What you need to know for Filing a Form I-130

What is the Form I-130?
The Form I-130 is the Petition for Alien Relative. It is a legal document that you must fill up and submit
with supporting documents to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services to establish the existence of
your genuine family relationships to your alien relatives who want to immigrate to the US. You (the
lawful permanent resident in the US) must file one Form I-130 for each relative who wishes to immigrate
to the US. However, for unmarried children under the age of 21, you will not have to file a separate
petition for each of them. You can file one petition for your spouse and children.

For whom can I file the Form I-130?
If you are a lawful permanent resident of the US, you may file a Form I-130 only for your spouse, for
your unmarried children who is under 21 years of age; or for your unmarried children who are 21 years
old or over. You may also file a petition for your parents if you are over the age of 21.

What is the Form I-130A?
The Form I-130A is the Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary. It must be completed for your
spouse. Unlike the Form I-130, which is signed by the lawful permanent resident who is in the US
already, the Form I-130A must be signed by the spouse who is in the US. If the alien spouse is not in the
US, the Form I-130A may be filed without the signature of the alien spouse. Both the Form I-130 and the
I-130A must be submitted together.

What sort of information will be required in the Form I-130?
Two types of information will be required: the information for the person filing the petition (the lawful
permanent resident or US citizen) and the personal information for the person who is the beneficiary of
the petition (the alien spouse, children or other relative).
You will be asked information to confirm your identity (you must supply your full name in capital letters
as well as any former names or other names such as maiden names. If you had been married before, you
will be asked to supply the dates of your prior marriages. You will be asked to supply all the names of
your children even if they will not be included as beneficiaries of the petition (such as if they are no
longer eligible as they are married or over the age of 21 or both). For the person filing the petition, you
will also be asked to provide information to prove your status as a lawful permanent resident or as a US
citizen. You will supply your contact information such as your daytime phone number, your mobile
phone number and email address.
You will be asked to supply information to confirm the identity of the alien relative. You will be asked to
provide other information for the alien relative, such as: ethnicity or race, height, weight, eye and hair
color. You must supply their names, ages, dates and places of birth. You will also be required to provide

information regarding their passport details such as the passport number and the date and place it was
issued. If the alien relatives are already in the US, you will be asked information regarding their Form I-
94 or your Arrival-Departure Record.
You will be asked to sign the form. You will also be asked to fill in an authorization (called a G-325A
form) for the USCIS to run a background check on you and your alien relative.

What other information should I provide?
When filing the Form I-130, you must attach to it documents that prove the genuineness of the
information you provided in the petition. For example, if you are filing a petition on behalf of your
spouse, you must prove the fact of your valid marriage and the genuineness of your relationship. For
this, you must attach copies of your marriage certificate and other documents that show that your
marriage is genuine and not a sham. You may attach documents such as your joint ownership of
property, a lease contract showing both your name and your spouse’s as tenants, joint accounts.

What if an official document is not available?
For instance, if your birth certificate or marriage certificate is not available, you must provide a
certificate from the government agency why the record is not available. The records could have been
destroyed in a fire or other natural calamity. You may then provide secondary evidence such as
baptismal certificates or dedication certificates of your children. You may provide school records or
census records.
If secondary evidence such as these are unavailable, then you may file affidavits or sworn statements of
persons who were alive at the time of the birth of the alien relative who may have witnessed the birth
or have known about it because of a close relationship with the alien relative.

How much does a Form I-130 cost?
The form itself is free. You can view, print, and fill out the forms on your computer. There is a filing fee
to pay when you submit it to the USCIS, though. The filing fee cannot be waived, and it is not
refundable. There is also a Biometric Services Fee to pay when your fingerprint and photograph are
taken. You will be invited to come for a biometric services appointment.
You may pay for it by check or money order. The check of money order must be payable to the U.S
Department of Homeland Security. To know the exact amount to pay for filing fees, you must go to the
USCIS website or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center hotline. You will also find information
there on where to file your petition.

How long is the processing time?

The USCIS will accept your petition for initial processing to check that you have filled it out completely. If
there are missing information, the USCIS will request more information or it may send it back to you
without a priority or filing date. You may be given 12 weeks within which to supply the missing or
incomplete information. They may even request that original copies of the documents or translations of
original documents to be sent to them. They may ask that you appear at the USCIS office for an
interview. Only after these stages of processing can your petition be submitted for determination or
decision. The USCIS will send you a notification on whether your petition is approved or denied.

For what reasons could my petition be denied?
Petitions may be denied for a host of reasons, but usually, they are denied because of wrong
information or false information. Please note that there are penalties that apply when the information
in the petition is found to be knowingly and willfully falsified, or if a material fact was concealed. There
are also penalties when falsified or fraudulent documents are filed. All documents provided in support
of the petition must be genuine and authentic. All information must be accurate.

People can usually fill out the Form I-130 by themselves, but it usually helps to have a fresh pair of eyes
to look over the petition to see that each box is filled up and no space is blank. There are some
questions on the form that may be confusing to some as the petition uses legal terms. If you need help
in filling out your petition, or help determining which information is necessary and vital, don’t hesitate
to ask our assistance. Our immigration lawyers at Lluis Law are ready and willing to help you.