Uniting Families: The Crucial Role of Form I-730 in Refugee/Asylee Petitions

Form I-730 refers to the “Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition.” This form is used by individuals who have been granted refugee or asylum status in the United States to petition for their qualifying family members to join them in the country. The eligible family members include spouses and unmarried children who are under 21 years old.

The person granted refugee or asylum status in the U.S. is the petitioner, and they must file Form I-730 on behalf of their qualifying family members who are still abroad. The purpose of this form is to initiate the process of bringing these family members to the United States as refugees or asylees.

Form I-730 requirements

The requirements for Form I-730, the “Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition,” include the following:

  • Qualification of the Petitioner:

The petitioner must be a person granted refugee or asylee status in the United States.

  • Family Relationship:

The petitioner can file Form I-730 on behalf of their spouse and unmarried children who are under 21 years old at the time of filing.

  • Timing of Filing:

The form should be filed within two years of the petitioner’s admission as a refugee or the granting of asylum.

  • Derivative Status:

The family members must be in a qualifying relationship with the petitioner at the time the petitioner was granted refugee or asylee status.

  • Inclusion of Family Members:

The petition may include the spouse and unmarried children who were not included in the original application for refugee or asylum status.

  • Admissibility and Security Checks:

The family members must be admissible to the United States, and they will be subject to security and background checks.

  • Filing Fee:

There may be a filing fee associated with Form I-730. However, certain individuals may be eligible for a fee waiver.

  • Affidavit of Relationship:

The petitioner may need to submit an affidavit of relationship, providing evidence of the qualifying family relationship.

  • Supporting Documentation:

The petitioner may need to submit supporting documentation to establish their eligibility and the relationship with the family members.

Will the beneficiary of Form I-730 be eligible for a green card?

Yes, beneficiaries of Form I-730, the “Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition,” may be eligible for a green card (lawful permanent residence) in the United States. The process involves several steps:

  • Approval of Form I-730:

Once USCIS approves Form I-730, the petitioning relative (asylee or refugee) in the United States will be notified.

  • Refugee Admissions Program Processing:

The approved beneficiaries (family members abroad) will undergo processing through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) overseas. This includes security checks and medical examinations.

  • Travel to the United States:

Once cleared through USRAP, the beneficiaries will travel to the United States and be admitted as refugees.

  • Adjustment of Status:

After arriving in the U.S., the beneficiaries may apply for adjustment of status to obtain lawful permanent residence (green card).

  • Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status:

The beneficiaries must file Form I-485, along with the required supporting documents and fees, to apply for adjustment of status.

  • Biometric Appointment and Interview:

USCIS may schedule a biometric appointment and, in some cases, an interview as part of the adjustment of status process.

  • Approval of Green Card:

If the adjustment of status application is approved, the beneficiaries will be granted lawful permanent resident status, commonly known as a green card.



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