Earlier this year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services updated its I-130 form, Petition for Alien Relative, and added the I-130A, Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary. This article highlights the changes they made to the I-130 form and explains what the new I-130A form is for.
What is the I-130 form?
The I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, is the form to bring an immigrant family member to the United States. It is also the first form submitted in the process to get a family-based green card.
Who files it?
A U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (green card holder) files the form to inform USCIS of a relative who wishes to immigrate here. The person who files it is called the petitioner; the person who wishes to immigrate based on the relationship is called the beneficiary.
Which relatives can you file the I-130 for?
If you are a U.S. citizen, you can file form I-130 for your:
- Children (any age, any marital status)
- Siblings (if you are at least 21 years old)
- Parents (if you are at least 21 years old)
If you are a lawful permanent resident of the United States, you can file form I-130 for your:
- Unmarried child (any age)
What changes did USCIS make to the I-130?
It’s way longer. The old form was only two pages long; the new form is 12 pages. The form is longer because:
- USCIS made some formatting and design changes intended to make the form more visually appealing and supposedly easier to fill out
- They added questions about the petitioner’s background and biographic information
- There are new declarations and certifications required of the petitioner, interpreter and/or preparer; they are asked to give their contact information as well as certify that the information they provided is complete, true and correct
What questions got added? USCIS now asks for the address and employment history of the petitioner for the previous five years. They also ask for more information on the petitioner’s parents, any current or former spouses, as well as ethnicity, race, height, weight, eye color, and hair color.
The New I-130 no longer uses the G-325 and G-325A as a supporting document. The G-325 and G-325A Biographic Information forms are no longer required. The petitioner’s biographic information is now collected on a new form that USCIS released, the I-130A, Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary. This form must be submitted with every I-130 spouse case.
What’s the I-130A form for?
The USCIS uses this new form to find out such things as the spouse beneficiary’s address and employment history for the previous five years, their last physical address outside the U.S., and information on their parents. If a spouse beneficiary lives outside the U.S., the I-130A must still be completed, but the spouse beneficiary doesn’t need to sign it.
Have there been any changes to the instructions of the I-130?
Yes, now both the petitioner and the spouse beneficiary must submit two color passport-style photos. If the spouse lives outside the U.S., only the petitioner’s photos are required.
Can I use the old form I-130?
No. The new I-130 form has an edition date of 2/27/17, and this is the only edition of the form that USCIS will accept.
How much does it cost to file the I-130?
The price hasn’t changed. It costs $535 to file form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.