Marriage Petition

For Beneficiary in the United States:
The I-130 petition is filed by a US citizen or lawful permanent resident to establish the relationship of certain alien relatives who may wish to live permanently in the United States. If you are a citizen, you may file this form for your husband, wife, or unmarried child under 21 years old; an unmarried child over 21; a married child of any age; a brother or sister if you are at least 21 years old; or your parent if you are at least 21 years old. If you are a lawful permanent resident you may file this form for your husband or wife; or your unmarried child (any age). Note: It must be remembered that the Immigration Service is very suspicious of marriage cases, especially where the marriage is relatively recent. Therefore, you must be prepared to provide substantial documentation concerning the bona-fides of the marriage at the time of the interview.

Please read the instructions, attached to the petition, carefully to determine who can file the petition and what documents will be needed to establish the family relationship, and to establish US citizenship or lawful permanent residence status.

On the I-130 form, the petitioner is the US citizen, or in some cases the US lawful permanent resident alien who is seeking to bring his or her relative to the United States. The beneficiary is the non-resident alien relative of the petitioner who is seeking entry as a permanent resident to the United States.

The I-130 petition is used to file for a spouse, parent, a minor child, an adult son or daughter, or a brother or sister. Note: The biographic information forms (G-325A) are only used if it is a spousal petition. In that case, one form is completed for the husband, and one form for the wife. A residency type photo is attached to the biographic form of the applicable spouse, and the forms are filed together with the I-130 petition.

If the beneficiary is in the United States and eligible to file for adjustment of status, he or she should also complete form I-485, together with the biographic information form, photographs, and a medical exam. In addition, the petitioner as well as any other person who will be guaranteeing the beneficiary's support in the United States should complete the Affidavit of Support (form I-864). The beneficiary must also attach a copy of his or her birth certificate, passport, I-94, and any other documents that may be required. Again, please read the instructions attached to the application to determine what other documents may be needed, and what the filing fees are. Note: If you are subject to Section 245 (i) of the immigration act, you may also have to pay an additional penalty fee of $1,000.00. A separate package of each of the above documents, together with an original I-130 petition, must also be provided for each accompanying family member (spouse or minor children), together with applicable filing fees.

In addition, if the applicant for adjustment is in status and wishes to travel outside of the United States while the application for adjustment is pending, then he or she should submit form I-131, together with an explanation of the need to travel, photos, and appropriate filing fee.

Both the petition and adjustment application, together with all of the supporting documentation and relating applications, should be mailed to the USCIS Service Center that has jurisdiction over the area where the beneficiary resides.

Note: Whenever you mail any forms or documents to the immigration service, you should always do so by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by some form of express mail for which you can obtain proof of receipt. This is very important in the event immigration loses your application. In that event you can submit your proof of receipt, with evidence of payment, and you can reestablish your old priority date.

Once the application is properly filed, the Immigration Service will issue a temporary work authorization, and will schedule the alien(s) to have his or her fingerprints taken at a local application support center. In addition, if it had been requested, the Immigration Service will issue a document known as an advance parole permitting the person to travel out of the US and re-enter without having the application for adjustment being considered abandoned. When the case is ready for completion, the petitioner, beneficiary, and any accompanying family members will be scheduled for an interview on the petition and application(s). The time frame for issuing work authorization, advance paroles, and scheduling the appointment varies with each immigration office. If an interview can be scheduled within 90 days, then USCIS may not issue a temporary work permit.

Following the interview, if everything is in order, the immigration examiner will place a temporary resident stamp in beneficiary's passport (and accompanying family members if any), which will constitute evidence of permanent residence status and work authorization until the alien card arrives in the mail. It usually takes 1-3 months to receive the alien card, but during this period the person is entitled to all the rights of a permanent resident including the right to work, travel, attend school, petition for qualifying family members, etc.


For Beneficiary Outside the United States:
The I-130 petition is filed by a US citizen or lawful permanent resident to establish the relationship of certain alien relatives who may wish to live permanently in the United States. If you are a citizen, you may file this form for your husband, wife, or unmarried child under 21 years old; an unmarried child over 21; a married child of any age; a brother or sister if you are at least 21 years old; or your parent if you are at least 21 years old. If you are a lawful permanent resident you may file this form for your husband or wife; or your unmarried child (any age). Note: It must be remembered that the Immigration Service is very suspicious of marriage cases, especially where the marriage is relatively recent. Therefore, you must be prepared to provide substantial documentation concerning the bona-fides of the marriage at the time of the interview.

