The Form I-130 is used to help a relative get a family-based green card in the United States. After filing the form, the USCIS will send you the Form I-797, which establishes that your application has been received. Whether your application gets approved or denied, the USCIS will notify you in any case through a notice of action.
If additional information or documents are required, the USCIS will again notify you through a notice of action. The notice of action bears the application receipt number that you would require to check progress on your application.
After receiving your Form I-130, the USCIS will scrutinize it and then order the petition review. If you have applied for an immediate relative, the application will be processed relatively quickly. If the person is your distant relative (falling under the family preference categories), the application processing will take more time.
Normally, it takes the USCIS 5-12 months to process applications filed for immediate relatives. The Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, filed by your immediate relative will also be scrutinized at the time of review of the Form I-130. If both forms get approved, your relative will get a green card. It is important to note here that the Adjust Status will apply only to your immediate relatives who are living in the US. It will not apply to your relatives living abroad.
If your relative is living abroad, the USCIS will send the case to the NVC, which will further process the application and schedule your relative’s interview at the US Embassy or Consulate in the country where he or she is residing. Here too, the application processing time will be shorter for your immediate relatives and longer for your distant relatives or family preference categories.
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