Can I file Form I-130 from outside the United States?

Yes, you can apply your Form I-130 if you are currently located outside the United States. Check out if USCIS has an international office in the city where you currently reside. If there is such a USCIS office, simply file your petition to the Chicago Lockbox facility.

If there is no USCIS international office in the country, you can file your I-130 petition at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy but only in exceptional circumstances. Only a Field Office Director can decide if you are allowed to file the petition to the Consulate or Embassy.

Here are some exceptional circumstances that allow an I-130 petitioner to file the form at the Embassy or Consulate:

  • A petitioner or beneficiary has a threat to his or her safety.
  • A petitioner or beneficiary has a medical emergency such as pregnancy, which requires the petitioner or beneficiary to immediately travel to the U.S.
  • A petitioner obtained the Certificate of Naturalization.


Also read:
What does adjustment of status mean on form i 90?