Green Card Lottery DV-2025
Deadline ends in:
If you wish to bring a family member to the USA, you must file USCIS Form I-130. We give you an overview of the form, the eligibility criteria, the fees, the required documents and the processing times.
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Form I-130, also known as Petition for Alien Relative, is intended to prove a valid family relationship between US citizens or Green Card holders and a relative seeking to immigrate to the United States.
The form usually marks the first step in the family-based Green Card process and is to be submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
US citizens are able to file the petition for their:
Green Card holders can submit a request for their:
In this context, the US citizen or Green Card holder filing the petition is generally referred to as the sponsor or petitioner. The person, on whose behalf the I-130 petition is filed, is called beneficiary.
Along with Form I-130, petitioner and beneficiary must submit documents that prove the petitioner is a US citizen or Green Card holder and that a valid family relationship exists between the two. These documents usually include a copy of:
Depending on your case, you may also require to submit copies of:
If any of these documents are in a language other than English, you also require English translations made by a certified translator.
The USCIS website provides a free download of Form I-130. After downloading, you can either fill it in on your computer or by hand.
Form I-130 basically collects information about the sponsor and the beneficiary and serves to prove their claim to file a Green Card application. The 12 page long I-130 Form consists of 9 parts, which include:
The petitioner’s signature needs to be handwritten and in ink.
The filing fee for Form I-130 currently amounts to $535 (as of May, 2022).
As the Green Card process advances, more costs will occur. For example, Green Card applicants will also have to expect fees for submitting Form I-485 and taking part in a biometrics appointment.
The processing time for Form I-130 varies between 5 and 12 months for immediate relatives such as spouses or children under the age of 21 years. However, Green Card seekers of other family preference categories usually have to face longer waiting times that may take several years.
Typically, you can expect the following processing times after filing Form I-130:
Once a valid family relationship has been established through Form I-130, filing Form I-485 will enable the beneficiary to receive the status of lawful permanent US resident. Welcome to the USA!