What family members can be sponsored by filing Form I-130 with USCIS?
Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, allows U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (green card holders) to sponsor certain family members for immigration to the United States. The eligible family members who can be sponsored through Form I-130 include:
- Spouse: U.S. citizens and green card holders can sponsor their legal spouses for immigration to the U.S. This includes both opposite-sex and same-sex spouses.
- S. citizens can sponsor their unmarried children who are under 21 years of age.
- S. citizens can also sponsor their adult married children and their children (grandchildren of the U.S. citizen petitioner), regardless of age.
- Green card holders can sponsor their unmarried children who are under 21 years of age.
- Parents: U.S. citizens who are at least 21 years old can sponsor their biological or adoptive parents.
- Siblings: U.S. citizens who are at least 21 years old can sponsor their siblings (brothers and sisters) for immigration.
It’s important to note that while Form I-130 is the first step in the family-based immigration process, the availability of immigrant visas for certain categories (such as siblings and adult married children of green card holders) is subject to numerical limits set by the U.S. government. This means that there might be waiting times for visa numbers to become available for certain categories, particularly those with higher demand.
The sponsorship process involves filing Form I-130, submitting supporting documentation, paying the filing fee, and waiting for USCIS to approve the petition. Once the petition is approved, the foreign family member can proceed with the subsequent steps of the immigration process, which might involve consular processing if the family member is outside the U.S., or adjustment of status if the family member is already in the U.S.
Keep in mind that immigration laws and regulations can change, so it’s important to refer to the official U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website or consult with an immigration attorney to ensure that you have the most up-to-date and accurate information for sponsoring eligible family members.
What is the cost of petitioning a relative for a green card?
The cost of petitioning a relative for a green card through Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, involves several fees. These fees can vary based on factors such as the type of relative you are petitioning for, your immigration status (U.S. citizen or green card holder), and whether the relative is inside or outside the U.S. It’s important to note that USCIS fees can change, so it’s crucial to check the official U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website for the most up-to-date fee information.
Here’s a general overview of the fees associated with petitioning a relative for a green card:
- Form I-130 Filing Fee: This fee is required when submitting Form I-130. As of my last update, the filing fee for Form I-130 was $560.
- Affidavit of Support Fee: If you are sponsoring an immediate relative (spouse, parent, unmarried child under 21) for a green card, you’ll need to submit an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864). There’s no separate fee for submitting the I-864, but you might need to cover costs associated with gathering financial documents to support your sponsorship.
- Immigrant Visa Application Fee: If the relative is outside the U.S. and is eligible to apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate, there will be an immigrant visa application fee. This fee can vary based on the type of visa and the specific embassy/consulate.
- Medical Examination and Document Costs: If your relative is applying for an immigrant visa abroad, they might need to undergo a medical examination and provide supporting documents. These costs can vary based on location and other factors.
- Optional Costs: Depending on your circumstances, there might be additional optional costs, such as hiring an immigration attorney to assist with the process.
It’s important to gather accurate information about the specific fees that apply to your situation by checking the USCIS website. Additionally, consider consulting with an immigration attorney to ensure that you have a clear understanding of the costs involved and the overall process of petitioning a relative for a green card. An attorney can also help you navigate any complexities or changes in immigration regulations.
Are there any costs associated with filing Form I-130 besides government filing fees?
When filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, there are primarily government filing fees associated with the process. However, in addition to the official USCIS filing fees, there might be some additional costs or expenses you should be aware of. Here are a few potential additional costs:
- Supporting Documentation: While there’s no specific fee for supporting documentation, you might need to incur costs to gather and provide the required documents that demonstrate the qualifying relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary (the relative you are sponsoring).
- Translation Fees: If any of your supporting documents are not in English, you might need to provide certified translations. Translation services could involve additional costs.
- Photocopying and Mailing: You’ll likely need to make photocopies of your completed Form I-130 and supporting documents for your records and for submission to USCIS. Additionally, there might be mailing or shipping costs associated with sending your application and documents to USCIS.
- Travel Expenses: If you need to travel for any reason related to the I-130 process, such as attending an interview or providing additional information, you might incur travel expenses.
- Medical Examination and Other Costs: While not directly related to the I-130 form itself, if your relative is applying for an immigrant visa abroad, there could be medical examination costs and other expenses associated with obtaining the visa.
It’s important to note that these potential additional costs can vary based on individual circumstances and decisions. Additionally, immigration laws and regulations can change, so I recommend referring to the official U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website for the most up-to-date information on filing fees and any potential additional costs. If you’re uncertain about the costs or any aspect of the I-130 process, consulting with an immigration attorney can provide you with guidance tailored to your specific situation.