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I-130

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Form I-130 (officially called the “Petition for Alien Relative”) establishes that a valid family relationship exists between a U.S. citizen or green card holder and a person seeking a green card. This form is often simply referred to as the “I-130 petition.”

Filing the I-130 petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is the first step in the family-based green card process.

In the context of a marriage visa, the I-130 petition is filed to prove that your marriage is legally valid (based on a marriage certificate). This is also the phase of the marriage-based green card process in which you submit documents (for example, joint bank account statements, joint insurance documents, and photos together) to prove that your marriage is “authentic”.

Filing the I-130 petition also establishes your place in line for an available green card. Unless you’re the spouse, parent, or unmarried child (under age 21) of a U.S. citizen (who gets to skip the line entirely), your place in line is determined by your “priority date,” which is simply the date that USCIS received your I-130 petition. Typically, petitions are processed in the order they are filed. Check out the Visa Bulletin to learn more about the current wait times for specific green card categories.

You have the following responsibilities upon completion:

  • The signed form must be mailed directly to USCIS.
  • All the applicable USCIS fees must be paid by you

Disclaimer: Citizen Concierge is an independent firm that supplies self-governed immigration services. We are not associated with USCIS or any government agency and the data provided on this website is for general guidance about common immigration matters only - it should not be taken as legal advice. Additionally, as we are not a law practice of any kind, we cannot offer any form of lawful consultation. If you have questions that require professional legal expertise, please contact an attorney instead.

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