USCIS Form I-130: Getting a Green Card for Family Members
Updated: Jun 30
A lawful Permanent Resident Card, also known as a “green card,” grants non-U.S. citizens permanent residency in the United States. With a green card, an immigrant can legally live and work anywhere in the United States and apply for US citizenship after three to five years. However, you’ll need to submit a “Petition for Alien Relative,” also known as Form I-130, to obtain a green card.
Today, we’ll discuss Form I-30 in-depth and review a few requirements to obtain a green card for your family.
Getting a Green Card for Your Family: What Is Form I-130?
The purpose of USCIS Form I-130 is to prove the familial relationship between the petitioner (the U.S. citizen or green card holder) and the beneficiary (the foreign relative). It is typically used to petition for immediate relatives, such as spouses, parents, and unmarried children under 21. However, you can also use Form I-30 to petition for certain other family members, such as married children, siblings, and married children of U.S. citizens.
The petitioner must provide information about themselves and the beneficiary, including their biographical details, relationship, and supporting documentation to establish the validity of the relationship. Once USCIS approves the I-130 petition, it serves as the initial step in the family-based immigration process, enabling the beneficiary to continue with their application for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status.
Are There Other Green Card Requirements?
In addition to Form I-130, there are a few more requirements for obtaining a green card in the United States. While the specific requirements will depend based on your application, these are some of the most common ways to obtain a green card:
Family-based Sponsorship: If one of your family members is a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident, some family members are eligible to apply for a green card. Immediate relatives, spouses, parents of U.S. citizens, and unmarried children under 21 will have the highest priority.
Employment-based Sponsorship: Individuals with certain job offers, advanced degrees, and specialized, in-demand skills may obtain a green card using a labor certification or a job offer from a U.S. employer.
Refugee or Asylee Status: If you’ve been granted refugee status or asylum in the United States, you may be eligible to apply for a green card after one year of continuous presence.
However, remember that the requirements for obtaining a green card change often. These requirements are complex, so it is highly recommended that you seek the assistance of an immigration attorney to ensure that you have accurate information relevant to your specific situation when completing Form I-30 and applying for a green card.
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