Immigration Form I-130 Fact Sheet

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A Form I-130 is one of the many complicated forms that you may need to file in your immigration journey. An attorney at Manji Law, P.C. can assist. Contact us!

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What Is Form I-130?

Are you a United States citizen or a permanent resident looking to bring bring a spouse to the USA so that they can acquire permanent residence status in America? If so, you’ll need to file Form I-130 with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as part of the immigration process.

Form I-130 formally called the ‘Petition for Alien Relative,’ is the USCIS document that typically kick-starts the family-based immigration process. It is completed and filed by the sponsors of green card applications who are US citizens or permanent residents to show that they (the sponsor) have a valid familial relationship with the green card applicant in question. 

Before you begin the green card application process on behalf of your family member(s), it is crucial to learn about this all-important form and what it contains, as the slightest error could be costly and lead to a denial. Continue reading to learn more about this form. 

Functions of the I-130 Form 

USCIS officials use Form I-130 to establish whether the sponsor and the applicant have a genuine relationship. 

This document is heavily scrutinized to minimize fraud, and the USCIS also requires the green card sponsor to provide certain biographic information to support their case. These include:

  • Birth certificate of the beneficiary

  • Birth certificate of the US citizen or lawful permanent resident (sponsor)

  • Proof of a legal and valid relationship (e.g. a marriage certificate or birth certificate)

  • Proof of permanent residence or citizenship status (e.g., a naturalization certificate or the actual green card).

Completing Form I-130

It is important to complete Form I-130 with complete and accurate information. Failure to do so can lead to your immigrant petition being rejected.

There are several sections in the form, each requiring a different kind of information as follows:

  • Part 1: Relationship – The petitioner in this section is you, the sponsor, while the beneficiary is the foreign relative. Here you are required to show how you’re related to the beneficiary, whether they’re your parent, child, sibling, or spouse.
  • Part 2: Petitioner Information – This is where you provide information about yourself, including details of your:
    • Class of admission
    • Naturalization certificate number (if applicable)
    • Prior marriage (if applicable)
    • Your mailing address
    • Your full names
    • USCIS online account number
    • Alien registration number.
  • Part 3: Sponsor Biographical Information – This is where you (the petitioner) fill out details of your ethnicity and physical features, such as your height, eye color, and weight.
  • Part 4: Beneficiary Information – Here, you’re required to provide information about the beneficiary, including their full names, addresses, contact information, marital status, USCIS account numbers, Social Security numbers, and A-numbers (where applicable).
  • Part 5: Additional Information – In this section, you are required to confirm whether you have previously filed I-130 for anyone, including the present beneficiary.
  • Part 6: Sponsor/Petitioner’s Statement – You are required to verify the information you have provided and certify that the documents you have provided are accurate. You will also need to sign the form at this point and include the date and your contact information, including your email address. Your application will be rejected if you don’t provide the date and signature.
  • Part 7: Interpreter Details – If an interpreter helped you understand the form in a language other than English, they need to provide their signature and contact information and fill out the date.
  • Part 8: Information About Any Person Who Completed the Form (Other Than the Petitioner) – You don’t have to fill out this section if you completed the form on your own. But if someone else completed the form on your behalf, they need to complete this section with their information. If an immigration lawyer helped you fill out the application, they would also need to file Form G-28 (Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative) with the petition.
  • Part 9: Additional Information – If you need to provide more information in any section of the form or the space provided wasn’t enough, you can print as many copies of this page and provide the necessary information. Don’t forget to type your name and A-number at the top of each extra sheet. You also need to include the page number, part number, and item number that each additional answer here refers to.

If completing the form on your own seems daunting or you need professional help, you can consult an experienced immigration attorney. They can guide you or complete the form on your behalf using the information you provide.

How to File Form I-130

You can file Form I-130 online by creating a USCIS online account or by mail. If you’re filing by mail from within the US, you’re not allowed to mail your application directly to the USCIS field office in your location. Instead, you’ll need to send your application to one of the USCIS filing locations in Phoenix, Chicago, Elgin, or Dallas. This means that if you’re filing from Atlanta, Georgia, your application shouldn’t go to the immigration office in Atlanta. Instead, you’ll need to mail it to the USCIS Elgin Lockbox address. You can find more information on this here

You will also need to pay the filing fee of $535 to have your Form I-130 application processed. Before you make any payments, visit the USCIS website to confirm that the required amount has not changed.


Form I-130: Processing Time

The processing time for Form I-130 varies and depends on several factors, including where your petition ends up (the specific USCIS office processing your case) and the type of relationship you have with the beneficiary.

The processing time is usually shorter if the beneficiary is an immediate relative, such as an unmarried child or a spouse. For an idea of how long processing your form would take, you can use the standard processing times tool on the USCIS website.  

How to Check the Status of My Form I-130 Petition

If you filed your form online, you could check the status of your petition via your USCIS online account.

If you filed a paper application and think your case is taking longer than usual, you can request a case inquiry to get more information. You can also consult a top-rated immigration attorney in Atlanta if you think your application is delayed or stalled. They can help you investigate the issue and possibly develop workable solutions for you.


Get Help With Your Form I-130 Petition From an Attorney at Manji Law, P.C.


If you are having trouble completing and filing your Form I-130 or need help bringing your family over to the United States via an immigrant visa, consider speaking with one of our qualified immigration attorneys to guide you through the process.

We can offer you the necessary support, representation, and legal guidance you can trust as you seek to reunite with your family. Get in touch today for quality immigration services and assistance.