Filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, is the first step in the process of bringing a family member to the United States as a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). Here are step-by-step instructions on how to file Form I-130: Step 1: Determine Eligibility Before filing Form I-130, make sure you meet the eligibility criteria to sponsor a family member. The petitioner (U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident) must prove the relationship with the beneficiary (foreign national family member) and meet other requirements. Step 2: Gather Required Documents Collect all necessary supporting documents for your I-130 petition: Form I-130: Complete and sign Form I-130 accurately and legibly. Use black ink. Evidence of Relationship: Depending on the relationship, you'll need to provide different documents, such as marriage certificates, birth certificates, adoption records, etc., to prove the family relationship between the petitioner and beneficiary. Proof of Status: Include copies of the petitioner's proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident status. This could include a U.S. passport, birth certificate, Certificate of Naturalization, or green card. Supporting Documents: Any additional documents that demonstrate the authenticity of the relationship or further support the case can be included. Step 3: Pay Filing Fee Include the required filing fee with your application. The fee amount and payment method can change, so check the USCIS website for the most up-to-date information. Step 4: Complete Form G-1145 (optional) This form is used to request electronic notifications from USCIS about your case. If you want to receive email or text notifications, complete this form and attach it to the front of your Form I-130. Step 5: Assemble the Application Organize the documents in the following order: Check or money order for the filing fee Form I-130 with the G-1145 form (if used) Supporting evidence of the relationship (birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc.) Proof of petitioner's U.S. citizenship or green card status Step 6: Make Copies Make copies of the entire application package, including all forms and supporting documents, for your records. Step 7: Mail the Application Mail the completed application package to the appropriate USCIS Lockbox facility. The address can change, so check the USCIS website for the current address. Step 8: Receive Receipt Notice After USCIS receives your application, they will send you a receipt notice. This notice includes a receipt number that you can use to track your case status online. Step 9: Await USCIS Processing USCIS will process your petition and verify the information provided. If additional evidence is needed, they may request it through a Request for Evidence (RFE). Step 10: Attend USCIS Interview (if applicable) Depending on the circumstances, USCIS may require an interview to further verify the relationship. If so, both the petitioner and beneficiary must attend. Step 11: Await USCIS Decision After USCIS completes the processing, they will send you a notice of their decision. If approved, the petition will be forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing. Please note that processing times, procedures, and requirements can change over time. Always refer to the official USCIS website for the most up-to-date instructions and information. If you have any doubts or complexities, consider seeking legal advice or assistance to ensure your application is properly prepared and filed.