Changes to Form I-130; Petition for Alien Relative

Starting August 15, 2011 the USCIS now requires that all I-130 petitioners residing overseas either mail their petition to the USCIS Chicago Lockbox or to an international USCIS office, if their country has an office. There will be no additional charges, but the processing times are yet to be determined, as they are based upon the workload of the local USCIS office.

This new policy may have considerable consequences for those seeking a visa on behalf of a relative in their home country. This also ends the Direct Consular Filing option for petitioners in certain Consular jurisdictions. In the past, it may have been possible for petitioners to file their visa petition directly with a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate if the petitioner resided within the Consular District. These changes appear to be bringing Consular Processing to an end.

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