I-130 Relative Visa Frequently Asked Questions

QUESTION:

My US citizen spouse has a criminal battery conviction, can he still file form I-130 for me to get a green card?

My us citizen husband has a battery felony from a discussion with his ex-wife after their divorce (this felony is dated nearly almost 2 years now. Went to prison for about 3 days. Been granted permission to travel to another state while he was on probation, but eventually been clear from probation. My question is :Can his battery felony restrict him from petitioning my green card?

ANSWER:

No, you have nothing to worry about as long as you has already served his time. The only crimes that will make him ineligible to petition for you are sexual crimes against minors.

If you want to learn more about convictions of US citizens and sponsoring their spouse, you can read this post https://mypathtocitizenship.com/130-petitioners-criminal-record-affects-case


QUESTION:

We got married after filing I-129F and submitted I-130 and were later denied, do we need a waiver?

Greetings. I did file i129 in 2014 October for my fiancé but did get married in Jan 2015. I did not change the i129f. In 2015, it was denied with the letter saying “expired”. In 2016, Jan I refilled I 130 and the interview was with the ghana consulate today, august 1. My husband was issued a form with section 212(a)(6)CI checked and at the bottom saying “you are eligible to seek a waiver of the grounds of ineligibility. According to husband, the officer said, why I never switched to i130 in 2015 after we got married and proceeded with the i129f. So that reason, I should file a waiver….. please advise

ANSWER:

When you got married in January 2015, it automatically made you ineligible for the I-129F petition and USCIS should have been notified. But since it has expired now nothing else needs to be done with this.

You IR1 visa was denied because of “misrepresentation”. The consular officer believes that you and your husband were not truthful when you applied for the I-129F since you were married at the time of processing your case and didn’t let them know you had gotten married.

You will now need to file form I-601 waiver asking them to reconsider their decision. You spouse will need to prove that you will suffer extreme hardship if he were to be denied the waiver.

The I-601 waiver is normally processed within 6 months. I’m sorry that you have to now file additional paperwork but you really have be careful about what you submit to USCIS and know the rules for each filing or it can get you in some trouble.


QUESTION:

Mistake on form I-130 and G-325A, how can I correct this?

Hi, my wife is a USA citizen i am an Ethiopian. We filled out I-130 and G-325a form and we were accepted by USCIS and the case moved to NVC. When I looked at the forms again I forgot to add that I was married before and I changed my father’s name and I was in immigration process with my ex wife in 2004. So I did 3 mistakes on both I-130 and G-325a forms. I am worried what shall i do?

ANSWER:

Making a mistake on the form happens to a lot of people. Since it is now with NVC, they will probably send you a request for evidence (RFE) after they do the background checks. I wouldn’t submit any additional forms right now unless they ask for it. You can also call NVC at 603-334-7000 and let the customer service rep know that you’ve made mistakes on the forms and ask them how you can correct it.


QUESTION:

Undocumented wife approved for I-601A waiver, can she be deported by ICE?

I’m a US citizen, married to undocumented wife from Mexico.. We began Visa Application process from the US under Obama law allowing Spouse to remain in US while application was processed . I was granted 601 waiver and all documentation is currently under review by National Visa Center – I except to receive consulate interview within a month. MY Problem ICE lawlessness – they vowed to target my City and with round up – …. i see no survivable outcome. Any ideas?

ANSWER:

I wouldn’t worry too much about ICE since your I-601A waiver has already been approved. Your wife will still need to attend the interview in Mexico and she has a pending GC application with USCIS which helps her case. She is not a priority to immigration officials (or at least shouldn’t be).

The strongest evidence you have is the pending I-130 and the approved I-601A. Even if they detain her, an immigration attorney can easily fight it and get her freed based on what you told me.