Please read the instructions, attached to the petition, carefully to determine who can file the petition and what documents will be needed to establish the family relationship, and to establish US citizenship or lawful permanent residence status.

The completed petition, together with filing fee, and supporting documentation should be mailed to the immigration service center in the United States that has jurisdiction over the petitioner’s place of residence.

Note: Whenever you mail any forms or documents to the immigration service, you should always do so by certified mail-return receipt requested, or by some form of express mail for which you can obtain proof of receipt. This is very important in the event immigration loses your application. In that event you can submit your proof of receipt, with evidence of payment, and you can reestablish your old priority date.

On the I-130 form, the petitioner is the US citizen, or in some cases the US lawful permanent resident alien who is seeking to bring his or her relative to the United States. The beneficiary is the non-resident alien relative of the petitioner who is seeking entry as a permanent resident to the United States.

The I-130 petition is used to file for a spouse, parent, a minor child, an adult son or daughter, or a brother or sister. Note: The biographic information forms (G-325A) are only used if it is a spousal petition. In that case, one form is completed for the husband, and one form for the wife. A residency type photo is attached to the biographic form of the applicable spouse, and the forms are sent together with the I-130 petition. Please remember that if there are any accompanying family members, (ex. unmarried child under the age of 21), a separate I-130 must be filed for each alien relative.

Once the petition is approved by US Citizenship & Immigration Services, it will be forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC). Once the NVC receives the approved petition, they will send the petitioner a "Choice of Address and Agent" (DS-3032) form. The petitioner should complete the form and immediately send it back to the NVC. This Designation of Agent form will instruct the NVC to whom they should direct any future communications or correspondence.

The NVC will then send the petitioner or agent the fee payment instructions. This packet will instruct the petitioner or agent on how to pay the Immigrant Filing fee and Affidavit of Support fee. The fees MUST be paid online through a checking or savings account. The petitioner or agent will be provided with a case number and an invoice identification number, both of which are needed to make the online payment. The petitioner or agent should follow the instructions and make the above mentioned payments through the NVC's website. Once the payments have been made, the petitioner or agent should print out the "In Process" receipt and keep them for his/her records.

After 1-2 days, the petitioner or agent should log back into the NVC's online fee payment website, and confirm that the payments were properly processed. At this point, the petitioner or agent should print out the "payment receipts" and the "civil document sheets." These payment receipts will need to be submitted to the NVC during the next part of the case as proof of payment of both the Immigrant Filing fee and the Affidavit of Support fee.

The petitioner or agent will subsequently receive the "Packet 3" from the NVC. The purpose of this packet is to inform the petitioner or agent of which civil documents and affidavit of support documentation they will need to submit to the NVC on behalf of the visa applicants. The Packet 3 will also contain Department of State form DS-230, which needs to be completed by the beneficiary. The petitioner will need to submit certain ORIGINAL documents, the executed DS-230, passport type photos of the beneficiary, as well as the Affidavit of Support form (I-864), together with supporting documentation. The petitioner or agent should refer to the State Department website for the Affidavit of Support instructions. Once the appropriate civil documents, DS-230, and affidavit of support documentation are collected, the petitioner or agent will need to send them to the NVC with instructions to forward them to the US Consulate in the country where the beneficiary resides. Please note that proof of online payment should be sent to the NVC with the Packet 3 response. Also, a separate Packet 3 needs to be sent for each of the beneficiary's accompanying family members.

Once the NVC receives the Packet 3 documentation, they will either send the petitioner or agent a request for further documentation OR forward the case to the appropriate US Consulate for an interview. Notice of the scheduled appointment will also be sent to the beneficiary. In the appointment notice, the beneficiary (and any accompanying family members) will be notified of the date and time of the interview and it may require the beneficiary(s) to bring additional items to the interview. At the interview, a US Consular officer will review the documentation and question the applicants regarding their application. If the officer is satisfied that the beneficiary(s) qualifies for the benefit sought, the beneficiary and any qualified accompanying family members will be issued an immigrant visa package to present to the US Customs & Border Protection official at their port of entry to the United States. They then have up to six (6) months to enter the United States with their immigrant visas. Note: The accompanying family members may not enter the United States prior to the principal applicant.

At the time of entry to the US, the Customs officer will place a temporary resident stamp in the applicant's passport (and family members if any) which will constitute evidence of permanent resident status and work authorization, until the alien card arrives in the mail. It usually takes 1-3 months to receive the alien card, but during this period the person is entitled to all the rights of a permanent resident including the right to work, travel, attend school, petition for qualifying family members, etc.

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