It’s tricky enough figuring out which immigration application to use and answering complicated questions to complete it. But what happens next? What should you expect after you file?

Here’s the breakdown of the I-130, Petition for Alien Relative process, after you file.

I-130 Receipt Notice

The first thing you will receive is confirmation that the USCIS received your I-130 petition. You will receive the I-797C, Notice of Action notification through the mail. If your petition is incomplete, this notification may be a rejection. It’s important to note that a rejection is NOT a denial and you have the opportunity to fix the errors. This document may also include a request for evidence, asking you to send more supporting documentation.

I-130 Notice of Biometric Services Appointment

The biometric services appointment is a requirement of many immigration processes. This appointment takes place at a local Application Support Center (ASC) where your fingerprints, photograph and signature will be taken. Biometrics allows the USCIS to confirm your identity and run required background and security checks.

Your appointment notice will again be Form I-797C, Notice of Action and will include the date, time and location of your appointment. It will also include instructions on what you should bring:

  • Your appointment notice
  • Valid, government-issued photo identification

I-130 Interview Notice

In some cases, you may also receive a notice for an interview. This will also arrive on an I-797C document. Generally, USCIS interviews are scheduled to review your application, ask any questions the USCIS may have, and verify the information you submitted is accurate and true. In the case of the I-130, the USCIS may be specifically verifying the validity of your family relationship. The notice will include the date, time and location of the interview. It will also tell you what to bring, including any original documents that USCIS wishes to review in-person.

I-130 Written Notice or Decision

Finally, you will receive notice of the decision made on your I-130 application. If your application was approved, you relative may apply for adjustment of status, or an immigrant visa (if they live out of the country).