Navigating the Expenses: Understanding the Cost of Filing an I-130 Petition for a Relative

The cost of filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, is $535.

However, USCIS fees are subject to change, and it’s essential to check the official USCIS website or contact USCIS directly for the most up-to-date information on filing fees. Additionally, there may be additional fees for related processes or services. Always refer to the latest USCIS fee schedule for accurate and current information.

Are there any additional Form I-130 expenses?

Yes, in addition to the filing fee for Form I-130, there may be other expenses associated with the petition. Some potential additional expenses include:

  • Supporting Documents: You may need to provide supporting documents to establish the relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary. The cost of obtaining these documents, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc., may vary.
  • Translation and Certification: If any of the supporting documents are not in English, you may need to have them translated. Translation services may have associated costs.
  • Photographs: Passport-style photos of the petitioner and beneficiary are typically required. The cost of obtaining these photos may vary.
  • Mailing and Courier Services: If you choose to submit your petition and supporting documents by mail, you will incur mailing expenses. Additionally, using a courier service may involve additional costs.
  • Legal Assistance: While not mandatory, some individuals may choose to seek legal assistance to ensure the proper completion of the form and adherence to immigration laws. Legal fees will vary depending on the attorney.

Form I-130 is Approved – What to Do Next?

Congratulations on the approval of Form I-130! Once the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, is approved, the next steps depend on the specific circumstances and the type of immigration process involved. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Notification of Approval:
    • You will receive a Form I-797, Notice of Action, indicating the approval of Form I-130. This notice confirms that the relationship between the petitioner and beneficiary has been recognized.
  • Further Processing for Family-Based Immigration:
    • If the petition is part of a family-based immigration process, the next steps may involve waiting for a visa number to become available (if applicable). The availability of visa numbers depends on the beneficiary’s relationship to the petitioner and their visa category.
  • Consular Processing or Adjustment of Status:
    • Depending on the immigration category, the beneficiary may need to go through consular processing abroad or apply for adjustment of status within the United States. Consular processing involves completing visa applications and attending an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate. Adjustment of status is the process of applying for lawful permanent resident status while in the U.S.
  • National Visa Center (NVC) Processing:
    • If the case is proceeding through consular processing, the National Visa Center (NVC) may handle further processing. This involves submitting additional documentation, paying fees, and waiting for an interview appointment.
  • Medical Examination and Affidavit of Support:
    • In many cases, beneficiaries will need to undergo a medical examination by an approved panel physician. Additionally, the petitioner may need to submit an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) to demonstrate financial responsibility.
  • Interview and Decision:
    • The beneficiary will attend an interview, either at a U.S. embassy or consulate or at a USCIS office if adjusting status. During the interview, officers will assess the validity of the relationship and determine eligibility for immigration benefits.
  • Obtaining a Green Card:
    • If the immigration process is successful, the beneficiary may receive a visa or be granted adjustment of status, leading to the issuance of a green card as evidence of lawful permanent resident status.

It’s crucial to follow the specific instructions provided in the Form I-797 and any subsequent communications from USCIS or the NVC. It’s also advisable to consult with an immigration attorney for guidance tailored to your specific situation.

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