88 Months to 114 Months
U.S. citizen filing for a brother or sister California Service Center 104.5 Months to 136 Months
Nebraska Service Center 12.5 Months to 16 Months
Potomac Service Center 7 Months to 9 Months
Texas Service Center 5 Months to 7 Months
Vermont Service Center 99 Months to 129 Months

Checklist of Required Documents

Be sure to give USCIS the following documents.

Evidence of the sponsor’s U.S. citizenship, lawful permanent residence, or U.S. national status:

Evidence of family relationship with one or more of the following:

If petitioning for a spouse, evidence of a lawful marriage:

After I-130 Application Has Been Approved

Receiving news that your I-130 application has been approved is good news.

But it’s only the first of the many I-130 process steps.

U.S. immigration law places family-based immigrants into two categories.

These categories directly impact the process you use, and how long it will take for your family member to get a visa. 

Immediate Relative Category

Your sponsored family member will be placed in the “Immediate Relative Category” if they are:

Family Preference Category

Unlike the Immediate Relative Category, the “Family Preference Category” is available for families seeking to reunite who have a more distinct relational link.

Applicants falling into this Category do not have a visa available immediately upon I-130 approval but must wait until a visa becomes available.

Your sponsored family member will be placed in the Family Preference Category if they are:

When you receive USCIS approval of your I-130 petition, the next step depends on:

Immediate Family Inside the United States

Generally, persons falling into the Immediate Relative Category living in the United States have the option to “adjust status” to a permanent resident by filing Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residents or Adjust Status).

The question that often arises is, “When to file I-485 after I-130?”

For persons in the Immediate Relative Category, there is no waiting for I-130 approval.

They can file Form I-485 with the sponsoring I-130 application (concurrently), while the application is pending, or after the application has been approved.

For persons in this Immediate Family Category, a visa is always immediately available to them so they don’t have to wait, once your I-130 application is approved, their visa is available.

Immediate Family Outside the United States

For a family member in the Immediate Relative Category who lives outside the United States, after USCIS approves the I-130 application, your I-130 file will be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) for processing. 

Before the NVC, the steps you will follow are: 

You can expect this process to take six to ten weeks or more.

Once NVC is satisfied that all documents have been submitted and all fees have been paid, your sponsored family member will be scheduled for an interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Family Preference Outside the United States

In most cases, individuals in the Family Preference Category use consular processing to apply for their green card. In consular processing, the visa applicant is processed and interviewed through a U.S. Embassy or Consulate instead of a USCIS office.

Due to the limited number of visas available in this category, the wait for a visa can take several years.

The approved I-130 file will stay with the NVC until your sponsored family member’s case begins the review process.

Start Your Family Member’s Immigration Now

Get immigration attorney review, online application with USCIS and same day filing with SelfLawyer. Start your Form I-130 application now.
[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.3.2″ global_module=”5118″ saved_tabs=”all”]

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”4.3.2″ custom_margin=”||-48px|||” saved_tabs=”all”][et_pb_row column_structure=”1_4,1_4,1_4,1_4″ _builder_version=”4.3.2″ module_alignment=”center”][et_pb_column type=”1_4″ _builder_version=”4.3.2″][et_pb_code _builder_version=”4.3.2″ module_alignment=”center” custom_margin=”||||false|false”]

Asel MukambetovaClients’ ChoiceAward 2020

[/et_pb_code][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_4″ _builder_version=”4.3.2″][et_pb_code _builder_version=”4.3.2″]

Asel MukambetovaClients’ ChoiceAward 2019

[/et_pb_code][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_4″ _builder_version=”4.3.2″][et_pb_code _builder_version=”4.3.2″]

Top ContributorAward 2020Asel Mukambetova

[/et_pb_code][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_4″ _builder_version=”4.3.2″][et_pb_code _builder_version=”4.3.2″]

 

Asel MukambetovaReviewsout of 14 reviews

[/et_pb_code][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]