IR-1 CR-1 Spouse Visa Application Assembling Tips- I-130, Petition for Alien Spouse
IR-1 CR-1 Spouse Visa Application Assembling Introduction
Many couples filing an I-130, Petition for Alien Spouse with USCIS have questions concerning IR-1 CR-1 Spouse Visa Application assembling.
Therefore, we provide this blog post on IR-1 CR-1 Spouse Visa Application assembling tips to aide applicants with this concern.
USCIS does provide some guidance on IR-1 CR-1 Spouse Visa Application assembling. However, beyond their guidance, there is no set exact way to assemble the package.
Firstly, we provide a link to the USCIS guidance on assembling the package.
Secondly, we summarize the key points in the USCIS guidance.
Lastly, we give an example of an I-130, Petition for Alien Spouse for submittal to USCIS.
While all attempts are made to present correct information, it may not be appropriate for your specific circumstances and information may become outdated. See our Disclaimer page for more information.
LoveVisaLife does not provide legal advice and nothing contained herein shall be construed as legal advice. We are only providing tips and an example of typical I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance. The full contents of LoveVisaLife.com, such as text, comments, graphics, images, videos and other content contained on this site are for informational purposes only. For this reason, if you need legal advice, you should contact an attorney. Accordingly, the content of this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice.
USCIS Guidance on IR-1 CR-1 Spouse Visa Application Assembling
USCIS Guidance Documents
Click here for USCIS’ General Tips on Assembling Applications for Mailing.
In addition, click here for USCIS’ Tips for filing forms with USCIS.
Also, there is guidance within the USCIS I-130 webpage found here.
Summary of USCIS Guidance Documents
General Tips on Assembling Applications for Mailing
Here we provide is a summary of the important information contained in USCIS’ General Tips on Assembling Applications for Mailing. These tips specifically help you in your IR-1 CR-1 Spouse Visa Application assembling.
In your IR-1 CR-1 Visa Application Assembling:
- Do not use binders or folders that cannot be easily disassembled. Use file folders with top fasteners.
- Use ACCO fasteners or binder clips to hold together thick or bulky applications or petitions. Two-hole punching the top of the material for easy placement in the file is appreciated.
- The use of tabs assist in locating items listed as attachments. The tabs should be placed on the bottom and not the side for ease in filing.
Avoid using heavy-duty staples; instead use ACCO fasteners or heavy clips. We like using the heavy clips versus the ACCO fasteners as the clips can grasp the check to USCIS and passport photographs.
- Avoid submitting originals unless specifically required.
- Avoid submitting over sized documentation when possible.
- If you are sending more than one case in an envelope, clearly separate the cases by rubber band or clip fasteners.
- Keep copies of all submissions. Don’t assume the officer will have access to a prior file or record. Submit as complete a packet as possible so the case can be adjudicated from what you submit. Submit a complete packet of information for each petition or application. If officers have to review prior files or records, the adjudication of the case can be delayed substantially.
- Be sure to complete all pertinent items on the petition or application. Ensure all entries on the forms are legible. Note the appropriate consulate, embassy, or a request to adjust status on the petition. Do not enter “N/A” when “None” is appropriate.
- If you believe your situation to be unique, explain it fully in an attachment to the packet, not as a cover letter.
- Submit certified translations to English for all foreign language documents. The translator must certify that s/he is competent to translate and that the translation is accurate.
- USCIS no longer routinely requires submission of original documents or “certified copies.” Instead, ordinary legible photocopies of such documents (including naturalization certificates and alien registration cards) will be acceptable for initial filing and approval of petitions and applications.
Tips for filing forms with USCIS
Click here for USCIS’ Tips for Filing Forms with USCIS.
- Use the most current form version. Find the most current forms at the USCIS website here.
- When possible, download the form from the USCIS website and complete it with a computer.
- If you hand write your answers, use black ink. Make sure your entries are neat, legible, and within the space provided.
- USCIS uses special scanners to read your forms and documents. The scanners will not properly read information that is greyed out, highlighted or corrected using correction fluid or tape.
- If you make an error, start over with a clean form.
- Complete the entire form.
- USCIS prefers that you download forms from their website, complete them electronically, and then print your forms to submit.
- Sign the form. Forms not signed will be accepted. This could get you a denial.
- Pay the correct fee.
- Answer all questions completely and accurately.
- If filing multiple forms, write your name and date of birth EXACTLY the same way on each form.
- Mail the form(s) to the correct address using an approved method of delivery. See our IR-1 CR-1 Spouse Visa Web page by clicking here or USCIS’s I-130 page here for the addresses and approved methods of delivery
IR-1 CR-1 Spouse Visa Application Assembling Example
Firstly, click here to go to our website page on IR-1 CR-1 Spouse Visa- USCIS Phase in order to see all of the items needed in your I-130, Petition for Alien Spouse. In addition, go here to the I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance Instructions to see information required.
Completed Package Example
The photo below shows an example of a fully assembled I-130, Petition for Alien Spouse.
As shown, notice the following:
- A large binder ring clips the entire package together. The binder clip easily clips the entire package and holds the check and photos nicely.
