Home > Green Card > Filing Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative – Eligibility


If you are a U.S. citizen or you have a Green Card (meaning you are a Lawful Permanent Resident) and you want your family to join you here, you can request immigrant visas for them by filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This is also known as filing a petition.

Professional Security

Using our cutting-edge online platform, you will be able to access, check the status of, and edit your case information from anywhere. Need to submit documents to your attorney? Login when it’s convenient and even from your mobile device.

Comfortably Access Your Case

Rest easy with us in charge of your personal information. We use highly advanced security measures to protect your personal data and documents. We will never release your information without your consent, to anyone.

Client Support

Reach someone from our team of experienced Attorneys and Paralegal staff from anywhere. Our team members speak English, Spanish, Russian, and Portuguese. If we can’t speak your language, we will find someone who can, and at no cost.

Excellent Services for your $

We appreciate that you worked hard for your money. Your satisfaction is extremely important to us, and through our highly innovative online case management software, we have been able to cut costs and pass our savings onto our clients.

Once the petition is approved, your relative can get a visa that will allow him or her to come here to apply for a Green Card.

If you are a U.S. citizen and the person you are filing for is legally classified as an immediate relative, he or she won’t have to wait to get a visa because there is no cap on the number of visas issued for immigrants in this category.

On the other hand, if you are a Lawful Permanent Resident, your relative will be included in the Family Preference Visa Categories. Because there is a limited number of visas available for the people in each group every year, he or she will have to wait until the appropriate visa is available based on the “priority” or petition filing date.

Related form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

Eligibility as a Petitioner

You can qualify as a petitioner — the person who files Form I-130 with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of certain relatives if you are a United States citizen who is, or if you are a Lawful Permanent of the United States (if you have a Green Card).

To prove that you are a U.S. citizen, you must provide copies of the following documents with Form I-130:

  • Your official birth certificate showing that you were born in the United States
  • Your naturalization certificate or certificate of citizenship issued by USCIS or the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)
  • Form FS-240, Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), issued by a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate
  • Your unexpired U.S. passport
  • An original statement written by a U.S. consular officer confirming that you are a U.S. citizen and that you have a current passport.

If you do not have any of the above documents and you were born in the United States, you may also provide the secondary evidence listed in the Instructions For Form I-130.

To prove that you are a Lawful Permanent resident of the United States, you must submit a copy of the front and back of your Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551). If you haven’t received your card yet, you should provide copies of your passport page that contains your personal information and the page showing that you have been admitted to the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident, or other documents issued by USCIS or the former INS that confirm your status.

You must also submit documents showing that you have a valid relationship with the person for whom you are filing the petition. For details, see the Instructions for Form I-130 here.

Eligibility as a Beneficiary

There are two eligibility categories for beneficiaries — the people for whom U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents can file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. These are the Immediate Relative Category and the Family Preference Visa Categories. If you qualify as a beneficiary in the Immediate Relative Category, you can get an immigrant visa to come to the U.S. straight away. If you qualify as a beneficiary in the Family Preference Visa Categories, you must wait until an immigrant visa is available.

You will qualify as a beneficiary in the Immediate Relative Category if you are:

  • The spouse of a U.S. citizen
  • An unmarried child of a U.S. citizen and you are less than 21 years of age
  • The married son or daughter of a U.S. citizen regardless of your age
  • The brother or sister of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21years of age
  • The mother or father of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years of age

You will qualify as a beneficiary in the Family Preference Visa Categories if you are:

  • The spouse of a Lawful Permanent Resident
  • The unmarried child of a Lawful Permanent Resident and you are less than 21 years of age
  • The unmarried son or daughter of a Lawful Permanent Resident and you are  at least 21 years of age

You do not qualify as a beneficiary in any category if you are:

  • The grandparent of a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident
  • The grandchild of a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident
  • The niece or nephew of a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident
  • The cousin of a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident
  • The mother-in-law or father-in-law of a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident

For more information about other circumstances where you will be ineligible as a beneficiary, see the Instructions for Form I-130 here.

Effect of Trump Administration on Policies Family Immigration To the U.S.

As part of its crackdown on what it calls “chain migration,” or all family immigration other than that of spouses and minor children, the Trump Administration has all but stopped the processing of Form I-130 petitions for everyone — even spouses and children of U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents.

In the 2017 fiscal year, USCIS processed slightly more than half (54 percent) of petitions made for Immediate Relatives, compared to nearly 70 percent in the previous fiscal year. In comparison, in the 2017 fiscal year, USCIS processed less than 10 percent of petitions made for people in Family Preference Visa categories, compared to 22 percent in the 2016 fiscal year.

