Would you like to ask an experienced immigration lawyer about the process of filing an I-130 petition for an alien relative?
If you’re planning to file a Form I-130 to sponsor a loved one, look no further than The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC. Our founder and principal attorney, Alfredo Lozano, is highly knowledgeable about family and immigration law, using his legal skills and expertise to assist the southern Texas community. Call our team of professionals at The Lozano Law Firm today at (210) 932-3600 to schedule your initial consultation.
What is Form I-130?
The official name of Form I-130 is the “Petition for Alien Relative,” which is the way for U.S. Citizens or Green Card holders to start applying for their family members to become lawful permanent U.S. residents.
It’s the first step you’ll need to take to apply for a family-based Green Card and hold your place in line for any available visa. The process can be quite long and will require you to submit supporting evidence, such as photos, birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc.
How Long Does the I-130 Petition Process Take?
The timeline for the I-130 process depends on two major factors:
- The field office that receives your Form I-130
- The type of family relationship in question on your application
Here are the general guidelines regarding how long an approval can take. However, keep in mind that each case varies on an individual basis.
- Immediate relatives of a Green Card holder (parent, spouse, or child): between 13.5 and 19 months
- Immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen: between 10 and 14 months
- Siblings of U.S. citizens: between 13.5 months and 20 years
As you can see, you need to file your I-130 petition right away. The sooner you file, the sooner you have a chance of getting approval.
Do Exceptions Exist About Who Can File the Form I-130?
Yes, there are exceptions as to who can file the I-130 petition. If you’re unsure whether these exclusions apply to you, contact our immigration attorney to discuss your circumstances in detail to quickly determine your overall eligibility.
Here is the list of excluded relatives:
- Adoptive parents
- Adopted children:
- If the adoption occurred after the child was 16
- Stepparents / Stepchildren:
- If the marriage occurred after the child turned 18
- If both spouses weren’t physically there at the wedding
- If you became a Green Card holder through a previous marriage (unless you’ve had the card for at least five years)
- If you married your spouse while they were undergoing court proceedings for immigration issues, i.e., deportation
Keep in mind that this is a simplified list of exclusions. For a deeper explanation, you can call our office at (210) 932-3600 and speak to a member of our legal team or schedule an initial consultation.
Does It Cost Money to File the I-130 Petition?
Currently, the cost of filing Form I-130 is $535. Officially, it’s called a government filing fee. You’ll have to pay this fee either by credit card, money order, or check. If you don’t have the money, you won’t be able to file. Unfortunately, the U.S. government does not offer a fee waiver for the I-130 petition.
What Happens if My I-130 Petition Was Denied?
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may deny your I-130 petition for various reasons. An I-130 denial can be based on anything from minor procedural reasons like non-payment of filing fees or a lack of verification of your relationship to more complicated issues like fraud or a determination that your familial relationship is not recognized by law. Many of these challenges can be resolved with the help of an experienced family immigration attorney.
As soon as you receive a response from USCIS, gather all of your paperwork – including a copy of your I-130, all supporting documents, and all USCIS correspondence – and speak with a skilled, experienced immigration attorney to determine if you can overcome the reasons for denial. There are two options to think about:
BIA Appeal. You can appeal a denied I-130 petition to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). This may be the best option for you, especially if your lawyer believes he can overturn the USCIS decision. Because you may only have a limited amount of time to appeal the decision, thoroughly read your denial notice and contact your attorney as soon as possible.
New Application. Another option depending on your circumstances and the amount of time you want to spend is to file a new I-130 petition with supplementary proof. You can reapply for the same relative if you are denied the first time. An experienced immigration lawyer can assist you in determining the best course of action for your situation and defend you in overcoming the adverse decision.
It’s crucial to remember that a denial could jeopardize future petitions filed by the same petitioner. It’s best to speak with an attorney before submitting anything with USCIS. Consult an immigration attorney if you have already been denied and want to see whether you can overturn the denial.
Alfredo Lozano: The Immigration Attorney You Can Count on to Fight for Your Family
At The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC, we work hard to help families and corporations through the immigration maze™. We believe that immigrants are really good for our country, and we will make every effort within our area of law to help clients obtain legal status in the United States.
We’ll do everything in our power to help, starting with filing your Form I-130 petition on your behalf or helping you with an appeal if you received a denial. The process is long and complicated, but we’ll be there to guide you through from beginning to end.
Alfredo Lozano, a board-certified immigration attorney in good standing licensed to practice U.S. immigration law, can help you navigate the confusing I-130 paperwork with expertise, dedication, and an individual approach. Fill out our contact form or call us at (210) 932-3600 to schedule your initial consultation.
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The information in this blog post (post) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.