Filing Green Card Applications Online

Erick Widman


In a significant step towards digitizing the immigration process, USCIS made Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, accessible for online filing in October 2019. This advancement allows applicants to not only submit Form I-130 but also all the required forms and supporting evidence electronically. It simplifies tracking your case and receiving updates on your application’s status through the USCIS portal.

Recognized as one of the most commonly utilized forms, Form I-130’s transition to an online, paperless filing system aims to enhance the agency’s efficiency. The move to online filing is anticipated to facilitate faster and more streamlined processing of cases. Nevertheless, as this digital option is relatively nascent and still under refinement, several considerations come into play when deciding the optimal filing method for a petition.

Who Requires Form I-130?

Form I-130 often serves as the preliminary step for family members aspiring for a Green Card. This application sets the stage for eligible relatives to embark on their journey to the United States, though it doesn’t immediately confer any immigration status or benefits. Following the approval of the I-130 petition, the immigrant relative can then proceed to complete the Green Card application.

Eligibility for applying via Form I-130 hinges on specific categories outlined on the USCIS website, detailing qualifying factors and subsequent steps. For numerous individuals, this form represents the initial phase towards acquiring a Green Card.

U.S. citizens are eligible to file I-130s for their spouses, children, and if above 21, for their parents, brothers, or sisters as well. Lawful permanent residents have the privilege of filing for their spouses or children, necessitating a separate Form I-130 for each relative. Spouses filing must also complete Form I-130A, which accompanies the I-130 at the time of submission.

Online vs. Mail Filing of I-130

Choosing between online submission and mailing a physical copy of Form I-130 involves several considerations:

  • Encountering technical glitches on the USCIS website is common, affecting users looking for I-130 direct filing addresses.
  • Unique case scenarios, such as those requiring a special request or fee waiver, may not be conducive to online filing.
  • Manual completion of forms allows for a personalized touch missing from online options, which limits selections to predefined answers.
  • Online submissions typically mean quicker receipt of notices and biometrics appointments compared to paper filings.
  • The convenience of online filing eliminates the hassle of printing, mailing, and deciphering the correct direct filing address for I-130 submissions.
  • However, the inability to attach a cover letter or additional explanations online might restrict the opportunity to clarify intricate details or special circumstances surrounding your case.

Cases that are straightforward, devoid of unique circumstances, are well-suited for online filing, representing a practical option for many. When opting for this route, it’s critical to meticulously follow instructions and accurately complete each section to prevent unnecessary denials or returns due to errors.

For those who are thinking about the concurrent filing of I-130 and I-485, particularly for spouses or parents, understanding the ins and outs between I-485 vs I-130 and how to adeptly manage to file I-130 and I-485 separately or together, becomes important. The choice to file Form I-130 and I-485 together, leveraging concurrent filing options, could streamline the process of obtaining a Green Card.

USCIS E-Filing System: Online Immigration Forms and Applications

If navigating the I-130 forum, concurrent filing i-130 and i-485 addresses, or the specific steps after I-130 approval seems daunting, seeking expert guidance is advisable. Whether it’s deciphering the proof of bona fide marriage for I-130 or understanding the USCIS mailing address for I-130 and I-485, professional advice can demystify the process, ensuring your or your relatives’ Green Card application is meticulously handled.

USCIS Online Applications and Forms Update

USCIS E-Filing System: Online Immigration Forms and Applications

Starting in January 2023, USCIS expanded its digital offerings, allowing various immigration forms and applications to be filed electronically. By setting up an online account with USCIS, applicants can now easily submit key forms, including but not limited to:

  • Form AR-11, Alien’s Change of Address Card
  • Form G-639, Freedom of Information/Privacy Act and Online FOIA Request
  • Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card
  • Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
  • Form I-134A, Online Request to be a Supporter and Declaration of Financial Support for initiatives like Uniting for Ukraine or the Processes for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans
  • Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status
  • Form I-589, Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal
  • Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
  • Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status
  • Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
  • Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings
  • Form N-400, Application for Naturalization
  • Form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document
  • Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship
  • Form N-600K, Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322

When applying, whether through USCIS’s online system or by mail, it’s critical to adhere to all application requirements. Ensure the inclusion of all necessary supporting documentation, which may encompass:

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship, lawful permanent residence, or U.S. national status
  • Documents establishing your relationship, such as a birth or marriage certificate
  • The standard filing fee of $535
  • For some applications, two passport photos may also be necessary as qualifying photographs

The move towards increasing online application availability and streamlining access to critical forms like Form I-130 represents a positive stride toward enhancing the efficiency of the immigration system.

Passage Immigration is dedicated to assisting individuals with their immigration needs. If you’re navigating the concurrent filing i-130 and i-485 process, need to understand the USCIS mailing address for i-130 and i-485, or require guidance on filing i-130 and i-485 separately, our team is here to support you. For further assistance or inquiries about Form I-130a instructions PDF, direct filing address i-130, or i-130 and i-485 concurrent filing processes, don’t hesitate to visit our website or contact us at (503) 427-8243.

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