If you’re a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident hoping to sponsor your husband or wife to gain legal resident status in the U.S., you will first need to submit the form I-130. This form is also known as the Petition for Alien Relative and it’s the first step in the process of getting a visa for your spouse.
The I-130 form is meant to document that you have a valid claim of relationship to a relative, whether it’s a spouse, child or parent. You’ll need to supply an array of information and documentation for yourself and your relative to prove to the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Service) that your relationship is valid.
For the purpose of this form, you are called the petitioner and your relative is called the beneficiary.
In Part C of the form, you’ll be supplying information about your relative. If you’re bringing over your husband or wife, you’ll be asked to state the date and place of your current marriage. You’ll also be asked to supply this information in Part B of the form where you fill in information about yourself. Make sure that in both Part B and Part C this information is the same on this line. For instance, if you and your current spouse were married on June 3, 2005 in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, that’s what you’d fill in for line 8 in both Part B and Part C.
If you or your spouse have been married previously, you’ll also be asked to submit information about the dates of that marriage. If the marriage ended in divorce, you’ll need to submit that date, as well as the divorce decree. If the marriage ended in death, you’ll need to submit the death certificate for the spouse. Obviously, the dates that the prior marriage ended needs to be before the date of your current marriage in order for that union to be legally recognized by the immigration service. If it isn’t, your petition will be denied.
Many people have trouble filling out immigration forms because of language issues. We can help by translating the questions, as well as helping to fill in the form properly to avoid mistakes.
If your supporting documents aren’t in English, you’ll need to have certified translations prepared to submit with your I-130 form. In many countries, formal documents such as birth certificates and marriage certificates aren’t commonly used. In that case, you’ll need to gather other documentation such as affidavits, school records, property records or church records to support your claims. Any information that backs up the information you’re filling out on the form should be supplied to increase your chances of having your petition approved.
If your I-130 is granted, then you can apply for a visa for your family member.
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