Worst case scenario, if she is picked up and goes through the removal proceedings before an interview is completed, she may be forced to apply for the I-212 advanced permission to re-enter/reapply. This waiver is used when someone has been removed from the US for the unlawful time they spent in the country. I really doubt your wife would complete the process for removal proceedings in front of an immigration judge that quickly. It takes many months to get to that stage and she would get her interview in Mexico before then.

Remind her to be careful when driving to make sure she doesn’t get arrested for something minor.


QUESTION: Do I have to let my wife know about my past criminal convictions?

I’m a petitioner. My wife has interview appointment set with us embassy in Malaysia next month. My concern is I have negligent driving conviction and a second DUI – which is in deferred prosecution (not a conviction) – the court has deferred it to give me chance to clear it from my record.

I just have to not repeat the same offense within next 2 years. Does my wife have to be aware? Will consular bring this topic during the interview?

ANSWER:

Although your convictions will not cause an issue for her to get the visa you should still be honest with your wife because there is a chance it will come up at the interview. If she is unaware of them then the consular officer may delay or deny the visa issuance to review the case if they are suspicious of some type of fraud or misrepresentation.

I’m sure your wife will understand about the DUI, as long as you have learned from that conviction. Please don’t make the mistake of keeping this from her and causing problems with your relationship or immigration in the future.


QUESTION: Filing divorce, can my wife self petition if I don’t help her submit the I-864?

My wife and I are thinking of separation or divorce where she is even thinking of going back home. Makes us both sad knowing our marriage is legit and we could provide strong evidence to support that.

Question is… if she self petitions before filing for adjustment of status, how can she succeed without a sponsor for the affidavit of support?

My income is not enough and because some unfortunate things that took place between us a co sponsor is no longer an option. Would USCIS be able to waive the affidavit requirement if she self petitions under the circumstances?

ANSWER:

I’m sorry that your marriage hasn’t worked out for you! Marriage is harder than most people think.

I’m not sure what visa she entered the country in but for adjustment of status she can partially self-petition if she has enough assets or currently holds a legal job (has authorization to work). You will still need to submit an affidavit of support I-864 even if your income is not enough. If she can’t find an American sponsor they will not approve a green card.


QUESTION:

My wife has filed I-130 form and was approved. I have a criminal record ( filling false income tax here in Minnesota. What’s your take on this case

ANSWER:

A criminal record for the U.S. sponsor (which I’m assuming is you) doesn’t make a difference for your case. You have nothing to worry about. If your wife is applying for a green card she needs to be careful not to get into any trouble with the law


QUESTION:

I-130A biographic information on beneficiary questions.

Hi, Good day.  I hope you can help me.
An I-130 & I-130A application(s) are pursuing to be issued for spouse overseas to migrate back to USA.  Need clarification on a few things, (1 or 2)….please.
1. Spouse is able to sign I-130A and send to USA to me for submission (this isn’t a problem)…I know instructions state “not required”, but, would that arise a problem? Or just leave it unsigned?  (2 passport photos were sent to me already to include in the package from overseas from spouse)
2. Should signatures be in blue ink or black ink?  I’ve read many different scenarios about the “ink”, and want to do the correct thing. (black might show as a “copy”, blue looks more “original”)
3. On page 8, part 4, 61a. (ask if beneficiary is in USA, applying for adjust. of status), is it OK to enter “N/A”, here, since spouse is still overseas?  However, an address for a US consulate, for visa abroad was entered, in 62a.
4. (last but not least), proof of bona fide marriage. Is it OK to send copies of recent money gram receipts of money sent from me in the USA to my spouse overseas? I already have birth certificates of our (3) children, (2) certificates of previous registered businesses (with both names on certificates), wedding photos, & photos with our children….

ANSWER:

Those are some really good questions!

