Trump Travel BanA recent question from a client: Can I file an I-130 while living abroad?

The answer is yes. You can definitely file an I-130 for a family member while residing abroad. Keep in mind that you may need to file your application with a specific consulate or lock box in order to properly file your case. In order to best understand where to file your case be sure to check with the latest instructions for the I-130 provided by USCIS.

Find out more about filing an I-130 while living abroad here. 

A secondary requirement that you may face when filing an I-130 is with regard to the affidavit of support (form I-864) that you will be required to file once the petition is approved.

Part of the requirements for this application is that the petitioner is domiciled in the United States.  In other words the applicant must prove that they are residing in the United States and intend to do so for the foreseeable future, even if they were living abroad for a period of time. This step in the process is not difficult to satisfy, as long as you plan to return to the United States and resume your normal life there before submitting the form I-864.

The affidavit of support is normally not required until after the I-130 is approved, which can take anywhere from 5 months to a few years depending on who the petition is filed for. So you may have time to re-establish your domicile, depending on your situation.

However it may be best to consult with an immigration attorney in order to understand the exact requirements of this process and be sure that you meet them. You may want to consult early on in this process so that you can plan for the future  and understand the requirements for your future petition.

This post is solely intended for educational purposes and is not legal advice.

Consult a qualified immigration Attorney in order to find out more information about if you can I file an I-130 while living abroad or any other immigration matter.