On January 31, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, will be strictly processed either with USCIS domestically, or internationally by the Department of State. This law took effect on February 1, 2020. USCIS states that this adjustment has been made to “increase efficiencies.”
That being said, those who live in countries where USCIS does not have a presence will have their cases handled by the Department of State.
The Department of State will process Form I-130 locally, as long as the petition falls under certain blanket authorization criteria, which is as follows:
Temporary blanket authorizations for instances of prolonged or severe civil strife or a natural disaster; or
Blanket authorization for U.S. service members assigned to military bases abroad.
Of the updated legislation, USCIS Deputy Director Mark Koumans said in a statement, “USCIS continues to modernize and become more efficient as an agency. Since the Department of State has a much larger international presence, we have delegated authority to our State partners to accept and adjudicate petitions for immediate relatives abroad in certain circumstances. USCIS continues to expand online filing options, which are available to those filing domestically or those filing from abroad, saving applicants and petitioners time and money.”
Form I-130, if you do not know, is for U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents who are seeking to document their relationship to a relative who is eligible to receive a Permanent Resident Card, or Green Card.
If you wish to help a relative obtain a Green Card, you will have to gather various documents and present them to USCIS, including, but not limited to: a copy of your birth certificate, a copy of your marriage certificate (if applicable), a copy of your naturalization certificate, a copy of your unexpired U.S. passport, a copy of Form FS-240, and a copy of the front and back of your Green Card.
For any additional questions regarding the immigration process, please do not hesitate to reach out to our experienced Wisconsin immigration attorneys to learn more about how we can help.
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John Sesini is an experienced immigration attorney with offices in Green Bay and Milwaukee Wisconsin. Our firm understands what is at stake when it comes to immigration law matters, which is why If you have any questions, you should not hesitate to contact the Sesini Law Group, S.C. and schedule your initial consultation with our firm today.