Family Sponsorship

Last Updated on March 13, 2024 by Nasir Hanif

What is the cost of petitioning a relative by filing Form I-130?

The filing fee for Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, is $535. However, please note that USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) fees can change, and it’s important to check the official USCIS website or contact USCIS directly for the most up-to-date information.

Keep in mind that the filing fee is just one part of the overall cost associated with the immigration process. Other potential costs may include medical examinations, visa application fees, travel expenses, and any legal assistance you may choose to seek.

Yes, in addition to the filing fee for Form I-130, there may be other expenses associated with the process of petitioning a relative for immigration to the United States. Some of the potential additional expenses include:

  • Supporting Documentation: You may need to provide various supporting documents, such as proof of the relationship between the petitioner and beneficiary, financial documents, and other relevant records. Obtaining and preparing these documents may involve some costs.
  • Translation and Certification: If any of your supporting documents are in a language other than English, you may need to have them translated. Additionally, some documents may need to be certified or notarized, incurring additional costs.
  • Medical Examination: The beneficiary of the petition may be required to undergo a medical examination by an authorized panel physician. The cost of the medical examination varies depending on the location and the physician.
  • Travel Expenses: If the beneficiary is residing in another country and needs to travel to the United States after the petition is approved, there will be travel-related expenses, such as airfare, visa application fees, and possibly other costs.
  • Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing Fees: After the I-130 petition is approved, additional fees may be required for the next steps in the immigration process. This could include fees for adjustment of status if the beneficiary is already in the U.S. or consular processing if the beneficiary is outside the U.S.
  • Legal Assistance: While not mandatory, some individuals choose to seek the assistance of an immigration attorney to guide them through the process. Legal fees can vary based on the complexity of the case and the services provided.

It’s important to carefully review the USCIS website and relevant instructions for Form I-130 and associated forms to understand all the requirements and potential costs. Additionally, consulting with an immigration attorney or a qualified immigration professional can provide personalized guidance based on your specific situation. Keep in mind that fee structures and requirements may change, so it’s essential to refer to the most current information provided by USCIS.

You can find more information about the cost of petitioning a relative in this article.

Form I-130 is Approved – What to Do Next?

Congratulations on the approval of Form I-130! Once your I-130 petition is approved, the next steps will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. Here are the general steps you may need to take:

  • Notification of Approval:
    • You will receive a notice of approval from USCIS indicating that your Form I-130 has been approved.
  • For Beneficiaries Inside the U.S. (Adjustment of Status):
    • If the family member (beneficiary) is already in the United States, and the immigrant category they are eligible for allows adjustment of status, you may proceed with filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
    • Along with Form I-485, you will typically submit supporting documents, such as evidence of the qualifying family relationship, financial support (Affidavit of Support, Form I-864), medical examination results, and any required fees.
    • Attend any biometrics appointments and interviews as scheduled.
  • For Beneficiaries Outside the U.S. (Consular Processing):
    • If the beneficiary is outside the United States, they will need to go through consular processing.
    • The National Visa Center (NVC) will handle the case, and the beneficiary will need to submit immigrant visa processing fees, Form DS-260 (Online Immigrant Visa Application), and supporting documents.
    • After NVC processes the case, the beneficiary will attend an interview at the U.S. consulate or embassy in their home country.
  • Waiting for Visa Availability:
    • Depending on the family relationship and the preference category, there may be a waiting period for an immigrant visa number to become available. The Visa Bulletin, published monthly by the U.S. Department of State, provides information on visa availability.
  • Receiving the Immigrant Visa or Green Card:
    • Once all the necessary steps are completed, and visa numbers are available, the beneficiary will receive an immigrant visa if they are outside the U.S., or a green card (Form I-551) if they are already in the U.S. and adjusting status.
  • Entry into the U.S. (if applicable):
    • If the beneficiary is outside the U.S., they can enter the country with their immigrant visa. If they are already in the U.S. and adjusted status, the green card serves as evidence of their lawful permanent resident status.
  • Maintaining Permanent Resident Status:
    • It’s important to be aware of the rights and responsibilities of a permanent resident. Permanent residents should maintain compliance with U.S. immigration laws to avoid jeopardizing their status.

It’s crucial to follow the specific instructions provided by USCIS and any additional guidance from the National Visa Center (NVC) or the U.S. consulate or embassy handling the case. If you have any questions or concerns, consulting with an immigration attorney or a qualified immigration professional can provide personalized guidance based on your situation.