If you are reading this, you are probably either planning or getting ready to fill out an I-130 Petition for a qualifying family member. Regardless of whether you are a U.S. citizen or a Permanent Resident, filing Form I-130 is the first step toward your sponsorship of a family member for permanent residence. It’s imperative that you fill From I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, correctly and completely.

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An incomplete or incorrectly filled-out application is a recipe for denial or unnecessary delay of your petition. Every field must be filled out correctly. The application may be completed either online or by mail. If you would like to fill it out online you may click here to create a new USCIS account or log in to an existing one, or if you would instead file by mail please click here to access Form I-130. Regardless of whether you apply online or by mail, the required information and supporting documents are identical. Please note that you are the Petitioner and the family member you are sponsoring is the Beneficiary. If you are filing the petition for your husband, for example, you are the Petitioner and your husband is the Beneficiary.

This article will give you a step by step instructions on how to fill out a Form I-130 Petition. I have kept the numbers under each part the same as the numbers on the actual Form I-130 to make my instructions easy to follow. The first box on the form is for USCIS use only, and the second box is to be completed by an attorney or a representative. Because you, the Petitioner, are filling it out without an attorney or a representative, you must start by filling out Part 1. Relationship.

How do I fill out Form I-130 Petition for a spouse?

Part 1. Relationship.

  1. Select the box that says Spouse, and skip to number 4.
  2. N/A – leave blank.
  3. N/A – leave blank.
  4. Select the box that says Yes, if you received your permanent residency as a result of a petition filed by your adoptive parent. If you did not receive your permanent residency through adoption, then select No.

Part 2. Information About You (Petitioner).