1. Whether your spouse signs the I-130A is up to you if your spouse lives abroad. It’s not required but it won’t hurt your case if they sign it.f

2. I would recommend black ink but blue is also acceptable.

3. Yes, enter N/A if it’s not applicable to your situation (example: spouse lives abroad)

4. I would advise not to send copies of the moneygram as sometimes USCIS may think it’s payment in exchange for a green card and will scrutinize your case more than usual. If you have sent gifts other than money, include that. If you do include the payments, you should also submit an explanation of why you are sending the money and what it was used for.

 

Sounds like you have enough evidence of a bona fide marriage, especially since you have children together.


QUESTION:

Thank you for your response in answering my questions, so promptly!  It is greatly appreciated, and helped a great deal!
If you don’t mind, I do have (3) other questions.  I hope that is OK.  This would finalize clarification for me.
Before you responded, I decided not to send the money transfer receipts, although the money is being used for financial support.  But, I figured I do have other bona fide evidence already. 
(1) I plan on sending a copy of beneficiaries birth certificate with the I-130.  I read that it isn’t necessary and also saw where people have sent it in with the I-130.  Is this Ok to send with the package?  Or leave it out (for now)?
(2) On the I-130A, for the (5) year employment history….are we to go back five years from the date the form is being filled out or from the beginning of 2012, which is the year we would reflect back on? (example: 9/10/2012-present)
(3) For the beneficiary family, section.  Am I to list who is to travel with my spouse here to the US? Or just family in general who lives with the beneficiary? (whether they are from the US or not)  I have already filled in the children’s information in those slots, but wasn’t sure as they will not need petitions, since they are US citizens.
Thanks again for all of your help in these matters.  Take Care…
ANSWER:

You are not required to submit the beneficiary birth certificate just yet but should wait until the NVC stage. All USCIS wants to know is if the US relative qualifies to petition for a foreign relative.

Yes, 5 years before you begin filling out the I-130A for the employment history. Yes you can use the dates between 9/10/2012 and present.

You should include any children that the beneficiary has, even the ones that will not be moving to the US or are US citizens. To learn more about filling out form I-130 and I-130A, check out the links below.

https://mypathtocitizenship.com/how-to-fill-out-form-i-130-petition-for-alien-relative-part1
https://mypathtocitizenship.com/how-to-fill-out-form-i-130a-supplemental-information-for-spouse-beneficiary


QUESTION:

How long until we receive the second notice of action (NOA2)?

Good morning, My husband applied for the marriage visa using the I-130 Form since April, 2017, but has not received the Notice receipt as yet. Could you tell me what might be wrong please?

ANSWER:

If you’re referring to the second notice of action which is the approval letter, I’ve seen it take 4-6 months to receive. Since you submitted the I-130 in April, you should get the approval notice within the next month.
Check the uscis.gov website for case updates often but there isn’t anything you can do to speed things up at this stage. Nothing is wrong, it just takes USCIS a long time to get to reviewing your case.

QUESTION:

My wife finished interview. Interviewer told her everything looks so just wait for her visa and sealed packet in the mail.

but one problem is that they didn’t return any of her original civil documents then they collected from her during the interview – Marriage, police, and birth cert. Wont she need them at the US airport entry?

ANSWER:

That’s great news! Congrats to you both.

Yes, they will likely mail them back to her if they don’t request that she returns to pick them up. She should definitely get the originals back but not for the port of entry. They will only ask for the passport, sealed medical and that’s it. But she still needs to keep the originals with her at all times.


QUESTION:

Which Affidavit of support form should be filed with I-130? Is it I-864 or I-864EZ?

ANSWER:

You can only use I-864EZ if you are the only sponsor, you are petitioning for just one person and you meet the income requirement with just your W2 income or pension. If you don’t meet all of the above requirements, you must submit I-864.

QUESTION:

Multiple petitions filed in the past, can I still get approved for a CR1 visa?

