As the first step, a sponsoring relative must file a Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130 with the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
In certain circumstances, a U.S. citizen living abroad can file an immigrant visa petition outside the United States. Review Filing Immigrant Petitions Outside the United States to learn more.
I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
- Form I-130 (638 KB PDF)
- Instructions for Form I-130 (78 KB PDF)
- Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance (240 KB PDF)
Purpose of Form
For citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States to establish the relationship to certain alien relatives who wish to immigrate to the United States.
Note: A separate form must be filed for each eligible relative. USCIS processes Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, as a visa number becomes available. Filing and approval of an I-130 is only the first step in helping a relative immigrate to the United States. Eligible family members must wait until there is a visa number available before they can apply for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status to a lawful permanent resident.
In general, the following documents are required:
- Passport(s) valid for 60 days beyond the expiration date printed on the immigrant visa
- Affidavit of Support (Form I-864, I-864A, I-864 EZ, or I-864W, as appropriate) from the petitioner/U.S. sponsor
- Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application.
- Preview a sample DS-260 (6.4MB).
- Two (2) 2×2 photographs. See the required photo format explained in Photograph Requirements.
- Civil Documents for the applicant (and petitioner in F4 cases). See Documents the Applicant Must Submit for more specific information about documentation requirements, including information on which documents may need to be translated. The consular officer may ask for more information during your visa interview. Bring your original civil documents (or certified copies), such as birth and marriage certificates, as well as legible photocopies of the original civil documents, and any required translations to your immigrant visa interview. Original documents and translations can then be returned to you.
- Completed Medical Examination Forms – These are provided by the panel physician after you have completed your medical examination and vaccinations (see below).