Filing the I-130 Petition

Petitioners residing overseas will no longer be able to routinely file Forms I-130, Petitions for Alien Relative, with U.S. Embassies and Consulates except in locations where U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has a public counter presence within the Embassy or Consulate.

The USCIS does not have a public counter presence at the U.S. Embassy in Tirana.  Petitioners residing in Albania, need to file their I-130 petitions by mail with the USCIS Chicago lockbox.  Our office will only be able to accept and process I-130 forms in exceptional circumstances, as outlined below.

Filing Instructions

Beginning August 15, 2011, petitioners residing in Albania who wish to file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, may do so as follows:

  • Form I-130 must be filed with the USCIS Chicago Lockbox at one of the addresses below:USCIS Chicago Lockbox addresses for regular mail deliveries:

    P.O. Box 804625
    Chicago, IL 60680-4107

    USCIS Chicago Lockbox address for express mail and courier deliveries:

    Attn: I-130
    131 South Dearborn-3rd Floor
    Chicago, IL 60603-5517

    For additional information about how to file a Form I-130 with the USCIS Chicago lockbox, please see the USCIS website or contact USCIS by phone at 1-800-375-5283.

Filing at USCIS Overseas field offices

From August 15, 2011, petitioners residing in a country where USCIS has a field office, with a public counter, may choose to file the Form I-130 either through the Chicago lockbox or at the USCIS field office.  Petitioners should contact the USCIS field office with any questions regarding the filing of petitions.  For more information on where USCIS has overseas field offices and contact information, please their web page “International Immigration Offices.”

Exceptional Filing at U.S. Embassies or Consulates without a USCIS Field Office

Beginning August 15, 2011, petitioners who reside in Albania or in another country without 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 residing in Albania seeking to file a Form I-130, should contact our office at to request consideration 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 our Embassy.  The determination of whether the case presents exceptional circumstances that warrant an exception to the general filing process will be made by USCIS.  USCIS published guidance on the circumstances that may qualify as exceptional on their website.

More Information

For detailed information on filing I-130 immigrant visa petition outside the United States, please visit the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs webpage “Filing Immigrant Petitions Outside the United States.”