Form I-130 is Approved – What to Do Next?

Form I-130 is Approved – What to Do Next?

If your Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, has been approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), congratulations! This means that the USCIS has determined that you, as a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, have a qualifying family relationship with the foreign national you are sponsoring. Here are the general steps you can take after your Form I-130 is approved:

  • Notification: You will receive a notice of approval (Form I-797) from USCIS indicating that your I-130 petition has been approved. This notice will include important information such as the priority date and the petition beneficiary’s name.
  • Waiting for Visa Availability: Depending on the family relationship and the foreign national’s country of origin, there might be a waiting period for an immigrant visa to become available. Family-sponsored immigrant visas are subject to numerical limits, and the availability of visas depends on the category and the demand. The priority date on your I-797 notice will determine your place in the queue.
  • National Visa Center (NVC) Processing (If Applicable): If an immigrant visa is available, the approved I-130 petition will be forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC will provide instructions for further processing, including the submission of required fees, forms, and supporting documents.
  • Affidavit of Support and Financial Documents: You will need to complete an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) to demonstrate that you have the financial means to support the intending immigrant and prevent them from becoming a public burden. You will need to provide financial documents to prove your income and assets.
  • Submit Visa Application and Supporting Documents: The intending immigrant (the beneficiary) will need to complete a visa application (DS-260) and submit the required supporting documents, such as civil documents (birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc.), police certificates, and medical examinations.
  • Attend Visa Interview: Once the NVC processes the visa application and documents, they will schedule an interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in the beneficiary’s home country. The beneficiary must attend this interview, during which they will be asked questions about their background and relationship with the petitioner.
  • Medical Examination: The beneficiary will typically need to undergo a medical examination by an approved panel physician. The results of this examination will be submitted to the embassy or consulate.
  • Receive Immigrant Visa: If the visa is approved, the beneficiary will receive an immigrant visa stamp in their passport, which will allow them to travel to the United States.
  • Travel and Port of Entry: Once the visa is issued, the beneficiary can travel to the United States. Upon arrival, they will go through the port of entry inspection process conducted by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
  • Conditional Permanent Residence (if applicable): In some cases, if the beneficiary is a spouse and the marriage is less than two years old, they will receive conditional permanent resident status. They will need to file a Form I-751 to remove the conditions within the 90-day period before the conditional resident status expires.

Remember that immigration processes can vary based on individual circumstances, country of origin, and family relationship category. It’s important to carefully follow the instructions provided by USCIS and the NVC and to consult with legal experts if you have any questions or concerns throughout the process.

How long does it take Form I-130?

The processing time for Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the USCIS service center handling the petition, the relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary, and the beneficiary’s country of origin.

At that time, USCIS provided estimated processing times on their website for each service center. These times could range from several months to over a year. It’s important to remember that these estimates are not fixed and can change due to various factors, including changes in USCIS workload, policy updates, and other external factors.

To get the most accurate and up-to-date information on current processing times, you should visit the USCIS website’s “Check Processing Times” page and enter the specific form and service center. This will provide you with the most current estimate of how long it might take for your I-130 petition to be processed.

Additionally, USCIS offers premium processing for some categories of Form I-130, which allows for expedited processing for an additional fee. Keep in mind that premium processing may not be available for all I-130 categories, and eligibility criteria may apply.

It’s recommended to regularly check the USCIS website for the latest information and to stay informed about any updates or changes that could affect the processing time of your I-130 petition.

What is Form I-130?

Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, is a form used by United States citizens and lawful permanent residents (green card holders) to sponsor certain family members who want to immigrate to the United States. The purpose of this form is to establish the qualifying relationship between the petitioner (the U.S. citizen or green card holder) and the foreign national beneficiary who wishes to come to the U.S. as a family immigrant.

The I-130 form is the first step in the family-sponsored immigration process. It’s used to demonstrate the family relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary and to establish eligibility for the beneficiary to immigrate to the U.S. based on that relationship.

Here are some key points about Form I-130:

  • Sponsorship: The petitioner (U.S. citizen or green card holder) sponsors a qualifying family member, such as a spouse, parent, child, or sibling, to immigrate to the U.S.
  • Eligibility: Form I-130 can be filed for different categories of family relationships, including immediate relatives (spouse, unmarried children under 21, and parents of U.S. citizens) and other family preferences (spouses and unmarried children of green card holders, married children of U.S. citizens, and siblings of U.S. citizens).
  • Establishing Relationship: The form requires evidence to establish the petitioner’s relationship with the beneficiary. This could include birth certificates, marriage certificates, adoption records, and other relevant documents.
  • Filing Process: The petitioner completes and submits Form I-130 to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The form can be submitted either online or through a paper application. The petitioner must pay the required filing fee.
  • Processing Time: Processing times for Form I-130 can vary based on several factors, including the petitioner’s immigration status, the beneficiary’s relationship, and the USCIS service center’s workload.
  • Priority Date: Once the I-130 is approved, a priority date is assigned to the petition. This date determines the beneficiary’s place in line for an immigrant visa. Visa availability depends on the category and the beneficiary’s country of origin.
  • Consular Processing: After the I-130 is approved and an immigrant visa becomes available, the beneficiary may need to complete additional steps through the National Visa Center (NVC) and attend a visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country.

Form I-130 is a critical part of the family-based immigration process, allowing eligible U.S. citizens and green card holders to reunite with their qualifying family members in the United States. It’s important to follow the instructions provided by USCIS carefully and to provide accurate and complete information to establish the family relationship and ensure a smooth immigration process.

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