- Tabs are at the bottom, not the sides.
- The USCIS check for the USCIS fee of $535 was clipped at the very front. Update 2/17/18: The USCIS fee may be paid by check, money order or credit card. If by check or money order, include the check or money order with the I-129F application. If paying by credit card, complete and sign Form G-1450. Then, place G-1450 at the top of your petition package when submitting it. See our blog post, USCIS Accepts Credit Card Payentfor more information.
Check, Money Order, or Credit Card for USCIS Processing Fee
Your USCIS Filing Fee of $535 (as of December 2016). For example, a check, money order or credit card payable to USCIS are all acceptable forms of payment.
Update 2/17/18: The USCIS fee may be paid by check, money order or credit card. If by check or money order, include the checkor money order with the I-129F application. If paying by credit card, complete and sign Form G-1450. Then, place G-1450 at the top of your petition package when submitting it. See our blog post, USCIS Accepts Credit Card Payent for more information.
As shown above, the check for the USCIS fee of $535 is at the very front of the package.
Passport Type Photos
Obtain two passport type photograph (see photo specifications) of each the petitioner (U.S. Citizen) and the beneficiaries (Fiance(e) and children, if applicable). Next, write the full name of the person on the back of each photo. Finally, place the photos in a zip lock bag and include in the submission package as shown in the photo below.
It is not mandatory to submit a cover letter when you file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Spouse. However, a cover letter helps to introduce and clarify the purpose of the petition. In addition, a cover letter provides a list of which documents are within to support the petition.
Click here to see our blog post on “USCIS Cover Letter Examples- Form I-130 Petition for Alien Spouse“.
In this blog post, we specifically provide a draft example in Word format for you to edit to your needs.
Complete the following forms as part of the IR-1 CR-1 Spouse Visa USCIS Phase:
- Form I-130 (PDF, 1.62 MB). Click here for Form I-130, effective 2/27/17, instructions. The I-130 needs to be completed for the Petitioner and Beneficiary. Also, a separate I-130 needs to be completed for any children of the Beneficiary if you are intending an IR-2/CR-2 Visa for them.
- Form I-130A, Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary (PDF, 955 KB) Specifically, this form is for supplemental information about the beneficiary.
- G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance-(optional)- Specifically, this form is for the Petitioner or applicant in order to receive an electronic notification (email) that USCIS has received the application. Thus, this is a good thing to do as it gives you your USCIS number. Also, a separate G-1145 needs to be completed for any children of the Beneficiary if you are intending an IR-2/CR-2 Visa for them.
- Form G-1450– (Optional)- 2/17/18 update: This form is for use if you are paying the USCIS fee by credit card. On the other hand, the fee can be paid by check or money order.
Always check the USCIS site and get your forms from there so that you know that they are the most current.
Therefore, click here for the USCIS webpage for the I-130, Petition for Alien Spouse. This web page contains the forms, instructions, and checklist.
Here is some more guidance from USCIS on filing Form I-130:
“Complete all sections of the form. The form will be rejected if these fields are missing:
- Part 1 – Relationship
- Part 2 – Information About You
- Your Full Name
- Date of Birth
- Mailing Address
- Your Marital Information
- Part 4 – Information About Beneficiary
- Beneficiary Full Name
- Date of Birth
- Beneficiary’s Physical Address
- Beneficiary’s Marital Information
Sign the form in Part 6, Petitioner’s Signature. If there is no original signature in Part 6, USCIS will reject the form and return it for correction and re-filing. The fillable version of Form I-130 now includes a “Don’t forget to sign!” message and an arrow pointing to the signature box as a reminder for when you print the completed form for mailing.”
Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance
G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance-(optional)- This form is for the Petitioner or applicant in order to receive an electronic notification (email) that USCIS has received the application. Thus, this is a good thing to do as it gives you your USCIS number. The USCIS I-130 webpage specifically requests to clip the G-1145 towards the front of the application.
I-130, Petition for Alien Spouse (2/27/17)– Complete this form with information on both the Petitioner and Beneficiary. Also, provide a separate I-130 for any children of the Beneficiary if you are intending a IR-2/CR-2 for them. Make sure the Petitioner signs this form!!!
I-130A, Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary (2/27/17)– Complete this form with information on the Beneficiary. Make sure the Beneficiary signs this form!!!
Proof of U.S. Citizenship for Petitioner
Copy of the Petitioner’s (U.S. Citizen’s) birth certificate (front and back), a copy of all pages of the US Citizen’s passport issued with a validity of at least 5 years or a copy of the US Citizen’s naturalization certificate (front and back), naturalization certificate or Certificate of Citizenship by USCIS or formerly INS, Copy of Form FS-240 (Consular Report of Birth Abroad), or an original statement from a U.S. consular officer verifying you are a U.S. citizen with passport.
These are to establish proof of U.S. Citizenship of the petitioner. You can specifically use any one of these.
Legal Termination of All Marriages
Proof of legal termination of all prior marriages for both the Petitioner and the Beneficiary, if applicable. For example, a copy of a divorce decree, annulment or a death certificate are all acceptable. Also, make sure to include all pages.
