Locally Filed Petitions
On May 16, 2011, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that effective Aug. 15, 2011, petitioners residing in countries without USCIS offices will be able to file a Petition for an Alien Relative
(Form I-130), with the USCIS Chicago Lockbox facility. This will increase the efficiency of the relative petition filing process and give USCIS more flexibility in managing its workload. Previous regulations permitted these petitioners, who comprise about 5 percent of all I-130 petitioners, to file with USCIS or the U.S. Department of State at their local U.S. embassy or consulate.
Under the new regulation, published on May 12, 2011, in the Federal Register, petitioners residing in countries without USCIS offices may file a Petition for an Alien Relative based on the addresses provided in the revised form instructions, also available on www.uscis.gov:
For U.S. Postal Service
P.O. Box 804625
Chicago, IL 60680-4107
For Express mail and courier deliveries
131 South Dearborn – 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60603-5517
Petitioners residing in a country with a USCIS office have the option of sending their I-130 forms to the Chicago Lockbox, or they may file their Forms I-130 at the international USCIS office having jurisdiction over the area where they live.
Exceptional Filing at U.S. Embassies or Consulates without a USCIS Field Office:
Beginning August 15, 2011, petitioners, who do not reside in a country with a USCIS field office, but who believe that their situation merits an exception, may request an exception to allow the Consular Section at the Embassy or Consulate to accept the filing. Each request for an exception will be evaluated individually.
A petitioner seeking to file a Form I-130 at an Embassy or Consulate where USCIS does not have a presence should contact the Consular Section to request consideration of the request for exception and explain the circumstances in detail. The Consular Section will then relay the request for an exception to the USCIS field office with jurisdiction over the Embassy or Consulate. USCIS field office at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow has jurisdiction over the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan. The determination of whether the case presents exceptional circumstances that warrant an exception to the general filing process will be made by USCIS.
Please contact the Consular Section at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.