As of April 28, 2017, U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (green card holders) who sponsor (petition) a spouse for U.S. lawful permanent residence (a green card) must include Form I-130A, Supplemental Information for Spouse and Beneficiary, with the initial visa petition packet. This new form does not replace the main visa petition form, Form I-130, but is in addition to it.
The idea behind the supplementary form is to gather extra biographical information about the would-be immigrant, thus replacing the previously required Form G-325A. (Formerly, both the sponsor and the foreign spouse were expected to fill out a Form G-325A out and submit it.)
In theory, Form I-130A is to be prepared and signed by the immigrating spouse (called the “beneficiary”). However, getting help with form preparation or having it filled out by a lawyer is fine (that person will just need to fill out a separate portion of the form). And if the immigrant is outside the U.S., he or she doesn’t need to actually sign the form.
The form is available for free download on the I-130 page of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.
Here are line-by-line instructions on how to fill out USCIS Form I-130A. These instructions refer to the version of the form issued on 2/27/2017, expiring 7/31/2018.
Form I-130A runs in two columns. Unlike Form I-130, however, all the information called for on the initial pages concerns the immigrant, referred to as the "Spouse Beneficiary."
Here, the immigrating spouse (whom we will refer to as “you” from here on) fills in basic name, address, and other biographical information. Most of it is self-explanatory, but we’ll highlight some of the questions below.
Question 1. Alien Registration Number (A-Number) (if any). You might not have an A-Number. This eight- or nine-digit number is normally assigned by USCIS to people who are in deportation proceedings or have applied for or received some sort of immigration benefit within the United States. If you haven’t received an A-Number, you can leave this blank.
Question 2: USCIS Online Account Number (if any). This is another number that you would have received only after certain types of application-interactions with USCIS. In fact, it’s unlikely that you have one. If you don’t, leave this blank.
Questions 4-9: Address History. This part can be a bother to fill out, particularly if you’ve moved a lot. If you have lived in only one place for the past five years, you don’t have to fill out Question 6. But no matter what, you must fill in Questions 8 and 9, which ask about your last address outside the United States.
Questions 10-23. These refer to the immigrants’ parents. The questions are meant to give immigration authorities tools with which to investigate the immigrant’s background, if they so choose.
These questions also refer to the immigrant. There is no requirement that you have been employed; the immigration authorities just want the ability to check on your background. If you have been unemployed, self-employed, a student, or a housewife or house-husband, enter the relevant information here as best you can.
You need to fill this section in only if the information is new—that is, if you haven’t already entered it in the earlier sections.
Here, you must indicate how you came to understand what was on the form—by reading it in English, getting help from an interpreter, or having someone else prepare it based on information you gave to that person?
The bottom line is that you are ultimately responsible for the information that goes on the form, and should not allow someone else to prepare it without your input—and the form asks you to swear that all the information in the form is complete, true, and correct. (Giving false information on an immigration form can permanently ruin your chances at U.S. immigration.)
Next, you must enter your phone number and ways to reach you electronically.
If an interpreter helped you fill out this form, that person must enter his or her name, contact information, and signature here, and swear to have read you all the questions and made sure you understood them and the answers given.
If you hired a lawyer, paralegal, or other document preparer to fill out this form for you, that person must fill out this section.
You need to fill this out only if you ran out of space in earlier parts of the form. If you do use it, be sure to enter your name in Questions 1-3, in case this page gets accidentally separated from the earlier parts of your form.