What You Need to Know About Form I-730

Updated on April 10, 2024

At a Glance

  • Form I-730 for derivative refugees or asylees’ family.
  • Filed by those granted asylum or refugee status in the U.S.
  • Must be filed within two years of receiving status.
  • Eligibility requires a pre-existing relationship and no persecution history.

Form I-730 is a document that may come in handy if you’re a refugee or you were granted asylum, and you happen to miss your family. Therefore, if this applies to you, you may want to know what this form involves. This article will tell you everything you need to know about it.

What Is Form I-730?

Form I-730 can be filed by people who were granted asylum or are refugees in the United States. This form will allow their spouse and children under 21 years old who are unmarried to go to the States too, as a refugee or derivative asylee. You can file the form within two years of the day you received your refugee or asylum status.

Bear in mind – this form is just for a principal refugee or asylee. If you’re someone who became a derivative asylee or refugee, this form is not useful in your case.

Who Will Qualify as a Refugee/Asylee Relative?

Here are the requirements to qualify as a derivative asylee or refugee:

Unmarried Child

If you have a child and want him/her to come to the U.S. as a derivative refugee or asylee, then he/she must not be married. Even if you submit the form while the child is unmarried and they marry in the meantime, they won’t be able to come to the U.S.

Child Under 21

Your child should be under the age of 21 when you received the first asylum application if you want form I-730 to work for them. Also, if you applied with this form while the child was under 21 and now they reached the limit age, they might still qualify. At the same time, make sure that the child was listed on Form I-589 or I-590.

Adopted Children Age Limits

If you have adopted children, they must have been adopted before they turned 16 to qualify for this form. In order to qualify, your stepchild should have had an age below 18 on your marriage date.

Existent Relationship During the Asylum Grant Date

You need to make sure you already had a relationship with the relative when you were granted asylum or refugee status. Also, you must ensure that the relationship didn’t stop either. It must still exist when you fill out and submit form I-730.

Simply put, you and your spouse should have been married already on that date. As for a potential child, they should have been conceived or born when you received asylum.

The Relative Shouldn’t Have Persecuted Others

Another thing to make sure of is that your relative didn’t persecute others. Otherwise, they may not be able to qualify for derivative refugee or asylum status.

Form I-730 Requirements

There are some documents that you need to submit with the form, to make sure you prove the eligibility of your relatives. Here is what you should submit:

  • A photograph of the family member/s you are applying for, taken recently
  • Proof of your refugee/asylee status in the U.S.
  • The child’s birth certificate (when applying for a child)
  • Marriage certificate (when applying for a spouse)
  • Adoption decree and evidence of residence with the child for at least 2 years (when applying for an adopted child)
  • If applying for a stepchild, bring the marriage certificate between you and the child’s natural parent, and the child’s birth certificate

How to Complete Form I-730

You might find it difficult to complete form I-730. If that’s the case, we are ready to give you some instructions to help you out.

I-730 Instructions

Select the Rightful Box

Before you start completing the petition, check the box that tells officials what you are – an asylee, refugee, or lawful permanent resident based on previous asylee/refugee status. Then, check the box for the beneficiary you are applying for. Keep in mind you have to file different forms for each relative.

You should also tell the number of relatives you’re applying for.

Give Basic Information about Yourself

Offer some personal data about yourself, the applicant. This information should include your birth date, name, gender, birth country, nationality, address, Social Security Number, and alien registration number. When a section doesn’t apply to you, type “N/A” and don’t leave the space blank.

Mention any potential names you used in the past too.

Offer Information About the Beneficiary

You will pretty much have to give the same type of information about the person you’re filing the form for. But there will be some additional questions too, so don’t forget to fill them out.

Also, in case you hired someone to help you fill out the form, they have to check a box that says “To Be Completed by Attorney or Representative”.

Check some boxes that describe the language fluency of the family, and talk about the immigration history of your relative.

Filing Deadline

The filing deadline for the form is 2 years after you were granted asylee or refugee status. If you submit the form once that term has passed, check the “Yes” box. But keep in mind that you should also provide a good explanation of why you didn’t apply before the deadline.


You will have to sign the petition and write the date. The relative and person who helped you prepare it have to sign it too.

Where to File Form I-730

Form I-730 can be mailed. There are two main addresses, for the Nebraska Service Center and Texas Service Center, and depending on what state you live in, one of them will apply to you. Check the I-730 page on USCIS, and you will see where your state has to file.

Form I-730 Filing Fee

You’re in luck. In order to file this form, you won’t have to pay any fee. It’s free, so you can save your cash for other things.

Form I-730 Processing Time

If everything is alright and you submit all the documents necessary, the process can last as long as 5 months.

Form I-730 FAQs

Many people still have curiosities about this form, so here are some of the most commonly asked questions:

How Long Does It Take to Process I-730?

According to USCIS, form I-730 may take about 5 months to be processed.

Can Asylees Travel?

Yes, asylees can travel outside the States, but they must have the necessary travel documents. They must have a Refugee Travel Document issued by the U.S. to be able to travel.

What Is the Current Wait Time for U.S. Citizenship?

Well, the application process alone can take around 10 months, so it’s a long process. However, there are other steps after the application that will increase this amount of time. So, the entire procedure can last between 14 and 19 months.


If you’re a refugee or asylee and want to bring your family to the U.S., then you can file form I-730. But first, you need to make sure they meet the requirements and that you have all the necessary documents. If you’re in this situation and you still have questions about going from asylee to green card or about loans for asylees, definitely check out Stilt. We have a lot of useful advice.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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