I was involved in a prior relationship with a woman from the Philippines. After meeting her, we decided to go forward with a Fiance Visa. We submitted our Fiance Visa Petition on January 2016. It turned out to be a mistake, I soon learned, after only a couple of months of submitting the petition… She received job offer to go overseas to the UK. After that point, she seemed to progressively lose interest in pursuing a relationship with me and with continuing the Fiance Visa process. She flew off to the UK and she began to avoid me, and even wouldn’t give me a straight answer as to whether we were still together. There were times, I didn’t hear from her for several weeks, leading me to believe things were over. On June 2016, I decided to move on. A wonderful woman, that I am now proud to call my wife, messaged me.

We didn’t immediately become a “couple” since I was still not quite ready to move on. So we remained platonic friends. This was partly due to the fact that I wasn’t sure if my ex would come back, and not sure if I could truly commit to her. It was October/November when I finally decided to go forward with the relationship in earnest, and booked a flight to go meet her. It was also at around this time I contacted the embassy in order to ensure the Fiance Visa was canceled.

I met this woman, and after meeting her in person, spending a few weeks with her, it was obvious to both of us that it was true love. I bought a ring on the same trip, and proposed to her. I flew to her home country in the Philippines, and we married there, in front of her family… as it was very important for her to be married with her family present.

I am currently using R*****a to help with filling out the IR1/CR1 Visa petition. But I am deathly afraid of being denied due to suspicion. We have plenty of Facebook messenger chat logs, we have screenshots of skype video calls, plenty of photos from both trips, boarding passes, wedding photos, prenuptual photos.

Do you have any advice to offer, or any words of encouragement? Do I really have something to worry about, or am I just stressing out too much?


 ANSWER:

First of all, I’m sorry that your first fiance treated you that way, you can tell that she may not have had the best intentions with you.

Now that you’ve met your wonderful wife, it will be a little more difficult to get approved for the CR1 visa having already petitioned for a different woman from the Philippines. Your case will be scrutinized and the interview will be more difficult because they see that you have a track record of petitioning for foreigners.

The good news is that if you submitted enough evidence of a bona fide marriage, you have nothing to worry about. I’m not too familiar with R*****a and what exactly they promise but you and your wife need to know a lot of about each other. Don’t keep anything a secret just in case the consular officer brings something up from your past or hers.

They will try to find something in your past that can be used against you to show that you didn’t get married for love but instead for a green card or monetary exchange.


QUESTION:

Our attorney filed it in April but we have not gotten the first notice yet. He called some weeks ago and they said that things are really slow in the USCIS office and they have only reached March petitions. If you said that it only takes 1 or 2 weeks to get a notice receipt how come it is taking me months to get mine? 

ANSWER:

Yes, the first notice of receipt shouldn’t take more than 2 weeks. It’s a letter USCIS sends when they accept your petition and cash your check. Contact your attorney to make sure they submitted everything properly. I’ve never seen it take months to get the first notice from USCIS.


QUESTION:

I have a question regarding filling I-130/130a…is it ok to leave blank spaces when question doesn’t apply to me , or should I be putting N/A or NONE everywhere. I’ve tried to find an answer in the internet, but there is a lot of different answers and it left me even more confused.
thanks for your help,

ANSWER:

I’d recommend just putting “N/A” or “NA” for the questions that don’t apply to you. Unless it’s a question that’s asked after a yes or no question. You can leave those blank. The reason you want to do this is so that the adjudicator doesn’t assume you missed answering a question.


QUESTION:

First of all I want to thank you for this website, I find it extremely accurate and clear. I have a couple of questions for you. I was approved to migrate to the US as an CR1.

Once at POE, Do we have wait in the same line? She’s an American citizen so I guess she’s not supposed to be in the visitors line with me however I’ve been told she has to cross first or along with me.

By the time we cross or at POE, my wife and I will have more than 2 years of being married so I would qualify for a IR1 visa. When should I bring to the CBP officer’s attention that we have been married for more than 2 years so he can code my visa as IR1? Should my wife mention it or should I do it ??

ANSWER:

Those are some great questions and I’m glad the website was helpful to you.

