1. What is an I-130 petition?
The Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative petition is used by US citizens or legal permanent residents to file for qualifying foreign national relatives to allow those relatives to immigrate to the U.S.
2. Who may file an I-130 petition?
Any United States citizen or legal permanent resident may file an I-130 petition.
3. Who Can a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident File an I-130 Petition For? In other words, who is a “qualifying relative”?
A U.S citizen may file an I-130 petition for his or her spouse, parents, brothers or sisters, or children (unmarried or married). A U.S. legal permanent resident may file an I-130 petition for his or her spouse and/or unmarried children.
4. How Many I-130 Petitions May I File?
A U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident may file an I-130 petition for each and every qualifying relative that intends to immigrate to the U.S. There is no limit to how many petitions can be filed by a single petitioner. The U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident may sponsor as many relatives as he or she wishes to, as long as he or she meets the financial requirements to do so.
5. How Long Does the I-130 Petition Process Take, and How Long Will it Take for the Alien Relative to Come to the U.S.?
The time frame varies, mostly depending upon if the petitioner is a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident, who is he or she is filing for – immediate relative or relative subject to the preference category quotas, and what country the beneficiary was born in (relatives from Mexico and the Philippines have a significantly longer wait compared to relatives from the rest of the world). Spouses of U.S. citizens (immediate relatives) will usually get their green card in 6-12 months, while spouses of permanent residents (second preference category) may have to wait several years.