Filing a Petition for Alien Relative

If you are a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident (green card holder), you can fill out a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of your family member. Likewise, if you are an immigrant with a family member who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you can request that your family member file the Form I-130.

Who Can File the Petition for Alien Relative?

The identity of the relatives who can file a Form I-130 on a relative’s behalf varies, depending on whether the person filing the form is a U.S citizen or a permanent resident.

If you are immigrating to the United States, the following relatives could file a Form I-130 for you, assuming they are U.S. citizens: a spouse, any unmarried children, any married children, any siblings (if you are over 21 years old), or your parents (if you are over 21 years old).

If you are immigrating, the following relatives could file a Form I-130 for you, if they are U.S. permanent residents: either your spouse or your unmarried children, of any age.

Other relatives may not file the Form I-130. Grandparents, stepchildren, nieces, nephews, aunts, and uncles are all ineligible.

How to File the I-130

The Form I-130 has eight parts. You must fill out all of the sections of the form, but the most important sections are Part 1, Part 2, and Part 4.

Part 1 covers your relationship with the immigrant to the United States. Part 2 covers information about you, including your name, date of birth, mailing address, and marital status. Part 4 covers information about the beneficiary, covering the same kinds of details that were gone over in Part 2.

There is an application fee for every Form I-130, so you will be charged a filing fee of $535. It is easy to make a mistake when filing, so it would be a good idea to talk to a Kentucky immigration attorney if you have any questions or concerns.

Response Times on the I-130

The typical processing time for the I-130 is about 45 days. That being said, there is some variation in the timing, and the process can take a while longer. Most petitions are processed within 5 to 9 months.

Assuming everything goes well, a positive response to a Form I-130 filed by a U.S. citizen will receive approval within 12 months. Approval can take quite a bit longer when the filing is done by a U.S. permanent resident—applicants can generally expect to be approved within 6 months to 6 years. This time delay happens because there are a limited number of immigrant visas available at any given time.


The attorneys at Carman Fullerton respect Kentucky’s long history of successful immigration, and they are ready to help any immigrant who needs legal representation.  Contact a Kentucky immigration attorney at (859) 469-4880 for a free initial consultation to discuss your specific legal situation.  We value immigrants, and we are here to serve you.