USCIS Centralizes Filing of Form I-130

US immigration Form I-130 (Petition for an Alien Relative) allows US citizens and green card holders to sponsor a relative to come and live in the US. This US immigration form makes it possible to arrange for a green card for family members, such as children, spouses, parents, and siblings.

The aim is to ensure family unity and to allow US citizens and permanent residents to be surrounded by family members. The Petition for an Alien Relative form is very popular and many applicants file it each year; many family members strive for a US green card to join family in the US.

Effective 15 August 2011, the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) has made an important change to the processing of this form. Specifically, the USCIS has decided that effective that date any applicants applying in countries that do not have USCIS offices will be able to file Form I-130 through the USCIS Chicago Lockbox facility. Currently, about five percent of applicants filing a Petition for Alien Relative form are from countries without USCIS offices. These applicants must file Form I130 with a US consulate or embassy or must file through the US Department of State or through the USCIS.

By making this change, the USCIS hopes that those who want to apply for a green card for family members will face a more flexible and streamlined application process. The USCIS notes that the change will make it easier for the USCIS to handle the workload that comes from this popular form. The changes have already been published in the Federal Register and may be viewed online.

From August 15, those applicants filing US immigration Form I-130 to arrange for a US green card for relatives but filing from a country with no USCIS offices can file at the following address if sending the application through the USPS (U.S. Postal Service):

P.O. Box 804625
Attn. CSC/I-130/OS
Chicago, IL 60680-4107
Such applications being sent through courier or express mail should be mailed to:
Attn. CSC/I-130/OS
131 South Dearborn Ú 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60603-5517

Additionally, applicants filing I-130 in a country with no USCIS office can also file their form at an international USCIS office which has jurisdiction over their area of residence. They may also file with the Chicago Lockbox. Until August 14, 2011, applicants should continue to file through a local US consulate or embassy. After August 15, applicants will need to ensure that they are following the new instructions to avoid any delays.