How To File an Immigrant Petition

People who wish to come to the United States may need to file an immigration petition to come to the United States.

An immigrant petition is a document that asks the U.S. government for permission for an immigrant to come to the United States. It is often a requirement to apply for a green card.

Usually, the someone files a petition on behalf of the immigrant. Separate petitions may have to be filed for every immigrating individual.

Before you get started on filing an immigration petition, learn a little more about what they are, how they’re filed and how long they take to file.

Immigration petitions: Which one do I use?

There are two major immigration petitions for the United States. Form I-130 and Form I-140.

U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States can apply for the immigration of their relatives using Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. The USCIS application processing fee for Form I-130 is $420.

Relatives that may be eligible for support from an immigration petition include:

  • Parents of U.S. citizens
  • Siblings of U.S. citizens
  • Spouses of U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States
  • Children of U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States

Employers can sponsor immigration through Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. The USCIS application processing fee for this form Is $700.

There are many different ways by which someone can immigrate through a job, but the most popular way is to come to the U.S. on an H-1B visa and then adjust status to permanent residence.

Filing a Petition

Filing an immigration petition is relatively straightforward. The government asks questions about the sponsor (the person asking for permission for the immigrant to come to the U.S.) and the immigrant and why the government should allow the immigrant into the country.

For the I-130, the reasoning comes from a valid familial relationship between the sponsor and the immigrant.

For the I-140, an employer has to prove that they have been sufficiently rigorous in their search for a qualified employee.

Once the petition is filled out, it is then mailed to the appropriate USCIS Lockbox facility. Check the instructions on the petition to know which facility to mail your application to.

To get an email or text response from the USCIS letting you know that your application was accepted, complete Form G-1145, Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance, and attach it.

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