Can I Still File An I-130 If My Family Resides Within Travel Banned Countries?
The simple answer is, yes. As a United States Citizen and Legal Permanent Resident (green card holder) you can still petition for your family in Libya, Iran, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen by filing an I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. There has been a major misconception that due to the Presidential Proclamation (travel ban) that no one could petition for their family abroad. Unfortunately, those misconceptions have stopped many people from filing petitions they are legally able to do even with the travel ban being enforced. The first thing that needs to happen when petitioning for a family living abroad, assuming an I-130 is filed, is that the I-130 gets approved. Once it gets approved, the file gets transferred to the National Visa Center (NVC) where the person is asked to pay the invoices/visa fee and submit financials/affidavit of support. After that has been completed, the file gets transferred to the U.S. embassy abroad to be scheduled for an immigrant visa interview. Once the interview is conducted, that is when the travel ban comes into play. The Consular conducting the interview will then determine whether or not the person should be considered to receive the immigrant visa and whether they should be considered for the waiver under the travel ban exception. If the person is considered to fit within the exception, the beneficiary may be required to submit further documentation while others simply get their visa without having to provide further documentation. In conclusion, if you want to petition for your family abroad, that are nationals from the five banned countries, you could still do so, but expect to encounter a small hiccup during the immigrant visa interview process. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (601) 948-8005 and ask to speak to Assma A. Ali or Maria Gardner with the Chhabra & Gibbs, P.A. Immigration Team.