  1. Fill in your Alien Registration Number (A Number). If you are a permanent resident (green card holder) or a naturalized citizen, you are assigned an A Number. You can find this number printed on your green card. If you do not have one because you are a natural-born citizen, for example, type or print N/A.
  2. USCIS Online Account Number. If you have ever opened an online account with USCIS, then type or print your account number. If you don’t, you may leave it blank.
  3. US Social Security Number. If you have ever worked in the U.S. you should have a Social Security Number.
  4. Enter your full name: first, middle, and last name.
  5. Enter all aliases, nicknames, and maiden names that you have ever used.
  6. Enter the city, town, or village of birth. This information can be found on your birth certificate.
  7. Enter the country of your birth, if you were not born in the U.S.
  8. Enter the date of birth as listed on your birth certificate. Note that, if you are sponsoring your parents or a sibling, you must be a U.S. citizen and over the age of 21.
  9. Enter your gender.
  10. Enter your mailing address. USCIS will send all correspondence to this address unless you have a representative or retained an attorney. You may enter a mailing address “in care of” another person.
  11. If your mailing address is the same as your physical address, check the Yes box. Please note that a sponsor (you) must file an affidavit of support (Form I-864) when the immigrant relative adjusts their status or applies for an immigrant visa abroad. In either circumstance, you the sponsor must have a U.S. domicile.
  12. If your mailing address is the same as your physical address, list all other physical addresses you have had in the past 5 years. If your mailing address is different than your physical address, list all addresses you have lived in the past 5 years. If your mailing address is the same as your physical address and you have resided in this address for the past 5 years, enter N/A in 12(a).
  13. Enter the “date from” and “date to” of when you lived in this address. If you currently live at this address, enter PRESENT in the “date to” box. If you lived in this address for 5 years, you do not need to fill parts 14 and 15.
  14. Enter the physical address of where you lived before the one listed in part 12 if within 5 years. If you did not live anywhere else other than at the address listed on part 12 within the last 5 years, then enter N/A in 14(a). You may list a foreign address if you currently reside abroad. However, at the time when the beneficiary files to adjust his or her status or apply for an immigrant visa abroad; you (Petitioner) must have a U.S. domicile to file an affidavit of support for the relative.
  15. Enter the “date from” and “date to” the time you lived at this address.
  16. Enter the number of times you have been married. If you have never been married, enter 0 in this box.
  17. Enter your current marital status.
  18. If you are currently married, enter the date of marriage. If unmarried, then you may leave this box blank.
  19. Enter the place where you were married. This information can be located on your marriage certificate.
  20. Name of the prior spouse. Enter N/A if this does not apply to you.
  21. Date when the marriage ended.
  22. Name of the prior spouse. Enter N/A if this does not apply to you.
  23. Date when the marriage ended.
  24. Enter the complete name of your Parent 1. If you are a U.S. citizen over the age of 21 and you are filing this petition on behalf of your parent, then you must enclose documents showing the parent-child relationship with the application. This includes birth and marriage certificates.
  25. Enter the date of birth for this Parent 1.
  26. Enter the gender for this Parent 1.
  27. Enter the country of birth for Parent 1.
  28. Enter the city of residence for Parent 1, city, town, village, etc.
  29. Enter the country of residence for Parent 1. If this parent is no longer living, enter “deceased.”
  30. Fill this out for Parent 2. See boxes 24 to 29.
  31. See boxes 24 to 29.
  32. See boxes 24 to 29.
  33. See boxes 24 to 29.
  34. See boxes 24 to 29.
  35. See boxes 24 to 29.
  36. Select whether you are a U.S. citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident. You must be either a U.S. citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident to sponsor a family member under this application.
  37. If you are a U.S. citizen sponsoring a relative, you must select how you acquired your citizenship. If you were born inside the U.S., then select the “Birth in the U.S.” box; if you were born abroad to one or more U.S. citizen parents, then select the “Parents” box; if you were born abroad but are a naturalized citizen, then select “Naturalization.”
  38. If you obtained U.S. citizenship through naturalization, then you should have the Certificate of Naturalization; if it’s the case, select Yes. If you obtained U.S. citizenship because you were born abroad to one or both citizen parents, then select Yes.
  39. If you answered Yes to either question on box 38, then enter the naturalization certificate or the certificate of citizenship number, place, and date of issuance.
  40. If you are a Lawful Permanent Resident Petitioner, you must enter your admission information. The class of admission is listed under “Category” on your green card. If you (Petitioner) are a beneficiary of the third preference employment-based green card, then your admission class would be listed under “Category” as E31. The date and place of entry is the day and place you (Petitioner) entered the U.S. for the first time with the immigrant visa. If you received your green card through adjustment of status, then the admission date is the day the adjustment application was approved. In an adjustment situation, the place of entry is the USCIS office that approved the adjustment of status, and the class of entry is the basis for sponsorship, an immediate relative for example.
  41. If you (Petitioner) obtained your green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident, then select Yes.
  42. Enter your employment history for the past 5 years. The place of employment may be inside or outside the U.S. If you are currently unemployed, then enter unemployed. From boxes 42 to 45, enter your occupation, the employer’s name, address, and the dates of employment.
  43. See number 42.
  44. See number 42.
  45. See number 42.
  46. Fill this box, if you were employed by another employer within the last 5 years. From boxes 46 to 49, enter your occupation, the employer’s name, address, and the dates of employment.
  47. See number 46.
  48. See number 46
  49. See number 46

Part 3. Biographic Information (Petitioner).

In this section, you must fill out the biographic information about you, the Petitioner. The purpose of this section is to verify your identity when needed or to help an officer identify you during an in-person interview. Fill in the information about your ethnicity, race, height, weight, eye color, and other biographic data as requested under this section.

Part 4. Information About Beneficiary. The information provided in Part 4 is for the relative beneficiary who you are sponsoring.

