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Two Paths to Green Card: Navigating the I-130 for Your Beneficiary

Two Paths to Green Card: Navigating the I-130 for Your Beneficiary

The I-130 Petition for Alien Relative is a crucial first step for many individuals seeking permanent residency in the United States through family sponsorship. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires the U.S citizen or Legal Permanent Resident to file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative for the family member seeking residence. However, with two distinct paths available within the I-130 process, choosing the right one is essential for a smooth and timely immigration journey.

Path 1: Consular Processing (Outside the U.S.)

If your beneficiary resides outside the United States, the Consular Processing option allows them to apply for their green card abroad at a U.S. consulate or embassy. This path typically involves:

  • Filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
  • Completing additional forms and gathering supporting documents as per the consulate’s requirements.
  • Attending an interview at the consulate, where an immigration officer will assess their eligibility.
  • Upon approval, receiving an immigrant visa to enter the U.S. and obtain lawful permanent resident status.

Consular processing is ideal for beneficiaries currently residing outside the U.S. and who haven’t entered illegally or overstayed their visas.

Path 2: Adjustment of Status (Inside the U.S.)

The Adjustment of Status path caters to beneficiaries already residing in the U.S., legally or otherwise. They might be eligible to apply for their green card without leaving the country, through a process known as Adjustment of Status. This typically involves:

  • Filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
  • Filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
  • Providing evidence of eligibility and meeting specific requirements, like continuous lawful presence.
  • Attending an interview with USCIS, where an officer will assess their case.
  • Upon approval, receiving a green card in the mail.

Adjustment of Status is ideal for beneficiaries already residing in the U.S., meeting specific eligibility criteria, and wanting to avoid consular processing abroad.

You should speak to an immigration attorney PRIOR to filing an adjustment of status application. The rules are different based on your personal circumstances.

Do You Want To Sponsor A Family Member For A Green Card? Contact an Experienced Immigration Attorney Today

Mario Godoy and the experienced immigration attorneys at Godoy Law Office can assess your immigration application status. With experience in many different types of immigration cases and an understanding of the impact of new and changing immigration regulations, it can be beneficial for you to contact an immigration lawyer today. Please call 630-345-4164.

AREAS WE SERVE: Godoy Law Office Immigration Lawyers helps clients in all 50 states and has 3 offices in the Chicago, Illinois area.

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