I-130 Petition for Alien Relative
United States citizens and permanent residents who wish to sponsor certain family members for permanent residency based on their familial relationship can do so using Form I-130. Filing this petition with the USCIS is the first step in helping an eligible relative apply to immigrate to the United States. The filing or approval of this petition does not afford the sponsored relative any immigration status or benefit. Rather, the foreign national relative must still apply for adjustment of status or secure an immigrant visa following approval of the I-130.
For the immigration service to approve a Form I-130 petition, the sponsoring relative must establish a relationship with the foreign national relative that qualifies them to immigrate to the United States. If the relative is already in the United States and a visa number is available, the relative may be eligible for permanent residency by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
After the I-130 petition is approved, certain relatives must still wait until a visa number is available before they can apply for permanent residency. If the sponsored relative qualifies as an immediate relative, an immigrant visa always is available. The Visa Bulletin is issued on a monthly basis and provides the applicable wait times for each of the different family-based preference categories.