Suppose you will petition a foreign spouse for lawful permanent residence, then you need to be well informed and prepared because these requirements are more exhaustive than any other. Besides Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, you will have to submit additional supporting documents to prove your relationship.

Using marriage is one of the most common reasons to get permanent residence in the United States, but in other countries, as well. Because of it, the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have developed diverse methods for scrutinizing spousal relationships and ensuring that your spouse obtains a green card based on a bona fide relationship.

Here are the main documents to submit along with the I-130 form.

1. Petitioner’s information: He or she has to be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident providing details about:

  • Address history for the past five years
  • Employment history in the past five years
  • Date previous marriage ended
  • Petition for the beneficiary or other foreign national that is previously filed.

2. Beneficiary’s Information

An immigrant that wants to apply for a green card is called the beneficiary, and the details he or she needs to provide are:

  • Address history for the past five years
  • Dates previous marriage(s) ended (if applicable)
  • Employment history for the past five years
  • I-94 information (if present in the United States)
  • Any previous immigration proceedings

Filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, requires completing a petition package with all the necessary supporting documents. If you miss providing any vital document, the USCIS may issue a Request for Evidence (RFE), providing you with the opportunity to supplement your petition.

3. Proof of paid fee

The filing fee for this form is $535.

4. Cover letter (optional)

Although USCIS does not require a cover letter, it will be useful to include it. With the cover letter, you can describe supporting documents and explain in more detail any evidence that might need additional clarification.

5. Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative

Form I-130 has many questions that you need to answer, so be careful and fill it correctly.

6. Form I-130A, Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary

This form is required only for the beneficiary spouse who is already in the United States.

7. Proof of status

Proofs of status differ depending on whether you are a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent residence. As a U.S. citizen, you have to submit a photocopy of a birth certificate, passport, certificate of citizenship, naturalization certificate, or consular report of birth abroad. Lawful permanent residents must submit a photocopy of both sides of your green card or other permanent residence proof.

8. Marriage certificate

In order to prove a relationship between you and your spouse, you will have to include a copy of your marriage certificate as a supporting evidence

9. Proof of previous marriages terminated.

If you or your spouse were previously married, you would have to submit appropriate documents proving that prior marriages were legally terminated, such as a divorce decree or death certificate.

10. Photos for passport

You and your spouse will need to submit two passport-style color photos. These photos are supposed to be taken within 30 days of filing the petition.

11. Proving a bona fide marriage

Fraudulent marriages are often used as a method when it comes to trying to get a green card. This makes USCIS very thorough in examining your situation. So, you need to ensure your evidence shows that your marriage is legitimate.

Various documents can demonstrate this, for example, documents showing shared financial liabilities, assets, insurance, tax filings, birth certificates of a child born into the marriage, or other documents that you feel establish your bona fide relationship.

Call Herman Legal Group at +1-216-696-617 or fill out our contact form to talk with us about helping you win your spousal I-130 or I-751.


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