Permanent Residence for Spouse who is outside the US (IR-1, CR-1)
Attorney Service: $795. Click here for details.
Permanent Residence for Spouse who is outside the US (IR-1, CR-1)
Do it Yourself Kit: $49.95. Click here for details.

Step 1: Filing the I-130 Petition with USCIS

If you are a US Citizen and your spouse is outside the US, the first step in the process for a green card is to file the I-130 petition with USCIS.

There are 3 USCIS forms to prepare, sign and date:

1. I-130
2. G-325A – US Citizen
3. G-325A – Foreign National Spouse

Assembling the I-130 Petition:

Forms and Documents:

1. USCIS fee of $355 payable to Department of Homeland Security. Use a personal check so you can track the payment.

2. Form I-130: Petition for Alien Relative

3. Copy of the Full Birth certificate (front and back) for the US Citizen or a copy of ALL pages of the US Citizen’s passport. This is used to establish citizenship.

4. A copy of petitioner’s proof of naturalization. (If applicable)

5. A copy of petitioner’s proof of permanent residency. (If applicable)

6. A copy of the intending immigrant’s birth certificate and/or passport along with English translation. (If in any language other than English)

7. A certified copy of your certified marriage certificate (again, translated if not in Engligh)

8. A certified official copy of the petitioner’s and/or intending immigrant’s divorce documents. (If one or both of you have been divorced before)

9. A copy of a prior spouse’s death certificate. (If filing for a spouse, and one or both have you were married before, and the prior spouse died)

10. G-325A filled out by the US Citizen, signed and dated. If you are using a newer version of the G-325A it may only contain one page for “Biographic Information”. Be sure to make four copies of the completed “Biographic Information” page to submit with the package.

11. One passport-type photo (see specification) of the US Citizen. Write the full name on the back. Place in a plastic bag and label the bag “Photo of <Insert Name>”. Attach the bag to a sheet of paper and place behind the corresponding G-325a.

12. G-325A filled out by the foreign spouse signed and dated. If you are using a newer version of the G-325A it may only contain one page for “Biographic Information”. Be sure to make four copies of the completed “Biographic Information” page to submit with the package.

13. One passport-type photo (see specification) of the foreign spouse. Write the full name of the beneficiary on the back. Place in a plastic bag and label the bag “Photo of (insert name) “. Attach the bag to a sheet of paper and place behind the corresponding G-325a.

14. Evidence of a bonafide marriage (see below).

Evidence of a Bonafide Marriage:

It is recommended when filing an I-130 for a spouse that you include evidence of a bonafide marriage if these documents are available. They are not always available for newly married couples. Examples of acceptable evidence are:

1. Documentation showing joint ownership or property;

2. A lease showing joint tenancy of a common residence;

3. Documentation showing co-mingling of financial resources;

4. Birth certificate(s) of child(ren) born to you, the petitioner, and your spouse together;

5. Affidavits sworn to or affirmed by third parties having personal knowledge of the bona fides of the marital relationship (each affidavit must contain the full name and address, date and place of birth of the person making the affidavit, his or her relationship to the petitioner or beneficiary, if any, and complete information and details explaining how the person acquired his or her knowledge of your marriage);

6. Any other relevant documentation to establish that there is an ongoing marital union.

Translations:

All supporting documents must be in English or be translated.

Translations. Any foreign language document must be accompanied by a full English translation that the translator has certified as complete and correct, and by the translator’s certification that he or she is competent to translate the foreign language into English.

Per the USCIS, documents not in English must be translated. The policy states as follows:

“All documents that are in a language other than English must be submitted with a translation. The person translating the document must certify that the translation is complete and accurate and that he/she is competent to translate from the foreign language into English.”

All translations must include a statement similar to the following:

Certification by Translator:

I (typed name) , certify that I am fluent (conversant) in the English and (type the foreign language) languages, and that the above/attached document is an accurate translation of the document attached entitled (name of document).

Signature ______________________ Typed Name _________________

Date ___________ Address _____________________

Original Documents

USCIS does not require original copies of documentation submitted with your petition. You MUST however submit original I-130 and G-325A’s. Any signatures must also be in the original, not a copy.

Note: An adjudicating officer may request the original of any document submitted if it is deemed necessary.

The I-130 petition is filed with the USCIS National Benefits Center:

USCIS Lockbox
Attn: SAI-130
131 South Dearborn – 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL  60603-5517

Are you a member of the Military?

Members of the U.S. military and their families stationed around the world are now able to call U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for help with immigration services and benefits using a dedicated, toll-free telephone help line, 1-877-CIS-4MIL (1-877-247-4645)

• Tracking their application for naturalization (Form N-400);
• Notifying USCIS of a new mailing address or duty station;
• Checking the status of an application or petition;
• Bringing a spouse, fiancé(e) or adopted child to the United States;
• Obtaining posthumous citizenship for a deceased member of the Armed Services; and
• Submitting an application for expedited processing.

The Law:

The Immigration and Nationality Act is the law that governs the admission of all immigrants to the United States.

For the part of the law concerning immigrant visas for spouses, please see INA § 201, INA § 203, and INA § 204.

The specific eligibility requirements and procedures for applying for immigrant visas and permanent residence are included in the Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] at 8 CFR § 204.1, 8 CFR § 204.2, and 8 CFR § 245.

Conditional Residence:

If you have been married less than two years when your spouse is granted lawful permanent resident status, your spouse will receive permanent resident status on a conditional basis.

You and your spouse must apply together to remove the conditions on residence.

Please note – you must apply to remove conditional status within 90 days before the 2-year anniversary of the award date of your spouse’s conditional legal permanent resident status. If you fail to file during this time, your spouse will be considered out of status as of the 2-year anniversary, and may be subject to removal from the U.S.



If you have a question about the CR-1 Spouse Visa process, please use the form below. We will respond as quickly as possible.

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