Submit a copy of your marriage certificate.
Foreign Registry of Marriage
The U.S. Government specifically does not keep a central statistical registry for births, marriages and deaths and cannot verify this information. On the other hand, many other foreign countries do keep a statistical registry on marriage. For example, my wife’s country of the Philippines has the Philippine Statistical Authority that tracks marriages in a database.
If the country that you married in country has a central statistical registry for marriages, specifically request a report documenting the marriage. Include this document as an additional evidence in your I-130, petition for Alien Spouse.
For example, in the Philippines, this is called a CEMAR (Certificate of Marriage). Include a document, if available, providing a certificate of marriage.
However, if your spouse’s country does not have a system like this, it is not needed.
Proof of Bona Fide Marriage
The I-130 instructions state:
“…you should submit one or more of the following types of documentation that may prove you have a bona fide marriage:
(1) Documentation showing joint ownership of property;
(2) A lease showing joint tenancy of a common residence, meaning you both live at the same address together;
(3) Documentation showing that you and your spouse have combined your financial resources;
(4) Birth certificates of children born to you 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 of the person making the affidavit; date and place of birth of the person making the affidavit; and complete information and details explaining how the person acquired his or her knowledge of your marriage; or
(6) Any other relevant documentation to establish that there is an ongoing marital union.”
Items 1 through 4 are typically hard for a newly married couple to get. If you have any of these, make sure to include a copy of them. However, if you do not have these, it is definitely alright. In that case, make sure to include items 5 and 6.
Third party Affidavits of
Other Relevant Documents
Click here for our previous bog post on “Other Relevant Documents to Prove Bona Fide Marriage”. These items can include photographs, statistical report of your marriage if the beneficiaries country tracks it, or any other relevant document.
See our previous blog post link above for information on including photographs.
Although not specifically mentioned in the instructions, photographs are a great way to also prove a bona fide marriage.
Provide photos of your wedding, your honey moon and other photos together. Photos of you and your fiance together are great. In addition, provide one or two photographs of you and your fiance with some of your fiance’s family. These provide good proof that the marriage is known to others.
Only summit a few photographs. For example, 3 at a minimum and 9 at a maximum is fine. However, do not submit a photo album. Usually, USCIS will most likely return your photo album.
Ordinarily, you will not get these photos back.
There are several ways to submit your photographs including:
- Placing them inside of a zip lock bag. If you do this, make sure that you write the names, date and location on the back of each photograph.
- Placing them inside of a photo sheet protectors. Again, make sure that you write the names, date and location on the back of each photograph.
- Taping them to sheets of blank 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper. If you do this, make sure that you write the names, date and location below each photograph.
- Printing photos on paper, Again, make sure that you write the names, date and location below each photograph.
Beneficiary’s Country Certification of Marriage
Also, see our previous blog post, on foreign country statistical report of marriage, if available. For example, my wife’s country has the Philippine Statistics Authority. Furthermore, you can get a certificate of marriage (CEMAR) from this office. Hence, check the beneficiary’s country to see if something like this is available.
Additionally, if you have any other evidence of bona fide relationship, provide a copy of them.
On-going and Genuine Marriage Examples
Additionally, provide proof of your ongoing and genuine marriage in your package. This may benefit you by allowing the embassy staff to have access to this information prior to the interview. In fact, many high risk consulates approach cases with a skeptical eye. On the other hand, providing this information early on in the original I-130 package will help them in their preliminary review of your case.
The following items do not specifically show proof of bona fide marriage. However, they show proof of an ongoing and genuine marriage.
- Copies of chat records. Just provide a few from different periods of time in your relationship. Provide a couple from the beginning, middle and current.
- Plane tickets, passport stamps and hotel receipts of visiting your spouse.
- Land line and cell phone bills.
- appropriate letters and emails, stamps on the letters (to document the date they were sent), and other written documentary proof.
- Engagement and or wedding ring receipts.
- Other items.
Other Supporting Documentation
Not Included in this IR-1 CR-1 Spouse Visa Application Assembling Example
There may be other supporting documentation required for your specific circumstances that we did not include in our example I-130, Petition for Alien Spouse.
This section describes some other documents that you could need depending on your circumstances.
If these items do not pertain to your circumstances, then you do not need to submit them.
Evidence of Legal Name Change
If either you or your beneficiary use a name other than the one shown on evidence submitted in support of your petition, you must submit copies of the legal documents (such as a marriage certificate, adoption decree, or court order) reflecting the legal name change.
Criminal History Documents
We specifically do not provide any advice here on documents needed for any criminal history. hence, we do not show any advice on documenting criminal history on our IR-1 CR-1 Spouse Visa application assembling tips.
Furthermore, if you are in this situation, we recommend that you seek help from an immigration attorney.
If this process seems too difficult for you, we recommend that you use a visa/immigration consultant for your IR-1 CR-1 Spouse Visa application assembling. For this purpose, we recommend using Rapid Visa.
If you are able to do the application on your own and our site has been a great help to you, please consider donating to our site using the donate feature in the upper left. To this end, this helps us provide valuable content to you and others.