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I-130 Petition for Family & Relatives

Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative is a petition filed by U.S. citizen or permanent resident (petitioner) on behalf of a family member (beneficiary) to receive permanent residence. This petition establishes the family relationship between petitioner and beneficiary.

Immediate Relatives

Immediate Relatives refers to the parents, spouses and children (who are unmarried and under 21 years of age) of a U.S. citizen. They can apply for the permanent resident status without having to deal with any wait time.

Other Family Members

Other family members eligible to apply for a Green Card are described in the following family “preference immigrant” categories:

  1. First preference (F1) - unmarried sons and daughters, 21 years of age and older, of U.S. citizens;

  2. Second preference (F2A) - spouses and children (unmarried and under 21 years of age) of lawful permanent residents;

  3. Second preference (F2B) - unmarried sons and daughters, 21 years of age and older, of lawful permanent residents;

  4. Third preference (F3) - married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens; and

  5. Fourth preference (F4) - brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age and older).

After I-130 Petition Approval

Adjustment of Status: If your relative is in the U.S. he or she may apply I-485 to adjust status to become a permanent resident after a visa number becomes available. Adjustment of status through USCIS allows an applicant to become a lawful permanent resident (LPR) while in the U.S. following requirements are met.

  1. Applicant is inspected and admitted or paroled, and lawfully staying in the U.S. (with certain exceptions);

  2. A visa number must be immediately available at time of filing or dates for filing are valid according to the USCIS;

  3. Applicant must pass medical clearances and pass the interview with USCIS.

Consular Processing: If your relative is outside the U.S., the petition will be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC will forward your petition to the appropriate U.S. consulate when a visa becomes available and the relative will be notified about how to proceed. Consular processing through National Visa Center (NVC) and consular post allow an applicant to apply for an immigrant visa while in a foreign country if the following requirements are met:

  1. A visa number must be immediately available at time of filing;

  2. Applicant must submit all required documents to NVC. NVC will forward the case to the appropriate consular post and an appointment letter will be generated;

  3. Applicant must pass the interview at the appointed consular post;

  4. Applicant must enter U.S. within 6 months of issuance of immigrant visa.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have green card. May I file an immigration petition on behalf of my parents? How about my foreign brothers?

No, you cannot petition your parents or brothers. As a lawful permanent resident, you are not eligible to petition your parents or brothers. If qualified, U.S. citizens can petition their foreign parents and brothers for permanent residence.

Is an affidavit of support legally enforceable?

Yes. an affidavit of support is legally enforceable and may be enforced by the sponsored person, the state or federal government or any agency providing a public benefit.

When can beneficiary work legally in the United States?

If the Beneficiary is already in the United States and has applied for permanent residency, he or she can apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) at the same time. Within around 90 days of filing the Beneficiary will be able to start to work legally.

Can I have more than one person to be my co-sponsor?

Yes. There is no limitation on number of co-sponsors that you can have. But if you have more than one co-sponsor, each co-sponsor must submit evidence showing that he/she meets the income requirement.

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