12 tips to do Form I-130 right

01

Learn the value of ‘NONE’

If the sponsor does not have an Alien Registration Number or a USCIS number, state it explicitly by inserting ‘NONE’.

Part 2. Questions 1, 2. Petitioner Information.
Part 2. Questions 1, 2. Petitioner Information.

02

What are ‘other names used’?

They include maiden names, religious names, professional names, or any other names by which the sponsor is known or has been known in the past. They are not the nicknames only used by close family members or friends. If you did not use other names, put ‘NONE’.

Part 2. Questions 5.a, 5.b, 5.c.
Part 2. Questions 5.a, 5.b, 5.c. Other Names Used.

03

What if the country of birth of the sponsor no longer exist?

The name of the country should be the name that is currently in use for the place where the sponsor was born. For instance, a sponsor who was born in 1980 in Podgorica in the former Yugoslavia would chose Montenegro as country of birth.

Part 3. Question 7. Other Information.
Part 3. Question 7. Other Information.

04

What is the sponsor’s mailing address?

This is the address where U.S. government agencies will send correspondence regarding the green card application. U.S. immigration agencies use USPS to deliver the mail (and the actual green card!), so make sure the address you give matches the USPS database.

Sponsor Mailing Address
Part 2. Questions 10 through 11. Sponsor Mailing Address.

05

If unmarried, say so

If the sponsor has never been married, you need to specifically state ‘0’ to question 16 ‘How many times have you been married?’. Put N/As in the spouse name section.

Questions 19c - 21. Spouse N/A
Questions 19c - 21. Spouse N/A

06

Meet the parents

You need to enter the current legal name of the biological parents of the sponsor (or adoptive parents if the sponsor was adopted). Not the same of a current step-parent. Not the name of the parent at birth. If a parent is deceased, say so in country and city of current residence.

Part 2. Information About Your Parents.
Part 2. Information About Your Parents.

07

So, what is the name of the applicant?

The best place to find out the current legal name of the applicant and clearly see what are the first, middle, and last names is the applicant’s passport. In the machine readable zone, they are displayed Last Name << First Name< Middle Name. The picture is a U.S. passport, but it works with all passports.

Passport Applicant Name
Passport Applicant Name

08

Do not provide ‘entry information’ if the applicant is not currently in the United States.

Do not answer questions 46.a. to 46.d. if the applicant is not currently in the United States and filing for adjustment of status.

Beneficiary Entry Information. Questions 46.a - 46.d.
Beneficiary Entry Information. Questions 46.a - 46.d.

09

What is the I-94 Arrival-Departure Record Number?

The official record of the movements of applicants in and out of the United States can be obtained online if they were last admitted after May 2013. If the online record cannot be accessed, the I-94 may be obtained by filing Form I-102 (Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Record), with USCIS.

Most Recent I-94
Most Recent I-94

10

Which passport?

First of all, you have either a passport or a travel document. Most applicants have passports and therefore say ‘N/A’ for travel document. Secondly, for applicants currently abroad (outside the United States), enter information associated with their current passport. For applicants currently in the United States, enter information associated with the passport with which they last entered their United States as stated in questions 46.a. to 46.d.

Questions 47 - 50. Passport.
Questions 47 - 50. Passport.

11

Applicant’s or sponsor’s employment information?

Just like in the affidavit of support form, ‘self-employed’ is a valid answer, and a self-employment’s address can be a home address.

Question 42. Unemployed or Company Name.
Question 42. Unemployed or Company Name.

12

Will the applicant apply at a USCIS office or at a U.S. consulate?

This is the only answer U.S. immigration agencies will look at to determine whether the applicant is applying for consular processing or adjustment of status. The applicant’s address is not used to make such determination. You cannot request both and must answer only one of these two questions.

Questions 61.a, 61.b. USCIS office in U.S.
Questions 61.a, 61.b. USCIS office in U.S.

Complete Your I-130 and I-130A

  • Answer questions anywhere, including from your mobile phone, and download a completed form you can print.
  • N/As and NONEs are automatically inserted.
  • Use only permitted values for countries, port of entries, LPR status, consulates, USCIS field offices, … by selecting from our lists.
  • See clearly what is missing.
  • If you are filing to adjust status, your I-130 will be automatically transferred to form I-485.
Start now
Incomplete form notifications