Approved Form I-130: How to Move Forward in the Family Petition Process

We have already seen how a family petition can help you reunite with your loved ones. Now, once you have an approved Form I-130, what’s Next? Today we will explain how to continue the immigration process with a successful family petition.

If you need help with any family immigration matter, Urbina Immigration Law can assist you. Don’t risk the future of your loved ones by navigating the complex immigration system on your own. Tell us about your case and take the first step to help your family immigrate to the United States.

How do I know if my I-130 petition was approved?

First, let’s answer a common question: How do I know if my I-130 petition was approved? Well, to find out you can follow these steps:

  • Check online: You can use the USCIS online case status tool. To do so, you will need to enter the USCIS receipt number found on the receipt notice you received after filing your I-130 petition. Then click on “Check Status” to review the current status of your request.
  • Call USCIS: If you do not have the receipt number or if you are having difficulty verifying online, you can call USCIS at 1-800-375-5283. Provide the information necessary to obtain the status of your I-130 petition.
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You can check the status of your Form I-130 online through the USCIS online case status tool.

Remember that these methods will allow you to know the current status of your request. If the petition has been approved, the online tool or USCIS representative will be able to confirm it and provide additional details on next steps.

I have a Form I-130 approved, what’s next?

Once you have your Form I-130 approved, you can continue your immigration process in the following manner:

Step 1: Receipt of Notice of Action by Petitioner (NOA)

Wait for the notification notice from USCIS to confirm official approval. Keep this letter, as you will probably need it later. If your online case status is listed as “approved” but you have not yet received your notification, you should contact USCIS.

Step 2: Pre-processing by the National Visa Center (NVC)

Once approved by USCIS, the I-130 petition is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) for pre-processing. At this stage, fees and documents will be requested from the petitioner and beneficiary.

Step 3: Receipt of case number and welcome letter from NVC

Once all the necessary documentation is provided, the NVC will assign you a case number and send you a welcome letter with instructions on how to proceed with the process.

Step 4: Payment of Immigrant Visa and Adjustment of Status (AOS) Fees

Once you receive instructions from the NVC, you may begin the Adjustment of Status process to obtain permanent residence. To do so, you must pay the necessary fees for this process and/or for the immigrant visa, and then schedule an interview with USCIS officials.

Step 5: Complete forms DS-260 and I-864 and schedule interview

Fill out Form DS-260 online and complete Form I-864 (Affidavit of Economic Sponsorship). Once done, the NVC or the consulate will send a letter with details for the interview.

Depending on the particulars of your case, there may be some extra steps involved. In addition, the adjustment of status process can be extremely complex and has its particularities. Therefore, it is essential to have an immigration attorney to assist you. Contact us today and get the legal help you need.

What documents do I need to adjust my status after my I-130 petition is approved?

Once your I-130 petition is approved, you will need the following documentation to continue the process:

  • Forms:
    • Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status).
    • Form I-130 (Pre-approved).
    • Form I-864 (Affidavit of Economic Sponsorship under Section 213A of the Act).
    • Form I-693 (USCIS Medical Examination, completed by an authorized physician).
  • Personal Documents:
    • Valid passport.
    • Copies of the identification pages of the passport.
    • Passport size photos according to USCIS specifications.
    • Birth Certificate.
    • Government-issued photo ID (driver’s license, state ID, etc.).
  • Marital Status Documents:
    • Marriage certificate (if applicable).
    • Divorce certificate or dissolution of marriage documents (if applicable).
    • Death certificate of previous spouse (if applicable).
  • Financial and Employment Documents:
    • Proof of current employment (employment letters, recent pay stubs, etc.).
    • Tax returns (Forms W-2 or 1099).
    • Proof of income (bank statements, financial statements, etc.).
    • Letter of employment or job offer (if applicable).
  • Criminal Documents:
    • Criminal record (criminal or police record certificates).
    • Certificates of rehabilitation (if you have a criminal record).

Submitting all of this documentation is vital to moving forward after your Form I-130 is approved. However, gathering and filling out all these documents is an extremely difficult task. Do not risk your future. Talk to one of our attorneys today and get the help you need to get your papers in order.

What can I do if my I-130 petition is denied?

If your I-130 petition is denied, you may appeal the decision by filing Form I-290B within 30 days of the denial. There are two types of appeals to which you may appeal:

  • Administrative Appeals: These are appeals processes that are sent to the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). They are frequently used for family or employment-related petitions, as well as other applications to USCIS.
  • Judicial review: If the appeal to the AAO is denied, judicial review may be sought in the appropriate federal court. This step is taken when administrative options are exhausted and a court ruling on the USCIS decision is sought.
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If your I-130 application is denied, you may appeal the decision to an immigration court.

Filing an appeal before an immigration court is an extremely complex and stressful process. At Urbina Immigration Law we can help you. Contact us and receive the legal advice you need to determine the best strategy for your specific case.

Can the relative (beneficiary) work with an approved Form I-130?

No, an approved Form I-130 does not automatically give you the right to work. However, during the process you can apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) by filing Form I-765 to work legally in the United States.

Can I petition for my spouse or fiancée with a Form I-130?

If the petitioner is a U.S. citizen, then he or she could petition for his or her spouse through Form I-130. This would be a possible first step in obtaining a K-3 visa (Nonimmigrant visa for a spouse).

If, on the other hand, the citizen is petitioning for his or her fiancée, then he or she will need to file Form I-129 (Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)) to be admitted to the United States under K-1 nonimmigrant status.

Can my Form I-130 be denied because I have a criminal record?

USCIS may deny your application if you or your family member has a criminal record. However, depending on your case, it may still be possible to sponsor your family member or apply for permanent residence. Therefore, it is advisable to seek the assistance of an immigration attorney to determine the best strategy for your case.

Can I file Form I-130 and Form I-480 together?

Yes, you can file both forms together if your relative is in the United States through a simultaneous application. However, this is not possible if the relative is not in the country.

An approved Form I-130 can open the door to a life with your family in the United States. With the approval of this process, your family member will not only be able to enter the country legally, but also obtain permanent legal status. However, the process is extremely difficult and can be overwhelming.

Facing the immigration system alone could jeopardize your application and your family’s future. Therefore, having an immigration attorney determine the best course of action for your case is essential. Talk to one of our attorneys today and take the first step towards a better life for your family.


USCIS – Adjustment of Status

USCIS – I-130, Petition for Alien Relative Petition

USCIS – Humanitarian Family Reunification Permit Processes

Other resources

How to obtain a Green Card in the United States – Updated Guide

What are the Green Card categories?

Form I-130: Everything you need to know

Family Reunification Parole in the United States: A Complete Guide

How to apply for American residency by family petition, step by step

What are the requirements for family reunification in the United States?

Family sibling petition: what you need to know as a U.S. citizen

Family reunification in the U.S.: At what age can a child petition for his or her parents?