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How to Write a Form I-130 Cover Letter


Drafting a cover letter for a family-based green application, plus sample templates


What is a Form i-130 cover Letter?

When filing a marriage green card application with the U.S. government, some applicants choose to include a cover letter in front of Form I-130 (“Petition for Alien Relative”) in their application package. The cover letter (which is not mandatory as per government requirements) acts as a table of contents for all of the forms and supporting documents included in a marriage green card application. The letter can also be used to explain unique circumstances or provide further context so that immigration officers may have a more holistic understanding of a couple’s application.

In this guide, we’ll explain when it’s best to include a cover letter and what information it should contain. We’ve also prepared free downloadable cover letter templates you can use as a starting point for your application.


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Form I-130 Cover Letter Template


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Boundless helps you avoid common problems, such as forgetting to include important documents or placing documents in the wrong section of the application package, which can cause delays or even denial. Learn more, or get started now.


Is the Cover Letter Mandatory?


Including a cover letter for your marriage green card application is optional, although many immigration attorneys choose to include one for their clients and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) tends to recommend them. Cover letters can be helpful when couples want to provide USCIS with additional information or context about their application. They can also be used to clarify details in the petition and provide adjudicating officers with a clear picture of each supporting document included. Overall, including a cover letter with your marriage green card application is considered “best practice” and gives a comprehensive overview of everything you are submitting to USCIS for review.

With Boundless, you get the confidence of an independent immigration attorney who will review all of your forms and documents and answer any questions you have — for no additional fee. Learn more about how Boundless can help you, or start your application today.


What Should the Cover Letter Say?


Although there’s no specific format required for the Form I-130 cover letter, it’s important to include a general introduction and a detailed list of all of the forms and documents you are submitting to the government.

The cover letter should be properly dated and signed, and it should include the following key information:

  • Date of filing
  • USCIS filing location
  • Introduction paragraph
  • List of all forms and filing fees included in the application
  • Detailed list of supporting documents included for each form
  • Marriage date and location of petitioner and beneficiary
  • Conclusion paragraph with petitioner’s contact information
  • A signature line showing the petitioner’s signature and full printed name

The contents of the cover letter may vary depending on where you are applying from, and whether the sponsor of the application is a U.S. citizen or green card holder. Your application may also include documents that are specific to your situation, so it is important to personalize the cover letter and use the template only as a starting point.

Boundless helps you understand what documents you need, and keep them all together securely online. Find out more about what Boundless does, or let’s begin!