If you’re a United States Citizen or a lawful permanent resident with family looking to immigrate to the United States, you may be wondering what steps you need to take to help them obtain their green card. To establish a qualifying relationship with a family member or foreign national, you will need to file Form I-130. But when your I-130 immigration petition is approved, what’s next? Below, we’ll go into more detail about what Form I-130 is, eligibility requirements, and what’s next after an I-130 approval.
What Is Form I-130?
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) uses Form I-130, also known as the “Petition for Alien Relative,” to establish your relationship with an eligible relative who desires to permanently enter the United States. Form I-130 is the first stage in the immigration procedure for a family member toward getting a Permanent Residency Card, also known as a green card. Only United States citizens or lawful permanent residents can file Form I-130, and a separate form must be filled out for each qualified family member you’re looking to sponsor.
Form I-130 Eligibility Requirements
In order to file Form I-130, you must meet certain eligibility requirements.
United States citizens can sponsor the following:
- Your spouse;
- Your unmarried children under 21 years of age;
- Your unmarried sons or daughters 21 years of age or older;
- Your married sons or daughters of any age;
- Your brothers or sisters (you must be 21 years of age or older); and
- Your mother or father (you must be 21 years of age or older)
Lawful permanent residents have stricter requirements and can only sponsor the following:
- Your spouse;
- Your unmarried child under 21 years of age; and
- Your unmarried son or daughter 21 years of age or older
What’s the Next Step If I Was Approved for an I-130?
So you received an I-130 approval, what’s next? Congratulations, having your I-130 approved is a great first step toward obtaining your green card. However, once your I-130 is approved, there are a few additional steps to follow. Take a look at the steps to take after being approved for an I-130:
1. Communicate With the National Visa Center
Once the USCIS receives your I-130 Form, it can take them several weeks to months to process it and send it to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC works to ensure you’re fully prepared for your immigrant visa interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. During this stage, it’s important to remain in constant contact with the NVC, as they will collect all relevant fees, supporting documents, and your visa application form. The NVC will also assign you a case number that you will use throughout the entirety of the process.
2. Pay Immigration Visa Application Fee and Adjustment of Status Fee
Before you go for your interview, you will need to pay the Immigration Visa Application Fee, and if you’re a spouse, will also need to pay the Adjustment of Status fee.
3. Complete the Immigrant Visa Application
Form DS-260 is the form for the Immigrant Visa Application. The Immigrant Visa Application contains questions based on personal and family information, such as work and education information, previous travels to the United States, and so forth.
4. Fill Out the Affidavit of Support
Form I-864, also known as the Affidavit of Support, is to be completed by the U.S. petitioner to support the beneficiary. The reason for this document is to ensure the petitioner accepts the full financial responsibility of the beneficiary.
5. Submit Civil Documents
Before your interview, you will also need to submit copies of a variety of civil documents, such as:
- Birth/adoption certificates
- Marriage/divorce certificates
- Copy of the beneficiary’s passport biographic page
- Court/prison/military service records, if applicable
6. Attend Your Interview
Once all of the previous steps are complete, it’s time to attend your consular interview. You will receive your interview information, such as the date, location, and time, from the NVC when they send your Appointment Letter. To prepare for your interview, bring the following documents:
- Appointment Letter
- Color Photographs
- DS-260 Confirmation Page
- Supporting Documents
Upon a successful interview, your visa will be approved, and you will receive your passport with your visa. At Consumer Law Group, our immigration attorneys can help you preparer for your consular interview and ensure you complete each step after an I-130 approval correctly.