  1. In most cases, the relative beneficiary may not have an Alien Registration Number. In such a case, leave this section blank. However, if the beneficiary has an Alien Registration Number because they were previously issued an employment authorization document (EAD) for example, then enter the number here.
  2. Enter the USCIS online account number for the beneficiary. If he or she has opened an online account with the USCIS in the past, enter that number. If the beneficiary does not have a USCIS online account number, leave this section blank.
  3. Enter the beneficiary’s social security number if he or she has a social security card. If he is she does not have a social security number leave this section blank.
  4. Enter the beneficiary’s full name. Make sure this name matches the name on his or her birth certificate and passport.
  5. If the beneficiary has used any other names like a nickname, maiden name, or aliases, enter it here. If no other is used, then enter N/A.
  6. From boxes 6 to 9, enter the city, country, and the date of the beneficiary’s birth. Please note that the country of birth for the beneficiary may be different than the country of citizenship, and that’s fine. However, the country of birth has a huge significance because some visa categories have numerical limitations that are based on the beneficiary’s country of birth. Also, note that a beneficiary must be below the age of 21 to qualify as a child under immigration law.
  7. See box 6.
  8. See box 6.
  9. See box 6.
  10. If any family member or an employer has ever filed a Petition (immigrant or non-immigrant) on behalf of this beneficiary, then enter Yes. In a situation where you do not know, enter Unknown. You should only enter Unknown if neither you nor the beneficiary knows. If neither of these options is applicable, enter No.
  11. Enter the beneficiary’s current physical address, including a temporary U.S. address. If the beneficiary currently lives abroad in a home without a street number or a name, leave 11.a. and 11.b. blank.
  12. If the address where the beneficiary intends to live is different than that listed in part 11, then list that address here. If the beneficiary intends to continue living in the address listed in part 11, then enter “SAME.”
  13. Enter the beneficiary’s foreign address here, if different from the one listed in part 11; else enter “SAME.”
  14. In boxes 14, 15, and 16, enter the beneficiary’s daytime telephone number, mobile number, and email address.
  15. See box 14.
  16. See box 14.
  17. Enter the number of times the beneficiary has been married. Enter 0 if he or she has never been married.
  18. Enter the current marital status of the beneficiary. Please note that the marital status of a beneficiary has significance in the classification of visa preference. Even if a son or daughter of a citizen is under 21 but married, he or she is ineligible for immediate relative classification for example. Similarly, only an unmarried son or daughter of a permanent resident is qualified as a second-preference immigrant. It’s important to note the significance of this question in determining visa availability.
  19. Enter the beneficiary’s date of marriage.
  20. Enter the beneficiary’s place of marriage. The date and place of marriage can be found on the marriage certificate.
  21. Enter the beneficiary’s spouse’s name. If you are a U.S. citizen who is sponsoring a married son or a daughter, then you would enter the name of the wife or husband of your adult son or daughter here for example.
  22. If the beneficiary is currently married to this spouse, then leave this part blank.
  23. If the beneficiary was married to another person before the current spouse, enter the name of that spouse here. Please note that you have to submit evidence of the termination of the previous marriage with the I-130 packet, such as a divorce decree or a death certificate.
  24. Enter the date the prior marriage ended. This is usually the date of the divorce decree.
  25. From boxes 25 to 44, enter the information about the beneficiary’s family – name, relationship, date of birth, and country of birth. This includes spouses (if the beneficiary is currently married) and children (if any). Please note that the child and spouse of some beneficiaries may qualify under a derivate classification. In such a case, you do not have to file a separate petition for the child or spouse of the beneficiary. However, in other cases, you must file a separate petition for the spouse or child of the principal beneficiary immigrant. If you are a U.S. citizen filing a petition for your mother for example, then you must file a separate petition for her spouse (your father or your step-father in some cases). But if you are a U.S. citizen filing a petition for a sibling under the fourth family preference, the sibling’s husband or wife is classified as a derivative relative and you are not required to file a separate petition for the beneficiary spouse.
  26. See number 25.
  27. See number 25.
  28. See number 25.
  29. See number 25.
  30. See number 25.
  31. See number 25.
  32. See number 25.
  33. See number 25.
  34. See number 25.
  35. See number 25.
  36. See number 25.
  37. See number 25.
  38. See number 25.
  39. See number 25.
  40. See number 25.
  41. See number 25.
  42. See number 25.
  43. See number 25.
  44. See number 25.
  45. Enter Yes if the beneficiary has ever been in the U.S. or they are currently present in the U.S. Remember that, if you plan of filing an adjustment of status for this beneficiary, they must be currently present in the U.S. If they are currently abroad, then they must apply for a visa from their country and go through a visa interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consular. On the same token, if the beneficiary is currently in the U.S. but has overstayed a previous visa or worked without permission they may not adjust their status from inside the U.S. In such a situation, they must travel to their country and apply for an immigrant visa and go through a visa interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consular.
  46. Complete boxes 46a to 46d if the beneficiary is currently in the U.S. Under 46a enter the class of admission. You should enter “B2 Temporary Visitor” under the class of admission for example, if the beneficiary entered as a temporary visitor for pleasure. If the beneficiary entered without inspection enter “entry without inspection” or if they enter as a parolee, enter “parolee.” Under 46b enter your Form I-94 number, which is located on the paper I-94 issued to you at the time of entry. The I-94 record is now made electronically and you can access the number by visiting the U.S. Customs and Protection website. Under 46c, enter the beneficiary’s last date of arrival. Under 46d, enter the date when the beneficiary’s authorized stay is set to expire. This date is handwritten by the CPB officer in the “ADMITTED” stamp on the beneficiary’s passport or your I-94. You may also locate this date by visiting the U.S. Customs and Protection website. Please note that the authorized stay date is not the same as the visa expiration date listed on your U.S. visa.
  47. Enter the beneficiary’s passport number.
  48. If the beneficiary travelled to the U.S. with a travel document other than a passport, enter the travel document number here.
  49. Enter the name of the country that issued the beneficiary’s passport or travel document.
  50. Enter the expiration date of the passport or the travel document.
  51. Enter the beneficiary’s current employment information; name and address of the employer. You must enter this information even if the beneficiary is employed abroad. If the beneficiary is currently unemployed, enter “unemployed” under box 51a. Please note that, if you are filing a petition on behalf of a person who has engaged in unlawful employment in the U.S., he or she must travel abroad to apply for an immigrant visa.
  52. Enter the date employment began, if the beneficiary is currently employed.
  53. Enter No if the beneficiary has never been to the U.S. However, if the beneficiary has been in the U.S. and has been in a removal, rescission, exclusion, deportation, or other immigration proceeding select Yes.
  54. If you selected Yes in box 53, select the appropriate box or box. Select more than one box if applicable.
  55. Enter the City, Town, and State where one or more of the above proceedings was held.
  56. Enter the date of the proceeding. If you select more than one box on number 54, then write the place, date, and type of proceeding on part 9.
  57. Enter the name and address of the beneficiary in his or her native written language if his or her country does not use Roman letters.
  58. See number 57.
  59. If you are filing this petition for a spouse, then enter the last address at which you and your spouse lived together and the date of residence. Please note that, if you and the beneficiary spouse are currently living together this address should match the address you entered in part 2. In case you and your beneficiary spouse never lived together, enter “Never lived together,” in box 59a. Please note that, if you and the beneficiary spouse never lived together, then the USCIS may conduct an investigation of the marriage or ask for an explanation by conducting an interview.
  60. See number 59.
  61. If the beneficiary is currently present in the U.S. and not ineligible for adjustment of status due to unauthorized employment, overstay, etc., then enter the city and state of the local USCIS office that has jurisdiction over the adjustment of status application. Please note that the adjustment of status may be filed together and at the same time as the petition if the beneficiary qualifies as an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen sponsor. The reason behind this is that an immigrant visa is always available to an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen. If the beneficiary is not an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen then he or she must wait until a visa is available; as a result of which the adjustment of status cannot be filed with the petition and must be filed at a later date when a visa is available.
  62. If the beneficiary is not eligible to adjust his or her status from inside the U.S. or chooses to apply for an immigrant visa abroad, then enter the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where the beneficiary plan to apply for a visa.

