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I-130 Supporting Documents Checklist for Parents

Updated on April 10, 2024

At a Glance

  • Submit Form I-130 for parents with required documents and filing fee.
  • Provide petitioner’s address, employment history (past five years), and beneficiary’s address, employment history, and immigration status.
  • Include necessary documents like proof of status, beneficiary’s passport photo, and completed I-130 form.
  • Supporting documents checklist covers translations, U.S. citizenship proof, birth certificates, passports, marriage certificate, and additional documents as needed.

U.S. citizens aged 21 and older can initiate a petition for permanent residence for their non-U.S. citizen parents by filing an I-130 Form. Given the form’s complexity, this article offers a comprehensive guide and checklist to help you accurately complete and submit the I-130.

I-130 Checklist For Parents: What to Have

When petitioning for your foreign national parents to immigrate to the U.S., completing Form I-130 is just the beginning. Here’s what else you need to include:

1. Supporting Documentation:

  • Your U.S. Citizenship Proof: A state-issued birth certificate, valid U.S. passport, or a naturalization certificate.
  • Parent’s Birth Certificate: Essential for establishing the relationship.
  • Parent’s Valid Foreign Passport: To verify identity and nationality.
  • Marriage Certificate: If petitioning for both parents who are still married.
  • Divorce Decree: If the parent you’re petitioning for is remarried after a divorce.
  • Death Certificate: In case one of your parents has passed away.
  • Form I-407: If your parent was previously a U.S. permanent resident.
  • Certified Translations: For any non-English documents, translated by a certified translator.

When submitting documents for the Form I-130 petition, it’s generally advisable to provide only copies of the necessary documents. It’s important to note that USCIS may destroy these copies if they were not specifically requested as originals. However, in cases where USCIS requires original documents, they will ensure to return these originals to the mailing address listed on the petition.

2.Form I-130 Submission Fee:

  • The fee is $535, payable via check or money order to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
  • Cash payments are accepted if filing in person at a U.S. consulate.

Ensure all documents are complete and accurate to avoid delays in the petition process.

I-130 Checklist for the Petitioner

There are two checklists of information for the I-130 when bringing parents to the U.S. The first checklist, described above, will apply to the parents. The second checklist will be key before completing Form I-130 and applies to the petitioner.

Petitioner’s Information

  • Address history for the past five years
  • Employment history for the past five years
  • Previously filed petition for the beneficiary or any other foreign nationals

Beneficiary’s Information

  • Address history for the past five years
  • Employment history for the past five years
  • I-94 information (if presently in the U.S.)
  • Any previous immigration proceedings

This information will be key during the process of petitioning to have parents visit the U.S. and it’s best to prepare it ahead of time.

How to Complete the I-130 Form for Parents

There are 5 different parts of the I-130 Form. Here’s how to complete each part.

General Guidelines for Completing Form I-130

When filling out Form I-130 for your parent’s permanent residence petition, it’s essential to adhere to these guidelines:

  • Presentation: Type your answers or write them legibly in black ink.
  • Signatures: Ensure all signatures are handwritten in black ink. Stamped or typed signatures are not valid.
  • Completeness and Accuracy: Answer all questions fully and accurately. False information can lead to petition termination and affect your parent’s Green Card eligibility.
  • Additional Space: If more space is needed, use Part 9 (Additional Information) of the form or attach separate sheets with the relevant page, part, and item numbers indicated. Remember to sign and date each additional page.
  • Response Format: For non-applicable items, write “not applicable” or “n/a”. Use “none” for numerical responses, unless instructed otherwise.
  • Date Format: Use the mm/dd/yyyy format for dates. For uncertain dates, provide an approximate date and explain in Part 9.

Part 1: Relationship information

Check the “Parent” box and answer the relevant questions. The purpose of these questions is to determine not only that these are your parents, but that they’re your biological parents. U.S. citizens cannot file for permanent resident status on behalf of adoptive parents.

