Become a US citizen after filing an I-130 petition for my spouse, what should I do?

QUESTION: I have filed a petition I-130 for my wife, who is living in India. When I filed the I-130 petition, I was a permanent resident. But now I have become U.S. citizen. What’s the procedure for having USCIS to process my I-130 as the spouse of a US Citizen?


When an I-130 is filed under the F-2A as a spouse of the US permanent resident, along with the applicant later naturalized and becomes a US citizen, the I-130 petition automatically goes to the immediate relative category.

However, the USCIS office that approved the application for naturalization will not notify the USCIS office, which process the I-130 petition, or the petitioner must notify USCIS that you have become the US citizen. This can be done by sending a copy of the Naturalization Certificate, along with a copy of the I-130 receipt notification to the USCIS Service Center, along with a letter asking them to update the I-130 petition currently that the petitioner is a Citizen. The address where to send notification is listed at the bottom of the I-130 Receipt Notice or the I-130 Approval Notice, although if you have received a Notice of Transfer telling you the I-130 was transferred to another USCIS office, check address list available at USCIS website.

But if you are working with an immigration attorney for the I-130 petition, you must inform your attorney about your new U.S. citizen status and follow their instructions.

How long can I stay outside the United States of America as a green card holder, before I abandon my green card?

QUESTION: Is there any time limit for the green card holder to stay outside the U.S. without abandoning their green card?

THE IMMIGRATION ADVISOR REPLY- SAMAR: U.S. Permanent Residents or Green Card Holder is expected to maintain the US as their primary residence. When a permanent resident fails to keep U.S. as the permanent residence of the U.S. authorities can determine that they’ve abandoned their U.S. Permanent Residence. Abandonment is truly a factor to continue to keep one’s permanent residence inside the U.S.A.

The time length spent outside the U.S. is only one factor they use to ascertain whether someone is preserving the U.S. as their permanent residence. Trips away from the U.S. which are longer than 180 days can cause Customs and Border Protection to question whether the individual was continuing to keep the U.S. as their permanent residence. In case the trip is for more than a year, then it may create a presumption that the individual abandoned their U.S. residence. If somebody is thinking about taking a trip that’s longer than a year, they should make an application for a re-entry permit. However, the re-entry permit just enables them to go back to the U.S. following a trip of longer than a year it doesn’t eliminate the necessity to keep the U.S. as a permanent residence.

My Mother has filed an I-130 petition for me when she was a Permanent Resident ( Green Card holder ). I got married before she gets her citizenship. Is that petition still valid which she has filed for me?

QUESTION: Hello, My name is Raman Patel and I belong to India. My mother has filed an I-130 immigrant petition for me under the family-based class ( F2b) in 2014. I was not aware of USCIS immigration rules. I got married in 2015. My Mother has become a citizen in 2016. Currently, I got to know that according to the immigration rules, I should not have got married until my mother becomes a citizen. Is there any chance for me to get a visa under the F3 category using that same petition which my mother had filed for me in 2014?

F4 ADVISOR: Extremely sorry, under USCIS’s current interpretation of the law, once you married your petition automatically became revoked, because it isn’t possible for the United States Permanent Resident (green card holder) to petition for a married son. Your Mother must file a new petition for you under the F3 Family Based green card category.

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