HomeResourcesAn Overview of Form I-130A
January 6th 2020

An Overview of Form I-130A

With Form I-130A, the spousal green card applicant provides the U.S. government with important background information

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Form I-130A, in brief

At the beginning of the marriage-based green card process, the U.S. citizen (or permanent resident) sponsor will need to fill out Form I-130 (also called the “Petition for Alien Relative” or the “Family Sponsorship Form”). At the same time, their green-card-seeking spouse must complete Form I-130A (officially referred to as “Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary”). Both of these forms must then be submitted together.

Form I-130A, as its official name suggests, is meant to gather supplemental (read: additional) background information regarding the green-card-seeking spouse’s family, past residences, and employment history

For the purposes of this guide, we may use the terms “petitioner” or “sponsor” to refer to the U.S. citizen (or permanent resident) spouse filing Form I-130 and the terms “beneficiary” or “applicant” to refer to the spouse completing Form I-130A.

In what follows, we’ll go over the process of completing and filing Form I-130A. To follow along, download the form on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website for free.

  1. Filing the Form

  2. Personal Information

  3. Residential History

  4. Information About Family

  5. Employment History

  6. Final Certifications and Signatures

  7. Additional Space

Filing the Form

Let’s begin at the end: Form I-130A should be filed together with Form I-130, either online or via snail mail. Those choosing the latter option will need to send their forms to the appropriate USCIS lockbox.

If, on the other hand, the petitioner wishes to file digitally, they will first need to create an online account, if they haven’t already. USCIS will send a notification to the account upon receipt of the forms. In either case, the petitioner will need to pay a filing fee of $535 for Form I-130, unless applying for a waiver. There is no additional fee for Form I-130A.

Note: anyone seeking a fee waiver for Form I-130 will need to send their petition using the mail.

Personal Information

In the first section of Form I-130A (Part 1, Items 1-3), the beneficiary must write or type, in black ink, their Alien Registration Number (A-Number) and their USCIS Online Account Number. If they haven’t been allotted either of these, then the applicant should mark “N/A” in the space provided – as a matter of fact, “N/A” should be used whenever a question is inapplicable. The applicant must then write their full name in slots 3a, 3b, and 3c. 

Residential History

In Items 4-9 of Part 1, the applicant will enter the addresses of the residences from the previous 5 years, starting with their current address and ending with their last residency outside the United States. For the first set of addresses, it doesn’t matter whether the beneficiary lived inside or outside the United States – a slot for “Country” is provided. They will also need to include the start and end dates of each residency. If there isn’t enough room to fit all the addresses, see the section below (entitled “Additional Space”) for next steps.

Information About Family

In the final subsection of Part 1, the beneficiary will need to fill out the sections titled “Information About Parent 1” and “Information About Parent 2.” They’ll need to provide the parents’:

  • Full name

  • Date of Birth

  • Gender

  • City and Country of birth

  • City and Country of residence

Once these fields have been completed, the spouse applicant may now begin Part 2 of Form I-130A.

Employment History

The beneficiary must provide in Part 2 information regarding employers from the previous 5 years. They’ll need to enter their current employer – or the word “Unemployed” – in the first available space. It doesn’t matter, for this section, whether the employers are based in the United States or abroad. To complete Part 2, the applicant must supply, for each job, their title and dates of employment, in addition to the employer’s name and address. 

In Part 3, the spouse beneficiary will need to enter the same information for their last place of employment outside the United States. 

Remember: Any slots that are irrelevant should be marked “N/A,” and if more space is needed, read the final section of this guide, entitled “Additional Space.”

Final Certifications and Signatures

In parts 4, 5, and 6, everyone involved in completing the form will need to provide their name, contact information, and signature, in addition to certifying the nature of their involvement. The beneficiary, in part 4, will need to indicate whether they’ve read the form themselves, had an interpreter read the form to them, or had a preparer fill out the form on their behalf. They’ll then need to enter their phone number and email address, before signing and dating. 

In part 5, the interpreter – if one was used – will enter their full name, mailing address, and contact information. They must then attest to being fluent in both English and the language of the beneficiary, making sure to sign and date the form before completion.

If someone other than the applicant filled out the form, that person will need to provide, in Part 6, the same information as mentioned above. They must also state whether or not they are a lawyer and, if they are, whether they’re providing services other than preparing Form I-130A. If they are providing other services, they’ll need to complete and submit Form G-28 (officially known as “Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative.”)

Additional Space

If, along the way, the beneficiary needs more space to accurately complete Form I-130A, they can use Part 7, entitled “Additional Information.” If they still need more space, they can photocopy Part 7 or append their own blank pages, making sure to include the relevant page, part, and item numbers – in addition to their name, A-Number (if any), signature, and the date. 

The Takeaway

The spouse seeking a green card must fill out Form I-130A in order to provide supplemental background information. Once both Forms I-130 and I-30A are complete, the petitioner must submit both of them together.

While waiting for your green card to process, it’s important to start thinking through other logistics, such as how you will find your first apartment and choose a U.S. bank

In the U.S., accessing these essential services like credit cards, apartment rentals, and even internet plans requires that you have a good U.S. credit score. Fortunately, you can use Nova Credit to use your foreign credit history from certain countries to apply for a variety of products and services from our partners. 

This means that you can apply for great credit cards, phone plans, and more from using your hard-earned credit history from back home—rather than needing to start from scratch. If you are approved for these products and manage them responsibly, you will start to quickly build a U.S. credit history.

Currently, Nova Credit services individuals coming from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, and the U.K.

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