Part 5. Other Information.

  1. From numbers 1 to 5, if you have ever filed a petition for this relative or any other alien, then check Yes. If you answered Yes, enter the name of the beneficiary for whom the petition was filed, the date and place of the filing, and the result (for example, approved, denied, withdrawn). You must not refile a petition for the same person unless new information has come to light.
  2. See number 1.
  3. See number 1.
  4. See number 1.
  5. See number 1.
  6. From numbers 6 to 9, if you are filing separate petitions for other relatives, then enter all beneficiary’s name and their relationship to you.

Part 6. Petitioner’s Statement, Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature.

  1. Check box 1a, if you, the petitioner can read and understand English. You are letting the USCIS know that you have read and understood every question and instruction on this petition and answered them accordingly. Check box 1b if you used an interpreter who read to you every question and instruction on this petition and your answer to every question and enters the language the interpreter read to you. You must enter detailed information about this interpreter in part 7.
  2. If anyone other than you or an interpreter prepared this petition, you must enter that person’s name here. This person can be an attorney or an accredited representative for example. You must enter detailed information about this interpreter in part 8.
  3. From numbers 3 to 5, you must enter a daytime phone number, mobile telephone number (if any), and an email address (if any). Make sure your contact information is accurately listed as the USCIS may use this information to contact you.
  4. See number 3.
  5. See number 3.
  6. You, the petitioner, must sign the petition in ink and date it.

