A Complete Guide On Detailed Instruction About Form I-130 (Petition For Alien)

Moving to the U.S.A. as an immigrant is undoubtedly a complicated and challenging task.  It is a lengthy process and requires patience. Specific forms are mandatory for an individual to obtain U.S.A. Immigrant Visa. If you have an understanding on the forms to be filed, paperwork, and documentation, your process to acquire Immigrant Visa will become more clear.

In this blog, we will walk you through Form-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) in detail. It is a petition to be completed by the U.S. Citizen on behalf of a family member. And it must be approved before a Family-Based Green Card Application commences.

What is Form I-130 (Petition for Alien)?

Form I-130 (Petition for an Alien Relative) is the first step of a Family-Based Green Card Application, as it establishes the relationship between the U.S. Citizen/Green Card Holder (sponsor) and family members/eligible relatives planning to settle in the U.S. as lawful permanent residents.

While applying for a Family-Based Green Card, the sponsor must first file Petition for their family member or relative by submitting Form I-130 to USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). The filing fee for Form I-130 is $535.

Once USCIS has received the Petition, you will receive a receipt notice to the mailing address you provided in the Form that your application is being processed.

Once USCIS has approved your Petition, the case is transferred to National Visa Center (NVC). And the applicant (family member/relative) can start their Family-based Green Card Application Process.

Are you in search of the best immigration lawyers in Houston? Turn to Salinas Law Firm, where our excellent legal team specializes in immigration matters. We provide personalized and effective solutions, guiding you smoothly through every legal hurdle to achieve your immigration goals with confidence and ease.

Contact Us

Documents Required for I-130 Petition

The sponsor is required to submit the following documents to prove their relationship with the family member or relative (beneficiary):

  • Proof of the sponsor's status as a Green Card Holder or a U.S. Citizen (Permanent Resident Card, Naturalization Document, Birth Certificate)
  • Proof of the beneficiary's nationality (Valid Passport)
  • Proof of their legitimate relationship
  • Proof of any name changes, if done by the sponsor or beneficiary

The above are the primary documents that you are required to submit. And you might be asked to submit secondary evidence (documents) for additional proof.

You can consult with the Salinas Law Firm's Immigration Visa Lawyer for any assistance regarding documents to be submitted.

Time Taken to Process an I-130 Petition

The processing time for an I-130 Petition is generally between 7-15 months, which can increase or decrease depending on your visa application case. It depends on whether the sponsor is a U.S. Citizen or a Green Card Holder. It also depends on the family relationship between the sponsor and beneficiary.

Suppose USCIS or NVC thinks that the relationship is not legitimate. In that case, they might ask to submit additional evidence, which can delay the process or result in the complete rejection of the I-130 Petition.

To avoid such a scenario, you can hire an Immigration Visa Attorney.  We have extensive experience helping countless of individuals obtain an Immigrant Visa and Family-Based Green Card.

Our Houston Immigration Attorney will speed up your Family-Based Green Card Application process by proficiently completing the required paperwork and gathering needed documentation to prepare a strong case for USCIS and NVC processing. Contact us for a consultation with our Houston Immigration Lawyer.

Who is Eligible for a Family-Based Green Card?

Before applying for Form I-130 (Petition for an Alien Relative), it is pivotal to have clarity on individuals eligible for a Family-Based Green (Permanent Residence). Two types of Family-Based Green Cards issued by USCIS are as follows:

Preference Relative Visas

Preference Relatives Visas have a cap on the number of people who can obtain the visa annually. It means the applicant will have to wait after their petition is approved and their Green Card Application becomes current before proceeding further.

These visas are issued preference-wise, and the following are the five types of Preference Relative Visas issued by USCIS:

  • F1 Visa - issued to unmarried children who are 21 years of age or older of U.S. citizens
  • F2A Visa - issued to spouses, and unmarried children who are below 21 years of age of Lawful Permanent Residents
  • F2B Visa - issued to unmarried children who are 21 years of age or older of Lawful Permanent Residents
  • F3 Visa - issued to married children who are 21 years of age or older of U.S. Citizens
  • F4 Visa - issued to the siblings of U.S. Citizens

Immediate Relative Visas

Immediate Relative (IR) Visas are issued to the sponsor's closest family members. IR Visas don't have an annual cap on the number of people who can receive it. It means the applicant can begin their Green Card procedure after the petition is approved. Due to this, IR Visa applicants will receive their Family-Based Green Card faster than Preference Visas applicants.

Five types of IR Visas issued by USCIS:

  • IR1 Visa - issued to U.S. Citizens' Spouses
  • IR2 Visa - issued to U.S. Citizens and minor children who are below 21 years of age
  • IR3 Visa - issued to U.S. Citizen's children adopted abroad
  • IR4 Visa - issued to U.S. Citizen's children adopted in the U.S.
  • IR5 Visa - issued to parents of U.S. Citizens

Note: Lawful Permanent Residents can only sponsor and file I-130 Petition for their spouse and unmarried children.


After reading the blog, you will have a firm comprehension of what Form I-130 (Petition for an Alien Relative) is, the documents required, the time it takes to process, and who is eligible to apply for it. However, if you have questions or need assistance regarding the process, documents list, and eligibility criteria, feel free to contact us.

At Salinas Law Firm, we have highly experienced Immigration Visa Attorneys in Houston, Texas, who will help you with the entire process from filing Form I-130 to Green Card Application Process.

We stay connected with you throughout the entire process until you obtain a Family-Based Green Card to ensure you don't face any legal complications.

For a consultation with our Houston Immigration Visa Attorney, call us at 713.518.1711.