The USCIS International Operations Division has recently granted blanket authorization for consular posts to accept and process Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, from certain active duty U.S. military personnel.
The Department of State will now accept and process an I-130 petition filed by an active duty member of the U.S. military stationed overseas in a country without USCIS presence. The petitioner does not need to seek advance permission of USCIS before filing the petition so long as the petitioner is considered “active duty” and works on a military base.
Consular offices in countries without a local USCIS office can only authorize “clearly approvable” cases, so if the petition is not clearly approvable, the consular office will forward it to the appropriate USCIS office for further processing.
This new blanket authority will benefit active-duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces who reside abroad in a country where there is no USCIS international field. These active-duty members can now submit petitions on behalf of their immediate relatives with the local embassy or consulate. The immigrant visa will then be processed through the Department of State, bypassing a USCIS Service Center, and saving significant time.
If you are a member of the military and are interested in petitioning for an immediate relative, please contact our office to schedule a consultation today!