A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration attorney and counsel. Contact Info: 732-632-9888, http://www.1visa1.com/ (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

Monday, March 6, 2017

Changes to Family Immigration Form I-130

The USCIS increased the filing fees for many immigration petitions on December 26, 2016.  At the same time, the agency also published new editions of many immigration forms including some commonly used forms such as the N-400 Application for Naturalization, the I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Workers, and also the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative.  Regarding the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative, a new I-130A form has also been implemented.

Under the current immigration policy, a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident may file petitions for their family members to immigrate to the United States.  For a U.S. citizen, he may petition for his parents, spouse, children (married or unmarried), and also his brothers and sisters for U.S. immigration.  For a lawful permanent resident, she may only petition for her spouse, minor children, and unmarried adult sons and daughters to come to the U.S.  President Trump announced his plans to change the current immigration system in his recent speech to Congress.  However, the current policy will continue to be effective unless and until his proposal is adopted by Congress and signed into law. 

The current edition of the Form I-130 is 02/27/17.  It has been revised to capture also some biographical information of the petitioner including employment history, residential addresses, etc. 

Starting 04/28/17, USCIS will only accept the 02/27/17 edition of the Form I-130. Until then, the 12/23/16 edition will still be accepted by USCIS.   The filing fee has been increased to $535 as of 12/26/17 and must be paid now in all I-130 petitions.  

Another major change with the I-130 petition is the implementation of the Form I-130A Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary. For U.S. petitioners who are using the 02/27/17 edition of Form I-130 to file for their spouses, they must also submit a Form I-130A.  

The Form I-130A is a supplemental form that captures the biographical information of the spouse beneficiary such as his employment history, parents' information, residential addresses, etc.  If the spouse beneficiary resides in overseas countries, he must still complete the form but doesn't have to sign it.

For U.S. petitioners who are using the 12/23/16 edition of Form I-130 to file for their spouses, they must still submit two G-325A Biographic Information forms, one for the petitioner and one for the spouse.  The new I-130 and I-130A forms are intended to replace the current G-325A forms required for I-130 spousal petitions.  It should be noted that the new Form I-130A is only needed when one is filing for his/her spouse.  It is not required for other types of family petitions.

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