Can I Withdraw My I-130 Petition After Approval: Understanding the Process

The withdrawal of an already approved I-130 petition is a process that petitioners may consider under certain circumstances. An approved I-130, the petition for an alien relative, marks a significant step towards helping a family member obtain a green card. However, situations can change after approval, leading to the need for withdrawal. Whether due to personal reasons, changes in family circumstances, or the realization of fraudulent intent by the beneficiary, petitioners have the option to retract their sponsorship.

Understanding the implications and process of withdrawing an approved I-130 is crucial. The petitioner must formally communicate with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to initiate the withdrawal. The communication should be in writing and directed to the office with jurisdiction over the petition. This action halts the immigration process for the sponsored relative and can prevent the issuance of a green card based on that petition.
Legal guidance is often recommended during this process because withdrawing an I-130 petition can be complex and emotionally charged. An immigration lawyer can advise on the steps involved in cancellation and help navigate any legal complications arising from the withdrawal. This support is particularly important when the petitioner suspects fraudulent intent or ends the marital relationship that served as the basis for the petition.

Understanding I-130 Petition Withdrawal

Withdrawing an I-130 petition, a form used to sponsor a family member for permanent residence in the United States is a serious decision. It’s essential to comprehend both the eligibility and potential repercussions.

Eligibility for Withdrawal

An individual can withdraw an I-130 petition at any time before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) makes a final decision on the beneficiary’s application for adjustment of status (Form I-485). If the I-130 is already approved, USCIS will generally allow withdrawal of the petition. However, withdrawal is prohibited if USCIS has reviewed the beneficiary’s I-485.

Consequences of Withdrawal

The action is irreversible once a petition is withdrawn, meaning the petitioner cannot reinstate or reverse the withdrawal. Starting a new petition after withdrawal places the beneficiary at the end of the line for processing. Additionally, withdrawal based on allegations of fraud, such as entering into marriage for immigration benefits, can trigger an investigation by USCIS or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The Withdrawal Process

Withdrawing an approved Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, requires careful consideration and adherence to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) procedures. Once the USCIS has approved the I-130 petition, before the review of the I-485 Adjustment of Status application, the sponsor retains the option to withdraw their petition.

Steps to Withdraw After Approval

  1. Notification: The petitioner should immediately notify the USCIS in writing of their desire to withdraw the I-130 petition.
  2. Submission: Send the written withdrawal notice to the USCIS office that approved the I-130 petition.
  3. Confirmation: Await a confirmation from USCIS acknowledging the withdrawal of the petition. Keep a copy of all correspondence for your records.

Required Documentation for Withdrawal

  • written notice: A clear and concise letter stating the intent to withdraw the I-130 petition.
  • Petitioner’s information: The petitioner’s full name, address, date of birth, and USCIS receipt number.
  • Beneficiary’s information: The full name, date of birth, and country of origin of the beneficiary.
  • Signature: The petitioner’s original signature on the withdrawal notice is mandatory.

Post-Withdrawal Considerations

After withdrawing an I-130 petition, its impact radiates primarily toward the beneficiary’s immigration status and the petitioner’s ability to file anew.

Impact on the Beneficiary

Once the petitioner withdraws an approved I-130, the beneficiary should know their path to obtaining a green card is significantly affected. The withdrawal means USCIS will not proceed with the adjustment of status, and any pending applications allied to the I-130, such as an Application for Adjustment of Status (Form I-485), will typically be rejected or closed.

Possibility of Refiling

Should circumstances change, the petitioner can submit a new I-130 petition. However, the petitioner must consider that a fresh application will be subject to scrutiny and must be accompanied by the necessary supporting documentation to establish the bona fide nature of the relationship again. Additionally, the refiling process resets the priority date, affecting the beneficiary’s wait time for visa availability.

Legal Implications

Withdrawing an approved I-130 petition can have significant consequences on the immigration status of the beneficiary. A petitioner should understand the possible legal outcomes before taking action.

Effect on Immigration Status

Withdrawing an approved I-130 petition typically cancels the immigration process for the beneficiary. Here are the specifics:

  • Before Adjustment of Status (AOS): If the beneficiary has not filed an AOS application (Form I-485), the withdrawal will halt their potential path to permanent residency.
  • After AOS Approval: If the AOS application has been approved, withdrawal may be more complex, and the impact can vary depending on the timing and the reason for withdrawal.

Consulting an Immigration Attorney

Consulting an immigration attorney is crucial when considering the withdrawal of an I-130 petition due to the following:

  • Legal Advice: An attorney can provide personalized legal advice based on the case’s specifics.
  • Timeliness: Strategic timing is important, and an attorney can guide in taking action quickly if there is a window of opportunity to withdraw.