How to Fill Form I-130 and I-130A – Complete Step by Step guide with examples and Attorney commentary

Beneficiary’s Entry Information.

Question 45: Was the beneficiary Ever in the United States?

This question must be answered. The petitioner will have to sign under penalty of perjury that the information on the I-130 is true. A petitioner who attempts to hide or misrepresent information such as unlawful entries or time in the United States while out of status will jeopardize the immigrant petition process.

Question 46— If Your Relative is Currently in the U.S., Complete the Following

Most entrants to the United States will receive a Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record upon entry that documents their status upon entry and the date upon which such status expires. If the intended beneficiary has been issued an I-94, the information from the I-94 must be provided in question 46. DHS no longer issues paper I-94 forms and an immigrant can obtain their most recent I-94 directly from DHS website : https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/

NOTE: Question 46.d. typically an F-1 student will be given Form I-94 with the notation “Duration of Status” in this case the beneficiary is asked to write D/S in the date field, however, that field only accepts a date. In this case I usually recommend printing the form once it’s complete and hand write “D/S” in that field.

Beneficiary’s Employment Information:

Question 51. Information regarding the name and address of the present employer and the date that employment began for the beneficiary must be provided in this section.

Question 53. If the intended beneficiary has previously been in immigration proceedings, information about those proceedings must be provided in this section. Please note that if the beneficiary has been under proceedings, an Alien File (with A number) should exist and the resolution should be explained. Note that the resulting order from a previous proceeding can affect the intended beneficiary’s eligibility to benefit from the I-130 petition, even if the I-130 is approved. For example, a previous order of removal or overstaying an order of voluntary departure will limit or preclude an intended beneficiary’s ability to gain lawful permanent resident status through an approved I-130.

Question 59. Spouses’ last address together. This question is only for I-130 petitions based on marriage. If the petition is not based on a marital relationship, “N/A” should be written here or left blank. For a marriage-based petition even a residence together of a few days should be provided. Normally this should be the place where the petitioner and beneficiary still live together. If they no longer live together, the petition will be closely scrutinized to confirm that the marriage was entered in good faith and that there has been no divorce or formal separation agreement or order.

Question  61. Complete the Information below if your relative is in the U.S. and is eligible for adjustment of status and intends to file for adjustment of status then the appropriate USCIS local office should be listed here. An immigrant can locate the closest USCIS office at the following link: https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/find-uscis-office. If the intended beneficiary intends to undergo consular processing abroad, the appropriate consular post should be listed. Not all consulates located in the relative’s home country issue immigrant visas; therefore, to determine the appropriate consulate to designate on Form I-130, check the U.S. embassy/consulate and National Visa Center websites.

NOTE: Generally, beneficiaries of family-based petitions obtain permanent residence through consular processing. The form incorrectly makes it appear that the alien has the absolute choice of where to undergo consular processing, if necessary. In fact, while the beneficiary can state a preference for a particular country, the National Visa Center (who receives the approved petition from USCIS) will assign the case to the U.S. consulate in the country where the beneficiary last resided or where the alien is a citizen.

Part 5. Other Information

Questions 1–2 — Information on Other Petitions with USCIS

All separate petitions previously filed by the petitioner for the intended beneficiary or any other alien must be listed. Part 9. Additional information should be used if necessary to completely list other petitions. Form I-130 petitions that are concurrently filed, such as one of two parents or a stepchild, should also be listed in this section.

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