The I-130 petition for alien relatives is a form used by U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (LPR) to petition a family member for immigration to the United States. The form is filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and is the first step in the family-based immigration process.
When submitting the I-130 petition, the petitioner must prove their relationship with the beneficiary, as well as their own U.S. citizenship or LPR status. The I-130 petition must also be accompanied by supporting evidence, such as birth certificates and marriage certificates.
After USCIS approves the I-130 petition, the beneficiary may then be eligible to apply for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status, depending on their current immigration status and country of residence.
What is the Eligibility Criteria for Form I-130 Petition For Alien Relatives?
In general, the petitioner must establish the following:
- The petitioner is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR)
- The petitioner has a qualifying family relationship with the beneficiary, such as spouse, parent, sibling, or child
It is important to note that additional requirements may apply, depending on the specific circumstances of each case. It is recommended to consult with an I-130 lawyer for guidance on the I-130 petition process.
Who is Not Eligible to File I-130 Petition?
In general, a person cannot file I-130 Petition in the following cases:
- If you are trying to sponsor a grandparent, grandchild, nephew, niece, uncle, aunt, or cousin, or parent-in-law
- Sponsoring an adoptive parent or adopted child if he or she was older than 16 years when adopted, or if the child has not been in the legal custody and has not lived with the parents for at least 2 years before filing the petition
- If you have acquired citizenship or a green card through adoption or as a special immigrant juvenile, you cannot sponsor your biological parent
- You cannot sponsor a step-parent or step-child if the child was older than 18 years at the time of marriage
- If your marriage happened without one or either of the spouses’ physical presence, unless the marriage was consummated
- If you gained lawful permanent resident status through a prior marriage to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, you cannot petition for a spouse unless you are now a naturalized U.S. citizen, you have been a lawful permanent resident for at least five years, you can establish by clear and convincing evidence that you did not enter the prior marriage (through which you gained your lawful permanent resident status) in order to evade any U.S. immigration law, or your prior marriage through which you gained your immigrant status was terminated by the death of your former spouse
- If you married your spouse when he or she was being tried in an immigration court or facing deportation, you cannot sponsor him or her, unless you obtain a bona fide marriage exemption under INA section 245(e)(3)
- If USCIS determines that a person entered into or attempted or conspired to enter into a marriage in order to evade U.S. immigration laws, you may not be able to petition for that person
How Long Does the I-130 Petition Process Take?
The alien relative visa processing time varies depending on various factors such as the workload of USCIS, the complexity of the case, and the type of visa category.
Usually, USCIS processing times for I-130 petitions range from several months to several years. You can check the estimated processing time for your specific case on the USCIS website.
It is recommended to consult with an I-130 petition lawyer in Los Angeles for a more accurate estimate of the processing time for an alien relative visa in the USA and to receive guidance on what steps you can take to help ensure a smooth and efficient process.
What Documents are Required to Submit I-130 Petition?
The following documents are typically required to submit an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative:
- Form I-130 and filing fee
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent residency (LPR) status of the petitioner, such as a U.S. passport, birth certificate, or permanent resident card (green card)
- Proof of the qualifying family relationship with the beneficiary, such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate, or adoption decree
- Evidence of the beneficiary’s identity, such as a passport or government-issued identification
- Any additional evidence or documentation that may be required to support the petition
It is important to note that this is a general list and the specific requirements for your case may vary based on individual circumstances. Be sure to consult with an immigration attorney for guidance on the form I-130 petition for alien relative process and to receive a comprehensive list of required documents.
Do I Need A Lawyer To File An I-130 Petition?
Here are some reasons why you may consider obtaining legal assistance to submit an I-130 petition:
- Understanding eligibility requirements: An immigration attorney can help you determine if you are eligible to file an I-130 petition and if the beneficiary is ultimately eligible for immigration to the United States if the petition is approved.
- Preparing a complete and accurate petition: An attorney can help you gather the necessary documents, evidence, and information to support your petition, and can ensure that the petition is complete and accurately filed with USCIS.
- Minimizing processing delays: An attorney can help you avoid common mistakes that can cause delays in the processing of your petition, such as missing or incorrect information, incorrect fees, or inadequate evidence.
- Responding to requests for evidence: An attorney can help you respond to a request for additional evidence if the government needs additional information.
- Navigating complex immigration laws and regulations: An attorney can help you understand the complex immigration laws and regulations that apply to your case and can represent you in the event of an appeal or reconsideration.
How Our Los Angeles I-130 Lawyer Can Help
Getting legal assistance from an immigration lawyer for I-130 can help increase your chances of success and make the process smoother and less stressful. Book your consultation at (818) 748-8808 by calling now or schedule a visit to our office to discuss how to best proceed with your case depending on your specific circumstances. Our alien relative visa lawyers in Los Angeles are here to help you till the end of your visa application process and provide guidance at every step of the way.