Part 2: Personal information

In this part of the I-130 you’ll provide a wide range of personal information proving your U.S. citizen status, address, marital status, work history, and more. This part is meant to demonstrate that you are who you say you are, and that your parents are eligible for a green card.

Part 3: Additional personal information

This part is a continuation of the last, and involves you providing biographical information about yourself.

Part 4: Parents’ personal information

Part 4 of the I-130 form asks many of the same questions as Parts 2 and 3, but now about your parents. Your parents will have to provide answers to questions about marital status, employment, and more. The supporting documents that your parents submit to the USCIS will provide supporting evidence for the information they divulge in this part.

Part 5: Additional information about the petitioner

The questions in part 5 pertain to whether or not you have ever in the past filed a petition with the USCIS on behalf of an immigrant. Finally, you sign the document and confirm the date, and your I-130 Form if completed.

For more detailed instructions on how to complete this form, visit our post on how to complete Form I-130.

Where to File an I-130 Petition

First, go through the I-130 checklist for parents above and make sure your petition has all the proper documents, then make a photocopy of the whole petition for your records. Once you know the petition is ready, mail it to a USCIS lockbox. Which USCIS lockbox you send your I-130 petition to will depend on your location. There is one in Phoenix and one in Chicago, and each lockbox covers different states; find the right USCIS location to mail your I-130 here.

After the I-130 Form is Submitted

A couple of weeks after submitting your I-130 petition to the USCIS you should receive a notification of receipt, which indicates the USCIS has received your petition. However, this is not approval; you will get a receipt number, which you can use on the USCIS website to track the progress of your petition.

Once processing is completed, you will receive an approval or denial notice. If denied, the USCIS will provide a reason why, and you will have an opportunity to refile. If approved, your petition will be forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC), which will guide you through the next steps of the green card application process.

I-130 Processing Time for Parents

U.S. citizens who are at least 21 years old can sponsor their parents for a Green Card, classifying them as immediate relatives. The processing time for Form I-130 in such cases typically ranges between 12 and 16 months, similar to other immediate relative categories. However, it’s important to note that lawful permanent residents are not eligible to file Form I-130 for their parents.

Read More

Next Steps

Bringing your parents to live with you in the US is a huge step, and getting the I-130 Form approved is one of the biggest hurdles in the process. With the I-130 approved, you can be confident that your parents are eligible for a green card, and your parents can focus on preparing for their green card interview.

I-130 Checklist for Parents FAQ

Below, you will find some common questions about what visiting parents show know and have when coming to the U.S. and their answers.

What is Form I-130?

Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, is used by U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents to sponsor their non-U.S. citizen parents for a Green Card.

Who can file Form I-130 for parents?

U.S. citizens who are 21 years old or older can file Form I-130 to sponsor their foreign national parents.

What documents are required for filing Form I-130 for parents?

You’ll need proof of your U.S. citizenship (like a birth certificate or passport), your parent’s birth certificate, their foreign passport, and if applicable, marriage or divorce certificates, death certificates, and Form I-407 for previous U.S. residency.

How should I fill out Form I-130?

Type or print legibly in black ink, and provide handwritten signatures in black ink. Answer all questions fully and accurately, and use additional sheets if needed.

What if some questions on Form I-130 are not applicable?

Write “not applicable” or “n/a” for non-applicable items and “none” for numerical responses unless instructed otherwise.

How do I handle dates on Form I-130?

Enter all dates in the mm/dd/yyyy format. For uncertain dates, provide an approximate date and explain in the additional information section.

Is there a fee for filing Form I-130 for parents?

Yes, there is a processing fee for Form I-130. Check the USCIS website for the current fee amount.

Can I file Form I-130 for both parents at the same time?

Yes, you can file separate I-130 petitions for each parent simultaneously.

What if I need more space to answer questions on Form I-130?

Use the additional space provided in Part 9 of the form, or attach separate sheets with the corresponding page, part, and item numbers.

How do I submit Form I-130 for my parents?

After completing the form and gathering all required documents, submit them to USCIS following the instructions on the form.

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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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