Filing Process for Form I-130 from Outside the United States
To successfully file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, from a foreign country, one must navigate specific procedures, starting with determining the correct location for submission, gathering all necessary documents, and adhering to the precise submission guidelines.
Finding the Right Embassy or Consulate
One must first identify the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate that processes immigration petitions from their country of residence. Potential petitioners can locate this information on the U.S. Department of State website or by contacting a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agency abroad. Each embassy or consulate has specific jurisdictions, so it’s imperative to direct the petition to the right one.
A detailed checklist of required documentation accompanies Form I-130. The petitioner should compile evidence of their U.S. citizenship or permanent residency, proof of the familial relationship with the beneficiary (such as marriage certificates, birth certificates, etc.), and two passport-style photos of both the petitioner and the beneficiary. Documentation must be thorough to avoid delays.
When filing Form I-130 from abroad, the petitioner should follow the submission guidelines for their chosen filing location. Petitioners can file online via the USCIS website or by mailing their application to the USCIS Dallas Lockbox facility. If mailing, one must use the correct address for U.S. Postal Service deliveries or courier services; failure to send to the correct address can result in processing delays.