USCIS Approval of Form I-130
Once the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, it indicates a recognition of a valid family relationship between the petitioner, who is a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident, and the beneficiary who wishes to immigrate to the U.S.
Key Steps After Approval:
- Notice of Approval: The petitioner and beneficiary receive an approval notice from USCIS.
- Priority Date: Beneficiaries in family preference categories should note their priority date, the date their I-130 was filed. This date determines their place in line for a visa.
- Visa Bulletin: Check the monthly Visa Bulletin issued by the Department of State to determine when a visa number might become available.
Immediate Relatives: Spouses, parents, and unmarried children under 21 of U.S. citizens fall into this category. They have visas immediately available.
Family Preference Categories: These are subject to annual limits, and there may be a waiting period before a visa number is available.
Next Steps Can Include:
- Adjustment of Status: If the beneficiary is legally in the U.S., they may apply to adjust their status to a lawful permanent resident by submitting Form I-485.
- Consular Processing: If outside the U.S., the beneficiary typically goes through consular processing for their immigrant visa.
Documentation Gathering: It is important to collect necessary documents such as police clearance, affidavits of support, and medical examination results in anticipation of the subsequent steps.
Petitioners and beneficiaries must stay informed of their case progress and any additional requests for evidence or documentation that USCIS may require following the approval of Form I-130.