I-130 Visa – Petitions for the Immigrating Spouse of an American Citizen

Jun 25, 2014 | Form I-130

If you are a U.S. citizen ​who intends to sponsor your foreign-born husband or wife for a U.S. green card (lawful permanent residence), you  or your immigration lawyer will start the application process by filing a visa petitio​n​. This petition is called the Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative).  

Your immigration attorney will mail this form (with accompanying documents and fee) to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If your spouse is currently residing ​overseas, your spouse will only be able to proceed with the green card application only after the I-130 is approved​,​ using a procedure called “consular processing”.

If your foreign-born spouse is already in the United States​ after a legal entry, he or she is likely eligible to “adjust status” (apply for the green card) at a USCIS office, without having to leave the United States — in which case you do not need to submit the I-130 and wait for its approval before submitting the adjustment of status application (I-485 and accompanying forms and documents). The two can be submitted to USCIS all at once​.​

It is important to note, however, that physical presence in the U.S. is not enough by itself, to render​ an immigrant eligible to adjust status. If, for example, your spouse entered the U.S. illegally, it is likely that he or she is ​not eligible to adjust status, but can only use the consular processing procedure and may need a waiver of past unlawful presence as well.

In these cases, you may want to contact ​a local  immigration lawyer in Miami, Florida for assistance. For more information, please visit tmsilvalaw.com, or contact The Law Office of Tatiane M. Silva, P.A., Esq. at 305-895-2500 (office) or michael@mmurraylaw.com.