By the end of the 2017 fiscal year, there were more than 820,000 pending petitions for beneficiaries in the Family Visa Preference Categories.

Basically what all of this means is that it will now take longer for everyone to get the visas needed to join their families here. Don’t hesitate to contact us If you have questions or concerns about Form I-130, eligibility, and how the Trump Administration’s policies affect you and your loved ones. Our knowledgeable immigration lawyers are here to help.

Do I have to file a separate petition for each eligible relative?

In most cases, yes.

I am the beneficiary. Do I have to submit anything with Form I-130?

If you are the spouse beneficiary (the husband or wife) of a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent resident, you must fill out form I-130A. You must sign it unless you are overseas. The petitioner must then submit it with Form I-130.

What is the cost of filing this petition?

The filing fee is $535

What if the petitioner’s or beneficiary’s name changed?

If either you  (the petitioner) or the beneficiary is using a name that is not the same name shown on the relevant documents, you must submit copies of any legal documents (such as a divorce decree, court order, marriage cerificate and so forth) that reflect the change with the petition.

Such a change in the schedule of interviews will make it possible to weed out those applicants who use groundless statements and try to use this process solely to obtain a work permit and will enable the USCIS to immediately identify such persons and begin the process of their deportation. In reality, the new Priority will allow the USCIS to make decisions on qualified asylum seekers more quickly and efficiently.

Once this petition is approved, is my relative automatically a lawful permanent resident, or can they come here immediately?

No. Approval of the application simply results in issuance of a visa that allows your relative to come here to pursue permanent residency.

Contact Attorney Igor Litvak


    💻 A step-by-step online tool to complete the Petition for Alien Relative package with confidence.

    📞 Live support with the U.S.-based Zontlaw team. 

    ⚖️  Dedicated immigration attorney review your Petition, with opportunities to ask questions at any time.

    📬 A ready-to-submit application package, assembled precisely how the the government prefers, and mailed to your door. 

    📆 Case Tracking, updates, and advice on your case status all the way until you get your Green Card.

    Read more about everything you get by using ZONTLAW!


    So how is it possible that you could be a citizen, and not even know it? Well, one way to…
    Read more
    The process of Naturalization basically requires, meeting one of the various requirements for obtaining Citizenship, and then filing an application…
    Read more
    Official reasons for denial of the N-400 or application for citizenshipBut before we do, let’s summarize the legal or “official”…
    Read more
    Write a review
    Джума Мыратгелдиев
    Джума Мыратгелдиев
    Great attorney, easy to work with, highly recommend, my case was dismissed Thank you so much Igor LITVAK
    Really helpful good lawyer
    Nida Kumar
    Nida Kumar
    Mr. Igor is one of the best lawyer, I have ever met. He had been so kind and full of understanding. Had a privilege to hire him to represent us in federal court. And he did everything possible, to get us out of the trouble. A true man of words. Highly recommended.
    Alexandra Dordzhieva
    Alexandra Dordzhieva
    Good lawyer, helped us in a case
    Karl Mukaz
    Karl Mukaz
    Had the best experience with Igor! Fast, reliable and professional! Highly recommend!
    Jekaterina Shapovalova
    Jekaterina Shapovalova
    Igor Litvak is an outstanding lawyer in New York, and I am beyond impressed with his level of professionalism and expertise. I recently had the privilege of working with him on a complex legal matter, and his knowledge, dedication, and attention to detail were simply unparalleled. From our initial consultation to the resolution of my case, Mr. Litvak went above and beyond to ensure that I understood all aspects of the legal process and was always kept up to date on the status of my case. He provided sound advice, was always available to answer any questions, and took a personalized approach to my legal needs. Mr. Litvak is not only a brilliant attorney, but he is also an exceptional communicator and an empathetic advocate. He is a true professional who genuinely cares about his clients and their well-being, and I would highly recommend him to anyone in need of legal services. If you want an attorney who is not only knowledgeable, but also compassionate, diligent, and committed to achieving the best possible outcome for his clients, then look no further than Mr. Litvak. He is simply the best.
    renier valle
    renier valle
    A very good attorney, I highly recommand him, i had a major criminal case which he resolved with no record. Just a great attorney.
    The best attorney you can get, he will fight for you like he did for me, he was also very detailed on the case and always answering his call, you actually get to have his cell phone. Highly recommended.
    lady jackey
    lady jackey
    Very reliable, and friendly staff, they were very patient with me throughout my vwa case It was a pleasure working with them
    Scroll to top