If you would like to file an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative, the New York immigration attorneys at Pozo Goldstein, LLP, are here for you.

It is not uncommon for United States citizens to have a foreign-born husband or wife. Accordingly, it is also not uncommon for these U.C. citizens to sponsor their foreign-born spouse for lawful permanent residence through a green card. To begin this process, a visa petition will need to be filed, and the Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative is the official form that is used to do so. The process will only be considered complete once the application has been mailed along with all required documents and fees to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In order to ensure that you are fully prepared to proceed with the process, first speak to a New York immigration attorney at our office.

Depending on whether or not your spouse is currently residing in the U.S. will determine what steps need to be taken next. For example, if your spouse is currently living abroad, then he or she will not be permitted to move forward with their green card application until the Form I-130 has been approved by the USCIS. On the other hand, if the foreign-born spouse is currently residing in the U.S. and has entered the country legally, he or she might be eligible for an adjustment of status at the time that the green card is applied for, in which case the process can be handled at a USCIS office. In this case, the foreign-born spouse would not be asked to leave the U.S., nor would they be required to submit the form I-130.

What documents will you need to prepare?

We briefly mentioned earlier that filers of the Form I-130 must also include additional documents and fees when their petition is submitted to the USCIS. The processing fees for the visa petition totaled $420 at the beginning of 2013. These fees, however, are subject to change, and they do so frequently. Therefore, we recommend that you consult the official USCIS webpage about the cost of an application in order to be fully prepared for the fees expected of you. Additional documents that must be submitted along with the application include:

  • Proof of legal marriage: this can be a copy of your marriage certificate
  • Proof of petitioning spouse’s status as a U.S. citizen: this can be a passport, birth certificate, Form FS-20, or certification of naturalization
  • Biographic Information from Forms G-325A: this needs to be completed by the U.S. citizen who has been recognized as the petitioner, as well by the immigrant
  • Personal photographs: each spouse needs to include a color photo of themselves that is approximately 2 x 2 inches in size, and the photo must have been taken within the past 6 months
  • Before sending these documents to the USCIS (specifically, the USCIS lockbox), it is wise to make copies of every document that can be saved for your personal records. Once your documents are received by the lockbox, they will be processed with your fee payment and the official petition will then be forwarded to a USCIS Service Center.

    Approved vs. Denied Visa Petitions

    Unfortunately, not all Form I-130 Petitions for Alien Relative will be approved. It typically takes a couple of weeks before the visa petitioner will hear one way or the other about the status of their application. When they do hear, however, it will be in the form of a receipt notice issued by a USICS processing center with instructions to check the USCIS website for further information about the expected duration of their application’s processing time.

    If your visa petition is approved, the U.S. citizen spouse who originally made the petition will receive an official notice from a USCIS processing center. Simultaneously, the case will be forwarded by the USCIS to the National Visa Center (NVC) located in New Hampshire. Here, the petition will be taken over by the NVC where it will be transferred to the appropriate U.S. consulate.

    If your petition is denied, the USCIS must provide the petitioner with its reasoning for doing so. Petition denials do not have to effectively end the process for you and your spouse. Rather, you – as the original petitioner – can simply try again by resubmitting the petition after the necessary amendments have been made. The amendments you make should be reflective of the reason that the application was first denied. Oftentimes, corrections of this nature are best made under the advisement of an immigration lawyer who can help ensure that the necessary amendments are made which will allow you to be successful in your second attempt.

    Why You Need a New York City Immigration Lawyer

    The process of filing a Form I-130 petition for Alien Relative is a delicate practice. Given the sensitive nature of the task, and the anticipated outcome that you expect to receive, it is important to ensure that the process is executed correctly. Therefore, petitions such as the Form I-130 are best completed under the instructive guidance of a well-established attorney. It is precisely for this reason that we encourage you to speak to the law offices of Pozo Goldstein, LLP.

    When you work with our law firm, your case will be in the hands of a skillful team of immigration attorneys whose past experiences has fully prepared us to take on the responsibilities associated with your case. Together, our team is comprised of a former U.S. judge as well as immigration prosecutors, and our knowledge of the law is highly reflective of our past experiences working in the field. It’s not too late or too early to take advantage of the legal services that we have to offer, so don’t wait to contact us today.