Family-Based Petition I-130 Visas And Petitions What You Should Know in 2019

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There is a lot you should know about the I-130 family-based petition before you start with this process. There are a lot of questions to answer before you get started. This article gives you an overview of the most important things you need to know: who qualifies; where and how to apply; and how long you can expect to wait for your green card.

It’s extremely important that you educate yourself on the process before you submit any paperwork. There are many small details that may or may not make you eligible, and could cause your application to get denied. Under the current administration, applications are getting denied more frequently. Even worse, beneficiaries are being referred to immigration court for removal proceedings, something that in most instances could have been prevented with the right legal advice and representation. For these reasons, I always recommend that applicants get legal advice about their particular situation before starting the I-130 visa paperwork. I’ve also created a FREE ebook resource to help you understand your immigration options.

Who Qualifies for a Family-Based Visa

The first thing to understand about the I-130 family-based petition is that the owner of the application is the U.S. citizen or permanent resident, NOT the person trying to immigrate. This person is called “the petitioner” and the person trying to immigrate is called “the beneficiary.”

Qualifying relatives of U.S. citizens:

  • Spouse of a U.S. citizen
  • Unmarried child under the age of 21 of a U.S. citizen
  • Parent of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old
  • Unmarried son or daughter of a U.S. citizen and 21 years old or older
  • Married son or daughter of a U.S. citizen
  • Brother or sister of a U.S. citizen


Qualifying relatives of U.S. permanent residents:

  • Spouse of a lawful permanent resident
  • Unmarried child under the age of 21 of a lawful permanent resident
  • Unmarried son or daughter of a lawful permanent resident 21 years old or older

Who Can Get a Visa Immediately and Who Has to Wait

The next thing you need to know is whether your relationship qualifies you to have a visa immediately available or if you’ll have to wait.

Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens do not have to wait for their green card and will receive permanent resident status as soon as their application is approved. This includes:

  • Spouse of a U.S. citizen
  • Unmarried child under the age of 21 of a U.S. citizen
  • Parent of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old


If you are not considered an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, than you will have to wait for a visa. The wait time varies depending on your visa preference category and chargeability country. Different categories have a different number of visas available each year for varying countries and this, along with the current backlog, determines the processing time. It can take anywhere from a few months to several years to receive your green card.

If you are not considered an immediate relative, you can check your wait time using the visa bulletin, after a I-130 has been filed for you.

Who Can Immigrate in the U.S. and Who Has to Leave the U.S.

Before you begin the I-130 application process, you should determine whether you qualify to immigrate here in the United States, or if you are required to travel abroad to a Consular Office or an Embassy and immigrate from there. Not everyone has the option to remain in the United States while their paperwork is being processed—but if you can, it’s a much better option.

The most important reason to try to stay in the U.S. is that it’s safe. You're not being exposed to the possibility of not being let back into the country when you approach CBP and seek inspection. Also, if you apply from within the United States, you qualify to have a work permit while your case is pending. People traveling abroad go through much more costly and lengthy processes.

The applications which you are required to file also change depending on whether you file through adjustment of status (within the U.S.) or consular processing (outside the U.S.). If you have to travel abroad, then all you file to begin with is the family-based petition.  If you can immigrate from within the United States, then you can file multiple applications at the same time: the I-130, the I-485 application to adjust status or other immigrant visa application, and the I-765 application for a work permit (other forms may be needed). It's much faster that way.

To determine which path is right for you, it’s a good idea to get legal guidance. I’ve also created a FREE ebook resource to help you understand your immigration options. However, I repeat, this does NOT replace a proper one-on-one consultation.

This ebook is a simple, fast way to help you understand what your options may be for immigrating to the United States. Along with doing research like reading this book, I always recommend getting a legal consultation before you start any immigration paperwork. There are many issues that may make you inadmissible and could jeopardize your case. While this ebook is a great tool to help educate you on ways you may be eligible to immigrate in the United States, it does not by any means substitute a legal consultation with an experienced immigration attorney.

Immigration Help: Family-Based Petition or Form I-130

If you have any questions about family-based petition or form I-130, I'd be happy to help. I’m a dedicated and passionate immigration attorney, fluent in English and Spanish, located in the Los Angeles area. Call (310) 803-3040 or visit https://abaudlegal.com/appointment/ to schedule an appointment.

 

Sharon is an amazing immigration lawyer.

Sharon is an amazing immigration lawyer. I had her help me out with a couple of immigration issues. A couple of friends of mine have been able to establish residency because of her. She is very affordable and offers an incredible service to all of her clients. I'd recommend her to everybody!

Esteban , Los Angeles, CA

About the Author Sharon Abaud, Esq.

If you have any questions about your Immigration Status, I'd be happy to help. I’m a dedicated and passionate immigration attorney, fluent in English and Spanish, located in the Los Angeles area. Your immigration case matters to me.

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