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USCIS I-130 Petition for Alien Relative – What You Need to Know in 2024

The I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, is the first step for a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident to help eligible relatives immigrate to the United States. With new updates from USCIS for 2024, it’s important to understand the latest I-130 eligibility rules, required documents, processing times, and next steps after approval. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about the Form I-130 in 2024.

Who is Eligible to File Form I-130?

The following relatives are eligible for sponsorship through the I-130:

  • Spouses
  • Unmarried children under 21 years old
  • Unmarried sons/daughters 21 years or older
  • Brothers/sisters (eligibility restrictions apply)
  • Married sons/daughters
  • Brothers/sisters

To file an I-130, you must be either a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Review the eligibility requirements for more details on qualified relationships.

What Documents Do I Need to File Form I-130?

Documents required for your I-130 application include proof of your U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident status, as well as evidence of your relationship to the beneficiary.Specific documents include:

  • Your birth certificate, naturalization certificate, unexpired passport, or permanent resident card
  • Proof of termination of any prior marriages (divorce decree, death certificate)
  • Evidence of your relationship such as marriage certificate, birth certificates, photos, etc.

Failure to include required documentation will delay processing, so be sure to provide complete evidence. Get the full Document Checklist from USCIS.Nursing Abroad images 2023 12 25T113509.505

How Long Does It Take to Get an I-130 Approval?

Current I-130 processing times depend on your immigration category and the USCIS service center processing your case.As of December 2022, average processing times for an I-130 approval are:

  • Spouses of U.S. citizens: 8-14 months
  • Unmarried children of U.S. citizens: 15-26 months
  • Spouses/children of green card holders: 29-46 months
  • Siblings of U.S. citizens: 10-15.5 years

Processing can take longer if your case requires additional documentation or review. You can check your individual case status updates online using your receipt number.

Can I Pay for Faster I-130 Processing?

Yes, USCIS offers premium processing for Form I-130 to speed up decisions. For an additional $2,500 fee, you can get a response on your I-130 within 15 calendar days instead of months/years.Premium processing must be requested at time of filing and is only available for certain applicants:

  • Spouses, unmarried children under 21, and parents of U.S. citizens
  • Returning resident applicants

Confirm if you qualify for premium processing before submitting your I-130.

What Happens After My I-130 is Approved?

Approval of your I-130 petition is just the first step for your relative to immigrate. Next, your beneficiary must file Form I-485 to adjust status or apply for an immigrant visa abroad through consular processing.Nursing Abroad images 2023 12 25T113517.025

The total timeline for someone to complete the green card process after I-130 approval varies greatly by country and visa category. It can take several months to decades.Your approved I-130 is valid indefinitely, so your beneficiary can complete the next steps whenever their priority date for a green card becomes current.

Monitor the visa bulletin to understand estimated wait times.While waiting, your relative can remain in their home country or seek other nonimmigrant visas like a tourist, work, or student visa if eligible. Continue fulfilling sponsorship duties and notify USCIS of any changes in your relationship.


Successfully petitioning a relative for U.S. immigration through the I-130 starts by understanding the latest eligibility rules, document requirements, processing times, and next steps for 2024.With long wait times possible, it’s important to file your I-130 early and ensure you include all necessary paperwork.

Stay up-to-date on priority dates for green card availability and seek other visa options in the meantime if possible.Properly filing Form I-130 is the essential first step to helping a loved one immigrate through family reunification policies. Determine if you qualify this year and start gathering documents to give your relative the best chance for approval.

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