A common reason why an I-130 petition gets denied is because it is not properly completed at the initial time of filing. The I-130 has to be signed and the corresponding fees have to be included. However, once the petition has been accepted, and the receipt notices have been received, they will begin the request for evidence (RFE). The RFE will be issued before they deny a petition. I have rarely seen a petition get denied without an RFE. The documents include birth certificates, marriage certificates, and other supporting documents. The officer who decides the case has to completely understand that it is a genuinely based wedding.
Sometimes, if a marriage certificate is not available in the way that the USCIS wants it, it is necessary to submit supporting documents. For instance, if a marriage certificate doesn’t have a government seal because that’s the way it works in a particular country, the petition should be supported with affidavits from other people. It’s important to be very careful when analyzing the type of supporting documents. Can it be submitted so that it gets an approval rather than an RFE? In our firm, we make sure to do it properly by documenting it and submitting alternative supporting documents.
If the officer is not convinced that there was a wedding and is suspicious about the beneficiary’s intentions, you would really have to fight for it. That’s the only time we see a denial. Sometimes it’s case specific. In certain situations, we have to decide whether to go for a refiling with proper documentation or an appeal. Sometimes it takes longer than the processing time. There are also fees involved, even if it’s an MTR or appeal. And so, we have to decide between an appeal or refiling the petition by comparing all of the specifics of the case and the timeline.
How Long Does It Take For The I-130 Marriage Petition To Get Approved For My Spouse?
The general timeline to get an I-130 marriage petition approved is between four to eight months. However, it differs for so many reasons. The USCIS follows up on the I-130 marriage-based petitions, but it approximately takes four to eight months. Currently, there are delays because the USCIS office is closed due to COVID. Luckily, there isn’t any fingerprinting or biometrics that are required for I-130 petitions. That really helps the process.
What Happens When An I-130 Petition Is Denied? Do I Reapply Or Appeal?
If your I-130 petition gets denied, the specifics relating to the denial will dictate whether you should reapply or appeal. Most of the cases that get denied are not approved because of issues with documentation. The documentation was not supported well. If the officer is not satisfied, the petition will be denied. When a petition gets denied, the main thing we focus on is the timeline for re-applying and appealing. All options have fees, including an MTR, a motion, and an appeal.
The most important factor we have to consider is whether we should convince the officer to reverse the decision or do proper documentation and submit it an I-130. The fees are comparable. To reapply the fee is $535, and to appeal it’s $675. The deciding factor might be the timeline and whether the denial can be rectified or if it is easier to file a new petition.
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