Filling Out Form I-130A, Supplemental Information for Spouse and Beneficiary

Detailed instructions for filling out Form I-130A, which marriage-based applicants must include with the I-130 petition filed by the U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse.

By , J.D. · University of Washington School of Law

U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (green card holders) who sponsor (petition) a husband or wife for U.S. lawful permanent residence (a green card) must include Form I-130A, Supplemental Information for Spouse and Beneficiary, with the I-130 petition packet they file with the U.S. government to start the process.

The idea behind this supplementary form is to gather extra biographical information about the would-be immigrant. (It replaces a previously required form called the G-325A.)

In theory, Form I-130A needs to be prepared and signed by the immigrating spouse (called the "beneficiary"). However, if the immigrant gets some help with form preparation or has it filled out by a lawyer, that's fine; the immigrant will just need to fill out a separate portion of the form. And an immigrant who is outside the U.S. doesn't need to actually sign the form.

Here, we give detailed guidance on how to prepare this crucial form for married couples. (Other kinds of relatives being petitioned by someone in the United States, such as children and parents, need not fill it out.)

Line-by-Line Instructions for Filling Out Form I-130A

Here are line-by-line instructions on how to fill out USCIS Form I-130A, which is available for free download on the I-130 page of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website. These instructions refer to the version of the form issued on 7/20/2021.

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."

Part 1. Information About You

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 applications or interactions with USCIS. In fact, it's unlikely that you have one. If you don't, leave this blank.

Question 3: Your Full Name. (Self-explanatory.)

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 basic biographical questions refer to the immigrants' parents. The questions are meant to give U.S. immigration authorities tools with which to investigate the immigrant's background, if they so choose.

Part 2: Information About Your Employment

These questions also refer to the immigrant. There is no requirement that you have been employed; U.S. 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.

Part 3: Information About Your Employment Outside the United States

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.

Part 4: Spouse Beneficiary's Statement, Contact Information, Certification, and Signature

Here, you (the intending immigrant) must indicate how you came to understand what was on the form—whether 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. The form also asks you to swear that all the information you've given within it is complete, true, and correct. (Giving false information on an immigration form can permanently ruin your chances of U.S. immigration.)

You must also enter your phone number and ways to reach you electronically.

If you are in the United States, you are expected to sign Form I-130A. If not, you can leave the signature line blank.

Part 5: Interpreter's Contact Information, Certification, and Signature

If an interpreter helped you fill out this form, that person must enter their 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.

Part 6: Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature of Person Preparing this Form, if Other Than the Spouse Beneficiary

If you hired a lawyer, paralegal, or other document preparer to fill out this form for you, that person must fill out this section.

Part 7: Additional Information

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.

No Separate Fee to File Form I-130A

Because it's basically an add-on to Form I-130, and must be included in the same packet, there's no separate USCIS filing fee for the I-130A.

Getting Legal Help

The immigration paperwork can be intense and confusing, and getting it right is important. Inconsistencies or answers that lead to ineligibility can lead to a case denial. That's why many families find it's in their best interest to hire an immigration attorney to both evaluate their eligibility and deal with the paperwork and other aspects of this lengthy bureaucratic process.

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