Form I-130, keys to family reunification for Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras | Univision Immigration News


After the start of the humanitarian family reunification permit processes for Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Univision News explains what the Form I-130 from the Immigration Service, a key document used by US citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) when applying for an immigrant visa for parents, spouses, unmarried minor children, or siblings.

On Friday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the opening of expanded legal pathways for the four countries, which aim to “reduce irregular migration routes.” The department further explained that the processes, released at the end of April, “promote family unification.”

The new program benefits family members requested by citizens and/or legal residents through a Form I-130 who, once the application is approved, in some cases must wait 10 or more than 15 years abroad awaiting an available residence visa slot (immigrant visa) in the Department of State (DOS) in order to travel to the United States.

The program allows, after a case-by-case review, to receive authorization to enter the United States and wait with their relatives for the immigrant visa to arrive and then the coveted one. green card or green card.

“With the new strategy, some will be able to enter the country once the family petition (Form I-130) is approved and wait here for a visa quota administered by the DOS National Visa Center,” explains the Office of Citizenship and Services. of Immigration (USCIS).

Keys to Form I-130

He Form I-130 It is one of the most processed documents in USCIS. As of December 31, the agency’s database recorded 1,899,166 pending petitions to be approved. And at the end of March of this year, the unit registered 610,914 F4 requestscorresponding to siblings of US citizens.

The DOS National Visa Center delivers some 480,000 green cards each year in compliance with a quota assigned by Congress. But due to the buildup recorded in the last two or three decades, the waits have become endless. For example, for the F1 category (US parents petitioning for their eldest unmarried children), there is a 9-year wait, but for citizens of Mexican origin the wait is 21 years. In the case of the F2 category (residents asking for their spouse or children under 21 years of age), the wait is 3 years while for Mexicans it rises to 23 years.

The program approved by Biden on April 27 allows certain aliens requested by US citizen or lawful permanent resident family members, on a case-by-case basis, to receive authorization to enter the country once Form I-130 is approved and wait here for a DOS visa slot. no matter how long it takes to advance the Visa Bulletin.

What is a family petition through Form I-130?

In immigration terms, a family petition through Form I-130 is an application to obtain the residence of a foreign relative and is presented by a United States citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States to establish the relationship with direct relatives who wish to immigrate. to this country.

What relatives can a US citizen request?

A US citizen may file an immigrant visa petition for the following relatives:

  • Spouse
  • Unmarried child under 21 years of age
  • married child
  • Child over 21 years of age
  • Parents
  • sibling

What relatives can a legal permanent resident request?

As a permanent resident you can apply to:

  • Spouse (spouse)
  • Unmarried children under 21 years of age
  • Unmarried child of any age

Can a tourist ask a relative?

No. People who are in the United States as tourists are here as non-immigrant visitors (Visa type B2). These people are not US citizens or legal permanent residents. Therefore, they are not eligible to apply for an immigrant visa on behalf of other aliens.

Can undocumented immigrants apply for family residency?

No. Only a citizen or permanent resident of the United States can apply ( Form I-130) on behalf of a foreign relative to immigrate to the United States.

How long does it take to bring a relative through Form I-130?

The process for the approval of the Form I-130 It depends on the status of the petitioner (citizen or resident) and the category or relationship of the petitioner and the USCIS center where the application is processed. In some cases, the wait can be 60 months (according to the tool that measures processing times) or 42 months, if it is a request for a brother by a citizen.

“In some cases it also depends on the nationality of the foreigner requested,” warn lawyers consulted by Univision News.

Now, once the USCIS approves the Form I-130the petitioner must request the Department of State the appropriate visa for USCIS to process the adjustment of status. If DOS officials determine that a visa is available and that the person qualifies, then the appropriate immigrant visa will be issued or a visa will be assigned so that USCIS can process the adjustment of status. But this process can take years, in some cases decades.

Can a citizen or resident with a criminal record petition a relative?

Generally, the fact that a US citizen or lawful permanent resident has a criminal record does not prevent that person from filing a petition on behalf of an alien relative. However, in certain circumstances and depending on the crimes committed, they may exclude these persons from filing a petition.

Note: In some cases of petition for immigration benefits, USCIS says that it grants them as long as the petitioner “has not been found guilty of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, three or more felonies, or represents a threat to national security or public safety”. Visit the USCIS page for more information on what types of crimes prevent you from asking for a relative through the Form I-130.

Does economic income influence the petition of a family member?

No. Income is not used to determine an applicant’s eligibility to file a petition based on family relationship or to determine if the petition is acceptable. USCIS says that it only relies on the validity of the family relationship to determine if the petition is accepted. However, when the time comes to adjust the relative’s status to legal permanent resident, the petitioner may be required to file a statement of support (solvency).

Can a resident petition an undocumented person?

Yes. As long as the petitioner has a valid relationship with the beneficiary, for example, spouse or child, among others. If the petition is approved, the Immigration Executive Action dated November 20, 2014 allows some beneficiaries who entered or are undocumented to request the provisional pardon 601-A to leave the country, do the consular processing and receive the benefit of permanent residence.

Can a citizen petition an undocumented person?

Yes, as long as the petitioner has a valid relationship with the foreign relative who is named beneficiary. If the petition is approved and the beneficiary entered the United States without inspection and/or has accrued unlawful presence in the country, some beneficiaries may request a provisional pardon 601-A to leave the country, do the consular processing and receive the benefit of permanent residence.

How much does the process to request a relative cost?

What happens if an unmarried child requested by an I-130 form marries during the wait?

It depends if you are a citizen or a legal permanent resident. A US citizen can apply for residency for their children. But if you are a resident, the petition filed on behalf of an unmarried child will be denied or revoked if the beneficiary marries before immigrating or adjusting her status. Legal residents are not eligible to apply on behalf of married children.

What happens if the petitioner changes status from resident to citizen?

It is important to note that the petitioner must be eligible to apply for immediate family residency at the time Form I-130 is filed. If a resident who was eligible to petition for a relative later becomes a citizen, if the relationship to the beneficiary still exists, the beneficiary’s classification also changes and they will automatically become the corresponding relative of a United States citizen.

What reasons cancel the petition of a relative?

USCIS reviews all petitions and applications for immigration or citizenship benefits case by case and based solely on their merits. USCIS also ensures that it does not reject or approve a petition unilaterally.

A petition can be withdrawn by the applicant at any time and for any reason. The agency indicates that it will not go deeper for the reason that a petition is withdrawn. By regulation, a petition for approval is automatically revoked under certain legal circumstances, such as the termination of the marriage if a petition is based on it, or legal termination of the applicant’s lawful permanent resident status.

What if he Affidavit of Support dies before authorizing the relative’s request?

The law establishes that the immediate relatives can present a declaration of support or Affidavit Support on your behalf if they meet the legal requirements to avoid inadmissibility for possible public charge. Note that an affidavit of support is not required for a widow(er) or the children of an American.

Do family orders have an expiration date?

There is no expiration date for an approved petition. visit this State Department page for more information about visa availability and preference.

How do you avoid scams during the family petition process?

During the process, USCIS reviews the documents presented by the petitioners to support their relationship, compares the evidence of the petitioners and the statements obtained by USCIS, as well as documents and data to authenticate the validity of the family relationship.

Very important: USCIS attorneys caution that these answers about the Form I-130 they are not to be construed as a substantive or procedural right or benefit by any entity against the United States, its agencies, representatives, or any other person. They add that, for more information, those interested in the agency’s information policies should visit its website or go to one of its offices.

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