Written by attorney Mario Steven Zapata

General Guideline to FIling I-130 for Spouse


  • Payment as required by USCIS (Currently $420). Check or money order in the exact amount. Make the check or money order payable to Department of Homeland Security.
  • Cover Letter. (Optional) Should include a description of what your are petitioning for (I-130), a table of contents listing all that you have included in your package. Signed and dated.
  • Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative. Please remember to list all children of your spouse.
  • Evidence of your U.S. citizenship. Submit either - a copy of your U.S. birth certificate (front and back) issued by the civil registrar, vital statistics office, or other civil authority; or a copy of your U.S. passport (all pages including front and back) ; or a copy of your Certificate of Naturalization, or your Certificate of Citizenship (front and back) (If applicable); or a copy of petitioner's proof of permanent residency.(If applicable) (Please see USCIS Form I-130 for information on the use of copies and what can be submitted if the above documents are not available.)
  • G-325A completed and signed by the USC petitioner.(4 pages)
  • G-325A completed and signed by the beneficiary.(4 pages)
  • Passport-style color photograph of the US Citizen/LPR petitioner AND one of the beneficary taken within 30 days of filing. Lightly print the name (and Alien Registration Number, if known) on the back of each photograph using a pencil or felt pen. Place photos in a small plastic bag or envelope and attach to a sheet of paper or directly to the I-130.
  • A copy of your marriage certificate obtained on registration of your marriage.(plus translation if not in english.)
  • A copy of any final divorce decrees, death certificates, or annulment decrees if either you or your spouse have been previously married.(These need to be the court certified documents)
  • If either the US Citizen and/or foreign spouse is using a name other than that shown on the documents submitted, you must give USCIS copies of the legal documents that made the name change, such as a marriage certificate, name change certificate, adoption decree or court order.
  • Evidence of a bona fide marriage . You should submit one or more of thefollowing types of documentation that may evidence that bonafides of your marriage: 1) Documentation showing joint ownership or property; or 2) A lease showing joint tenancy of a common residence; or 3) Documentation showing co-mingling of financial resources; or 4) Birth certificate(s) of child(ren) born to you, the petitioner, and your spouse together; or 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 of beneficiary, if any, 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.
  • If you have circumstances that are unique, you can detail this in a separate attachment. Dated and signed.

Remember, ALL supporting documents must be in English or be translated.

** Please refer to for the most recent filing address instructions.

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