Part 7. Interpreter’s Contact Information, Certification, and Signature.

Under this part, you must enter the interpreter’s full name, mailing address, and contact information. Additionally, the interpreter must sign and date the certification that he or she is fluent in English and the language that is listed under part 6. The interpreter testifies that he has read to you in the identified language every question and instruction on this petition and your answer to every question. The interpreter further testifies that you informed him or her that you understood every instruction, question, and answer on the petition.

Part 8. Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature of the Person Preparing this Petition, if Other Than the Petitioner.

Under this part, you must enter the preparer’s full name, business name, mailing address, contact information, and email address. If the preparer is an attorney he or she will select the box 7a, else he or she will select box 7b. Additionally, the preparer signs and dates the certification in boxes 8a and 8b, that this petition was prepared at your request, and after reviewing the petition you informed the preparer that you understand all the information contained in, and submitted with the petition.

Part 9. Additional Information.

If you need additional space to add, supplement, or explain a response to any of the I-130 questions, part 9 may be used to do so. However, if the provided space in part 9 is not enough, then you may make copies of the part 9 page. Please note that you must type or print your name and A-Number (if any) at the top of each additional page. Indicate the page number, part number, and item number your answer refers to, and sign and date each sheet.

How do I fill out Form I-130 Petition for a parent?

Part 1. Relationship.

  1. Select the box that says, Parent. A U.S. citizen may sponsor a parent as an immediate family if the citizen is at least 21 years old. Please note that the spouse of your parent cannot immigrate with your parent unless they also qualify as your immediate relative. If they also qualify as your immediate relative, then you must file a separate petition for them.
  2. Select the box that is appropriate to your situation.
  3. N/A – leave blank.
  4. Select the box that says Yes, if you received your permanent residency as a result of a petition filed by your adoptive parent. If you did not receive your permanent residency through adoption, then select No.

Part 2 to 9 is the same for all Form I-130 Petitions for the most part. Please see above.  

How do I fill out Form I-130 Petition for a sibling?

Part 1. Relationship.

  1. Select the box that says Brother/Sister, and skip to number 3. A U.S. citizen may sponsor a sibling under the fourth family preference if the citizen is at least 21 years old.
  2. N/A – leave blank.
  3. If the beneficiary is your brother or sister through adoption select Yes.
  4. Select the box that says Yes, if you received your permanent residency as a result of a petition filed by your adoptive parent. If you did not receive your permanent residency through adoption, then select No.

 Part 2 to 9 is the same for all Form I-130 Petitions for the most part. Please see above.  

How do I fill out Form I-130 Petition for a child?

Part 1. Relationship.

  1. Select the box that says, Child. Please note that depending on whether you are a U.S. citizen or a Permanent Resident, and the age and marital status of the son/daughter the visa preference will vary. For example, a child of a U.S. citizen qualifies as an immediate relative and has no visa backlog to apply for an immigrant visa. On the other hand, an unmarried son/daughter of a U.S. citizen qualifies for an immigrant visa under family first preference which has a visa backlog for example.
  2. Select the box that is appropriate to your situation.
  3. N/A – leave blank.
  4. Select the box that says Yes, if you received your permanent residency as a result of a petition filed by your adoptive parent. If you did not receive your permanent residency through adoption, then select No. 

Part 2 to 9 is the same for all Form I-130 Petitions for the most part. Please see above.  

Do I need to hire an immigration lawyer in OKC to file Form I-130 Petition for my relative?

No, you do not need to hire an immigration lawyer to file Form I-130. However, Form I-130 is the first step toward the sponsorship of an immigrant visa for a family member. It’s imperative that you correctly complete the form and submit it with supporting documents and evidence. A minor error could lead to an unnecessary delay or even a denial of your petition. An immigration lawyer in OKC can evaluate your situation, make recommendations and ensure a correct and complete filing of your Petition. Vivid Niroula is an Oklahoma City-based Immigration Attorney with a solid understanding of Immigration Laws. He prides himself on providing the highest level of service and will help you at every step of the process.

Call the law office of Vivid Niroula today at (405) 456-9250 or contact us via our website to schedule a free consultation. We can meet in person, over the phone, or via a video call for your convenience.