Petitions Required to be Filed in the U.S. - American citizens and lawful permanent resident sponsors residing in the United States must file an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative at the USCIS Service Center having jurisdiction over their place of U.S. residence.
Filing Petitions Abroad – Form I-130 Petitions for Alien Relative which can be filed abroad are limited. Petitions for immediate relative immigrant classifications can be filed abroad by American citizen petitioners who have been authorized to be continuously resident in their consular districts for at least the preceding six months, including members of the U.S. armed forces, emergency cases involving life and death or health and safety, and others determined to be in the national interest. Petitions are filed with USCIS abroad or at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate (when there is no USCIS presence). Refer to U.S. Embassy websites for more information.
After the I-130 Petition has been approved by the USCIS, The Department of State must determine if an immigrant visa number is immediately available to you. When an immigrant visa number becomes immediately available to you, you will be eligible to begin Immigrant Visa Processing through the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC provides instructions to petitioners and sponsors regarding the required forms, fees, and other required documents. For numerically limited family preference petitions, NVC contacts the petitioner once the petition’s immigration wait nears end, and the priority date is about to become current.