Many people in our community have heard that name at some point—an I-130 or a family petition. The reasons why is very simple: most of the time, an I-130 is the first step in order to legalize in the United States. However, the question remains, what exactly is an I-130?
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) calls an “I-130” a family petition that a United States Permanent Resident (a “Green Card” holder) or a United States Citizen files for a family member. By itself, the I-130 establishes the relationship between the person who makes the petition and the beneficiary. For example, if you are a United States Citizen and have a family member (an alien relative)—be it your wife, children, or parents—then you have the right to petition the United States government for family reunification for you and your family member, including obtaining a permanent legal residence (a Green Card) for your family member.
Although the concept seems very simple, just like family relationships, this can become very complex—and due to that, there are many family categories in which an I-130 is obsolete. As a matter of fact, there are so many family categories in which an I-130 could not benefit a family member that it would be more beneficial to explain for which categories an I-130 is not obsolete. An I-130 is beneficial when:
- A United States Citizen who is at least 21 years old files a petition for:
- A husband or wife,
- A son or daughter (of any age),
- A parent, and
- A brother or a sister,
- A United States Permanent Resident (someone who has a Green Card) who is at least 21 years old, files a petition for:
- A husband or wife,
- An unmarried son or an unmarried daughter.
It is extremely important that you understand that although an I-130 does not cover adopted children, uncles, cousins, grandchildren, etc. you must inform your immigration attorney if you have any family members who are United States Citizens or United States Permanent Residents (Green Card holders) because this could positively impact your case.
The filing of an I-130 is the first step in an immigration case that has other steps. How many steps an immigration case has is completely dependent on what kind of case it is. The filing of an I-130 petition—and receiving an approval of it or a receipt notice—never, by itself, gives an immediate immigration benefit, but it opens the door that your attorney will use to get you a legal status for your or your family member.
Now, you may be asking yourself “but if it is the first step and it is simple, then why should I hire a lawyer to file an I-130 for me or my family member?” This has a simple answer: it is because every immigration case is different. If you decide to not hire an immigration attorney to file an I-130 for you, then it is possible that your case is left in a waiting line, or that the petition be denied for simple things, such as not sending the petition to the appropriate immigration office, or sending the wrong documentation to prove the family relationship, or—which is the most important—sending an I-130 where it does not apply.
Also, remember that only an immigration attorney has the necessary experience to determine whether or not filing an I-130 is something beneficial for you. Your immigration attorney can explain to you if your petition has a waiting period to get you or your family member a legal status, or if there is a way to obtain an immigration benefit simultaneously at the time of your I-130 petition, which can occur if you qualify to “adjust your status.”
For this reason, Griffith Law Group offers you the experience of its immigration attorneys to complete your I-130 petition at a reasonable price, which will include a confidential consultation and the advice necessary in your case. Also, Griffith Law Group has made the commitment to price-match the price that other immigration lawyers have offered you. That being the case, Griffith Law Group will provide their expertise for the same cost of other lawyers who may not have the experience or knowledge necessary with regards to immigration law. If you have questions, feel free to call (317) 236-0486 and schedule a free consultation.