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A comprehensive guide to I-130 Petition: Bringing Families Together

The Full Story

What is an I-130 Family Based Petition?

Form I-130 (officially called the “Petition for Alien Relative”) is the first step in the family-based green card process. Family-based green cards are a way for U.S permanent residents and US citizens to bring their family members to the United States. Hence, the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative is a vital initial stage in the family-sponsored immigration journey as its main goal is to allow the sponsor to show that a valid family relationship exist before fostering the family unity in the U.S.


Who can file Form I-130?

Persons who may file Form I-130 include:

  1. American citizens (by birth or naturalization); and

  2. Legal permanent residents (Green Card holders).

U.S. citizens can file I-130 petitions for their spouses, children, parents, and siblings. Current green card holders can file I-130 petitions for their spouses and unmarried children.

If the sponsor is an American citizen, generally speaking, he can petition his/her spouse, children (regardless of age or marital status), parents, and siblings. Permanent residents, on the other hand, can only petition their spouse, children under 21 years of age (or children over 21, as long as they are single). However, there are some exceptions to this rule.

Additionally, not all family relationships are treated equally in the eyes of the I-130 process. Immediate relatives, such as spouses, unmarried children under 21 and parents of U.S. citizens, enjoy priority when it comes to processing times and the availability of green cards. On the other hand, the “Family Preference” category encompasses other relatives, such as an unmarried child over 21, permanent residents’ spouses and unmarried children, married sons and daughters, and siblings of U.S. citizens. The processing time for these categories varies, as they are subject to annual limits and may experience waiting periods.

Certain factors may render an individual ineligible to file Form I-130, such as failing to validate a legitimate marriage, errors on the green card application package, insufficient financial resources, or being a biological parent who obtained U.S. citizenship or a green card via adoption.


Application Process?

To petition for a family member to receive a Green Card (permanent residence), begin by filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative to establish the family relationship that exists between you and your relative.

After your petition is processed, you’ll be notified of the USCIS’ decision. If it is approved, the beneficiary can prepare for the next steps, applying for a green card through the adjustment of status process if they are in the U.S. or consular processing if they are outside the U.S. Sometimes the I-130 can be filed together with an application for permanent residence, officially known as Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.



In conclusion, I-130 process is essential for successfully reuniting with your loved ones and achieving permanent residency in the United States. With this comprehensive guide, you are now better equipped to understand your position in preparation to embark on your journey towards reuniting your family and building a future together in the United States.

If you think you or a family member would be eligible for a family-based green card, you should contact us at the FIBI Law Center. At FIBI Law Center, we recognize the complexities involved and are committed to providing expert guidance through every step of the way.

By enlisting the services of our experienced immigration attorneys, you can substantially increase your chances of a successful outcome. Our track record includes numerous instances of successfully assisting clients in achieving their immigration goals.

We understand that each client's situation is unique, and we approach every case with personalized attention and dedication. Whether you are pursuing the Petition for alien relative application, or any other immigration path in the U.S our team is well-equipped to ensure a seamless process.

If you have any questions or require further clarification, feel free to contact us directly at:

•             Email:

•             Tel: 1(240) 366 0004

•             Website:

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