Family-Based Immigration

If you are trying to bring other family members to the United States from Afghanistan or another country, family-based immigration may be one option. Read for information on the forms I-130 and I-730.

Background Image: Shawl, Mexico

Published: 12-3-2021

Immigration law is always changing. We will do our best to keep our website as up-to-date as possible, but the latest information might be more readily available at These pages were written to help you better understand your legal options, however, none of the information published by Catholic Charities Milwaukee should be considered legal advice. If you plan to open your own immigration case, hire an immigration attorney to consult you personally.

Family-Based Immigration Overview

Which form will you need?

If you have family members you are trying to bring to the United States, it is possible to try family-based immigration. There are two different forms which will allow your family members to come to the U.S. lawfully. 

One is the I-730, for Refugee and Asylees filing for their spouse and children.  The other is the I-130 which helps Lawful Permanent Residents and Citizens bring family members to the United States.


for Refugees and Asylees

For the I-730, you must either be a/an:

You cannot apply for the I-730 if you came to the U.S. on Humanitarian Parole. The I-730 needs to be completed within two years of arrival into the United States or your grant of asylum.

Who can you apply for?

You can request an I-730 for your:

You must file one I-730 for each family member.  Immigration will process the first part of the application in the United States, and then it will send the application to the U.S. consulate in the country in which your relative resides.

Currently, the consulate in Kabul is closed and the process will have to be completed in a third country. Click here for more information on this. 

The I-730 does not have a not filing fee.


for U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents

The I-130 process is very different from the I-730. The I-130 is available for those who want to help family members immigrate and are already either:

If you are a US citizen, you may file for your:

If you are a Lawful Permanent Resident, you may file for your:

Each form has a $535 filing fee. Sometimes you can file one petition for your whole family and sometimes you have to file a separate form for each person.

For both permanent residents and U.S. citizens, you will need to provide proof of their identity and proof of the relationship. For a list of qualifying documents, please click here.

You may have also heard about the Affidavit of Relationship. This can be sent to USCIS to help establish a relationship, but it is not a petition that will actually get your relative a visa. 

If you have family or friends who you want to help now, you will have to use either one of these family-based petitions or go through Humanitarian Parole.

Find more information on Family-Based Immigration and other up-to-date information for Afghans on the Catholic Charities Youtube Channel.

Seek the Help of a Good Lawyer

We Can't Stress This Enough

These pages are intended to help you understand what you are looking for – not to help you complete any of these applications alone. Immigration law is detailed and complicated, and we urge you to rely on a well-trained lawyer for help. A lawyer can help you prepare for every step along the way.

Additional Resources

Many have been leaving Afghanistan or have fled to the U.S. since the recent military withdrawal and crisis. Here are some updates.

Refugees coming to the United States must make several adjustments, and often have questions about green cards, citizenship, and work permits.

These three immigration mistakes could seriously hurt your chances of getting a green card, or lawfully immigrating to the United States.