When you arrive at the port of entry, you  must get in the line for visitors. You are not yet a resident even with a CR1 visa. This is because you haven’t been grated entry just yet so you are not a permanent resident yet. This is the case even if your US citizen spouse is traveling with you, you both should go to the visitors line to get processed.

Tell CBP that you’ve been married more than 2 years as soon as they ask for the passport. It’s your responsibility to make sure they convert the CR1 to an IR1 so you get the 10 year green card instead of the temporary 2 year card. Either you or your wife can bring this up to CBP.

I’ve written about the POE process for the CR1/IR1 visa, you can read it here https://mypathtocitizenship.com/what-is-the-process-for-port-of-entry-for-cr1-ir1-spouse-visa


 

QUESTION:

I live in Kenya. My dad who is a US citizen moved to America when I was unborn. We have been waiting for i-130 approval 5 months now. Am worried about two issues here;

1. His name was never included in my birth certificate as my parent. Does that affect any part of the visa processing especially the petition?

2. How much longer time does the USCIS require to review my case?

ANSWER:

 

1. USCIS may require that you complete a blood test to make sure he is your father.
2. If your father is petitioning for your mother and yourself, it can take up to 12 months to complete the visa process.

Since you’ve been waiting 5 months now, it shouldn’t be much longer for the I-130 petition to be approved.


QUESTION:

My mother filed for my sister she is pregnant and have not taken her medical as yet will they still give her the visa. If she come her and have the baby will she get assistance even if I signed an affidavit saying I’ll take care of her or is it better for her to have the baby then come here.

ANSWER:

If you mother is a US citizen then the petition for your sister will be faster but if your mom is green card holder, she may be waiting a lot longer. Being pregnant will not affect your sister’s case but if she has the baby abroad it will complicate things a little because now there is a child that needs to be sponsored. Has your sister’s I-130 been approved yet?

As for the I-864, you will be required to support your sister financially which means paying for her medical expenses. If she gives birth in the US and applies for government assistance then you are at risk of being sued by the US government or the state to recoup those benefits.


QUESTION:

My fiance and I met on a Christian singles web site. We communicated for seven months on Skype video twice a day. We decided to marry and I filed a K-1 visa petition. It was denied because we had not met in person and they declined my waiver request. I am going to Philippines to meet in person. Should we be married there and file spouse petition or collect evidence for meeting in person and re file K-1 petition. The denial letter listed the reason for denial was that we had not met in person. I would appreciate your opinion.

ANSWER:

I’m sorry to hear your first petition was denied. The choice between the K1 fiance visa and the CR1 spouse visa is really up to you. The K1 will be a tad bit faster to process but your fiance will not get her green card until you apply to adjust her status in the US. This can take several months to complete and she would not be able to work during the waiting period. The CR1 visa takes a little longer to approve but she will be a permanent resident the day she enters the country and you wont need to file anymore applications with USCIS for about 2 years.

So, based on this information, you can decide which option will work better for the two of you. Some couples choose the K1 so they can get married in the US while others choose the CR1 to get married abroad with the foreign spouse’s family attending it.


QUESTION:

How are you? I need advice. I found someone through online dating and we fell in love. We want to get married and I am from Tanzania. But I don’t know which visa to use? If we choose CR1 do you think it will be easy? Or do we need to start other process before we get married? We are planning to get married next year in March. I hope you will help.

ANSWER:

Unfortunately, the immigration process isn’t easy but if you can follow instructions you can file successfully. It sounds like you will be going with the CR1 spouse visa which is a great option as it will allow you to be a green card holder as soon as you enter the US. I’d recommend that you start gathering evidence of your relationship. Print chat records, phone records, emails, letters etc. Also take a lot of photos when you visit each other and at the wedding to send with your application.

Learn more about the CR1 process here https://mypathtocitizenship.com/ir1cr1-visa-step-by-step-guide-how-to-get-approved-for-spousal-visa

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