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Does an Approved I-130 Petition Expire? Consular Processing and Revocations

Posted by Karol Brown | Feb 24, 2023 | 0 Comments

By Katrina Mendoza

The I-130 Petition for Alien Relative is the first step in sponsoring an eligible family member to immigrate to the United States with Lawful Permanent Residence or a "green card." A common misconception is that once the United States and Immigration Services approves an I-130 Petition, it remains valid indefinitely or at least throughout the duration of the Petitioner and Beneficiary's relationship. However, there are some circumstances in which an I-130 Petition may be cancelled or revoked.

Immigrant Visa Availability & the Visa Bulletin

Once an I-130 Petition is approved, many relatives must wait until a visa becomes available before they can proceed to the next step of their application. You can check the availability of an immigrant visa through the Visa Bulletin, published monthly by the US State Department. Once a visa is available, the family member may apply to adjust their status (within the United States) or apply for an immigrant visa through consular processing (at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their country abroad). For immediate relatives of US citizens such as spouses, minor children, or parents, a visa is always immediately available.

Revocation of I-130 Petition if No Application within One Year

If the foreign national relative is applying for an immigrant visa abroad, otherwise known as Consular Processing, an approved I-130 Petition can be revoked if an Embassy or Consulate terminates their registration. Section 203(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act provides that:

The Secretary of State shall terminate the registration of any alien who fails to apply for an immigrant visa within one year following notification to the alien of the availability of such visa, but the Secretary shall reinstate the registration of any such alien who establishes within 2 years following the date of notification of the availability of such visa that such failure to apply was due to circumstances beyond the alien's control.

This means that the foreign national relative must begin applying for an immigrant visa within one year of being notified that a visa is available. If the applicant fails to do so, INA § 203(g) allows the Embassy or Consulate to reinstate an applicant's registration within two years of being notified of an available visa. The applicant must demonstrate that their failure to apply for an immigrant visa within the one-year window was due to circumstances beyond their control. 


Overcoming Revocation if Circumstances Beyond Your Control

What circumstances might the Embassy or Consulate consider? Circumstances beyond the applicant's control will generally be factors that arise out of the applicant's normal circumstances, such as a medical emergency or natural disaster. It is likely that pandemic-related reasons would be considered as well. However, if you fail to apply for a visa because you didn't update your address, your request for reinstatement would likely be denied. If the Embassy or Consulate decides to reinstate the application and petition, the one-year window to apply will begin again.

If the applicant cannot show a valid reason for their failure to continue their immigrant application once a visa became available or the Embassy or Consulate decides not to reinstate their application, the I-130 Petition will also subsequently be revoked. In order for the foreign national relative to pursue their Lawful Permanent Residency again, the sponsoring relative must refile the I-130 Petition and start the process over—including paying fees again and waiting the long processing times for USCIS to adjudicate the petition.

Other Reasons for Revocation

In addition to revocation during Consular Processing, an I-130 Petition may be revoked for other reasons, such as withdrawal by the Petitioner, the death of the Beneficiary, divorce (for marriage-based petitions, with some exceptions), and more.

How We Can Help

If you filed an I-130 Petition or had an I-130 Petition filed for you a while ago that was shelved or left dormant, and you are unsure whether it is still valid, contact World One Law Group to schedule a consultation to determine what options are available to you. 

About the Author

Karol Brown

Managing Attorney


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