Requirements for filing form I-130

Knowing the requirements for filing form I-130 is extremely important. This way your petition will have a higher chance of being approved by the USCIS. The best possible way to avoid an I-130 form denial is by preparing an accurate and complete petition.

What are the requirements for filing form I-130? 

In order to help you get everything right in your petition for alien relative, we'll go through every step you need to comply with its requirements.

1- Meet the eligibility criteria

You may file the I-130 form if you are a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) or a citizen of the United States who’s petitioning for an alien relative such as your spouse, child/children, parents, or siblings.

I-130 form is basically a petition by a current citizen or permanent resident of the United States to sponsor the green card petition of a family member (alien/foreign relative) that they want to help immigrate to the United States by establishing their relationship and the intention to assist them.

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2- File separate petitions for each family member

USCIS has determined among the form I-130 form filing requirements that every United States citizen as well as lawful permanent resident who is petitioning for more than one family member must file a separate petition for each eligible relative. 

If you’re a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident, you may file Form I-130 for:

  • Your spouse
  • Your children
  • Your parents
  • Your siblings

3- Gather all the necessary evidence

At the time of filing form I-130 both the petitioner and the beneficiary have to submit a detailed list of documents required by USCIS.

You can use our list of all the Form I-130 supporting documents to prove your family relationship for each family member, or continue reading to get a broad idea.

If you are the petitioner

You must file certain paperwork to show that you are qualified to file I-130 form and also as proof of your legal status in the United States.

If you were born in the United States, you should present a copy of your birth certificate, if you are a lawful permanent resident you should present a copy of your naturalization or citizenship.

You must also submit other evidence such as a copy of your unexpired United States passport and a front and back copy of your permanent resident card. 

If you are the beneficiary

You have to present a range of paperwork that is also required. Read the list below:

  • Child: Birth certificate (a copy)
  • Sibling: Birth certificate of both of you (a copy)
  • Parent: Birth certificate (a copy)

When requesting for your spouse

The requirements are a little different and more extensive. In these cases, USCIS requires for more specific evidence documents to establish your relationship with the beneficiary. 

  • A copy of your marriage certificate 
  • If you or your spouse have had a prior divorce you need to present your divorce decree.
  • Documentation that shows joint ownership of properties. 
  • Joint residence support such as documents that show you and your spouse live at the same address.
  • Joint bank account documentation such as evidence showing that you and your spouse have combined your financial resources.
  • Birth certificates of children born from the marriage.
  • Affidavits of support by people who can attest to the bona fides of the marriage.
  • Recent passport-style photos of both, petitioner and beneficiary. 
  • Any other relevant documentation to establish that there is an ongoing marital union

If this is your case, you might find useful information on how to prepare for the I-130 interview.

We know you might still have some doubts and perhaps would like to know in a faster way if you're ready to file your petition. You can check that with this quick survey: 



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