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Family Immigration Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative

Don’t Be Misled by the USCIS Instructions for Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative

From: Gary Chodorow
Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2008 8:06 PM
To: uscis.webmaster@dhs.gov
Subject: Message from a Nitpicky Lawyer

Dear USCIS Communications Office:

I’ve read your recent announcement that “[e]ffective immediately, all petitioners filing stand-alone Form I-130s [Petitions for Alien Relatives] must file their petitions with the Chicago Lockbox (emphasis added). USCIS Press Room, USCIS Revising Filing Instructions for Petition for Alien Relative: Form I-130s to Be Filed with the Chicago Lockbox (Mar. 21, 2008); USCIS Immigration Forms, Petition for Alien Relative (Feb. 19, 2008).

I am concerned that your announcement may mislead petitioners residing abroad. The Form I-130 instructions at page 4 continue to allow such petitioners to file their petitions abroad: “Petitioners residing abroad: If you live in Canada, file your petition at the Vermont Service Center. Exception: If you are a U.S. citizen residing in Canada, and you are petitioning for your spouse, child, or parent, you may file the petition at the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate, except for those in Quebec City. If you reside elsewhere outside the United States file, [sic] your relative petition at the USCIS office overseas or the U.S. Embassy or consulate having jurisdiction over the area where you live. For further information, contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate.”

This is a small detail, but amending your announcement may save numerous petitioners the cost and delay associated with filing their petitions in the wrong place.

Very truly yours,

Gary Chodorow
Attorney at Law

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