Many people from other countries wish to become U.S. citizens through naturalization. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) governs the process that allows foreign nationals to enter the United States lawfully. In other situations, current permanent residents and U.S. citizens wish to bring their relatives to live and work in the United States. In order to enhance the efficiency of immigration proceedings, the USCIS is continually making updates to its policies and procedures. Starting on February 1, 2020, the Petition for Alien Relative will only be processed by USCIS if it is a domestic case or by the Department of State (DOS) for international cases.
Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
Form I-130 is the first step for an eligible relative to apply to immigrate to the United States and obtain a Green Card. This form is usually approved if it can be established that a relationship exists between you and your relative that qualifies for immigration to the United States. Once a petition is approved, the second step in the process is when the immigrant relative applies to become a lawful permanent resident (LPR). In some cases, the family member must wait until a visa number is available before applying. An immigrant visa is always available for immediate family members (spouse of a U.S. citizen; unmarried child under 21 of a U.S. citizen; or parent of a U.S. citizen who is 21 or older).
Previously, USCIS provided specific services in their international offices, typically in countries where USCIS does not do a lot of work. Now, DOS will take over some of these services. Eligible active-duty military members who are based overseas can file their Form I-130 locally with DOS, and so will select non-military petitioners who meet designated criteria for consular processing....