Alien Relative Family Petition

The journey to family reunification in the United States centers around understanding and effectively navigating immigration laws. For many, the Petition for Alien Relative, or Form I-130, serves as the critical first step. At Dominguez Law Firm, PLLC, we specialize in assisting families throughout this complex process. In this article, we explore what Form I-130 is, who is eligible to file it, and how to go about the petitioning process with the guidance of an immigration lawyer in Miami.

What Is Form I-130?

Form I-130, also referred to as the “Petition for Alien Relative,” serves as the initial step in assisting an eligible relative to immigrate to the United States. Filing this form effectively establishes the qualifying relationship between the petitioner — a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident — and the foreign relative they wish to sponsor. Once approved, this petition paves the way for the sponsored individual to apply for a family-based immigrant visa.

Who Are Eligible to File Form I-130?

The eligibility criteria for filing Form I-130 are stringent to ensure the integrity of the immigration system. Generally, the petitioner must be either a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident. Depending on the petitioner’s status, different family members may be eligible for sponsorship:

For U.S. Citizens

  • Spouses
  • Unmarried children under 21
  • Unmarried sons and daughters over 21
  • Married sons and daughters (of any age)
  • Siblings (if the U.S. citizen is 21 or older)
  • Parents (if the U.S. citizen is 21 or older)

For Lawful Permanent Residents

  • Spouses
  • Unmarried children under 21
  • Unmarried sons and daughters over 21

It’s advisable to consult an immigration attorney in Miami, FL, to ensure you meet all the eligibility requirements.

How Do You Petition Alien Relative?

Filing Form I-130 involves a series of well-defined steps that require the utmost attention to detail.

  • Collect Necessary Documentation: Assemble all required supporting documents, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and proof of the petitioner’s U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident status.
  • Complete Form I-130: Carefully fill out the form, ensuring that all entries are accurate and complete. Any discrepancy can lead to delays in the I-130 processing time.
  • Submission and Fees: Mail the completed form and all supporting documents to the appropriate USCIS address. Include the filing fee, which is subject to change and should be verified on the USCIS website.
  • Biometrics and Interview: In some cases, biometric data collection and interviews may be required.
  • Wait for Decision: Once all steps are completed, await the USCIS decision. During this time, status updates can be checked online.

It might seem straightforward when it comes to petitioning alien relatives, but complications could unexpectedly happen. The I-130 processing time varies based on several factors, including the applicant’s country of origin and the type of relationship. That is why it is prudent to engage the services of a competent immigration lawyer in Miami to guide you through the process.

How Do You Prove Family Relationship for a Petition for Alien Relative?

Ensuring the credibility of a familial relationship is a critical aspect when petitioning for an alien relative. Submitting the proper evidence is crucial for the swift processing and success of Form I-130.

Spousal Relationship

To prove a spousal relationship, one must typically provide:

  • Marriage Certificate: A legally recognized certificate of your marriage.
  • Joint Financial Records: Documents like joint bank statements, mortgages, or shared credit accounts can be compelling proof.
  • Photos: Photographs from different stages of your relationship, including family events and celebrations, can further establish a genuine marital relationship.

Parent-Child Relationship

For parent-child relationships, the following types of evidence can be beneficial:

  • Birth Certificate: An official birth certificate showing the names of both the child and the parent.
  • Medical Records: Documentation of the child’s birth and any medical history shared between the parent and the child.
  • School Records: Documents like report cards with the parent’s name or emergency contact forms can corroborate the relationship.

Sibling Relationship

If you are petitioning for a sibling, the USCIS often requires:

  • Birth Certificates: Both siblings should submit birth certificates showing at least one common parent.
  • Evidence of Sibling Relationships Through Adoption or Step-Relationships: Legal documents such as adoption decrees or marriage certificates that led to a step-relationship can be vital in these cases.

Proper documentation not only expedites the I-130 processing time but also heightens the chances of a favorable decision. If you are considering filing a family petition in South Florida, do not navigate this complex journey alone. Our immigration attorney in Miami, FL, at Dominguez Law Firm, PLLC is here to assist you every step of the way. Contact us today for a consultation.

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If you or a loved one needs assistance with an Immigration matter contact us today or schedule a consultation online to determine how we can help you.

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