You Need To Know To Get Approved

For The Spouse Visa!


Being separated from your spouse can be really hard!

The first step of the entire CR1 (or IR1) visa process is to fill out the I-130 form.

This form requests USCIS for permission to have your foreign spouse apply for the CR1 visa abroad.

You will need to know the following to complete the form:

  • petitioner SSN
  • petitioner address
  • beneficiary address
  • the employment history of petitioner and beneficiary
  • names and DOB of spouse/child(ren)
  • info about parents of the beneficiary
  • biographic info on the beneficiary
  • beneficiary US travel history

Important Things You Should Know:

  1. You as the petitioner must be a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident
  2. You must legally be married to your spouse
  3. You must be in a genuine (bona fide) marriage and can prove it

Additional Resources:

How To Pay I-130 Fee With A Credit Card

USCIS Age Difference: A Red Flag That Could Get You Denied

Where Do I Find My Alien Registration Number?


The I-130A asks for supplemental information on the spouse beneficiary.

If the foreign spouse lives outside the U.S., they do not need to sign the form.

Information you need from the beneficiary to complete this form:

  • name and DOB
  • address history
  • information on beneficiary’s parents
  • employment history
  • contact information

    Additional Resources:

    How to fill out form I-130A (step-by-step tutorial)


    This form is completely optional but I highly recommend you send it in!

    Form G-1145 requests that USCIS notify you electronically (via text/email) when they receive your I-130 petition.

    This is so much better than waiting for snail mail that can take up to 2 weeks or more

    You will need to know the following to complete the form:

    • petitioner’s name
    • petitioner’s phone number
    • petitioner’s email address

    Important Things You Should Know:

    1. Before submitting the form, confirm that your email and phone number entered are correct.
    2. You should provide the petitioner’s phone number and email.
    3. Phone number should be a local US number.

    Additional Resources:


    Completing the necessary forms isn’t enough for USCIS to approve your I-130.

    You’ll also need to include evidence to show you qualify as the petitioner to sponsor your spouse.

    The following documents will need to be included:

    • Evidence of U.S citizenship, lawful permanent residence or U.S. national status
      • U.S. birth certificate
      • U.S. passport (all pages)
      • FS-240
      • Naturalization certificate
      • Green card (front and back)
    • Evidence of your marriage (copy marriage certificate)
    • Two passport-style photos (of petitioner & beneficiary)
    • Evidence of bona fides of the marriage
      • Joint ownership of property
      • Joint lease agreement
      • Combined finances
      • Birth certificate of children born to you and your spouse
      • Affidavits sworn to or affirmed by third parties (family and friends)

      Additional Resources:

      Top 10 Evidence Of Bona Fide Marriage

      I-130 How To Prove Bona Fide Marriage To USCIS

      Writing An Affidavit Letter For USCIS (Sample Letter)


      Before sending off your I-130  petition to USCIS, you should review it!

      Are all forms signed? 

      Have you included the correct filing fee amount? 

      Are you submitting enough evidence? 

      I-130 checklist:

      • A check for the filing fee [see current fee amount]
      • Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
      • Form I-130A, Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary
      • Form G-1145 Notification of Acceptance
      • Petitioner’s proof of US citizenship or LPR
      • Marriage certificate of petitioner and beneficiary
      • Two passport-style photos of beneficiary and petitioner
      • Evidence of a bona fide marriage
      • Divorce decree [if applicable]
      • English translations of documents [if applicable]


      Additional Resources:

      After I-130 Is Approved, What Happens Next?

      What Is Form I-797 Notice of Action?

      What Happens After Filing Form I-130? You May Be Surprised.

      How To Respond To Request For Evidence (RFE)



      Great news! USCIS has recently allowed the I-130 petition to be filed online.

      The online form asks the same questions but it is in a questionnaire format.

      You will also be able to upload your documents and evidence directly to the USCIS website.

      Important: Once you being the I-130 application, you have 30 days to complete it or it will be deleted.

      Basic Steps To File I-130 Online:

      • Register an account on USCIS.gov
      • Go to “My USCIS”
      • Choose “File a form online”
      • Select “Petition for Alien Relative (I-130)”
      • Follow the prompts to complete the questionnaire
      • Scan and upload your evidence

        Additional Resources:

        I-130 Questions & Answers

        Can a green card holder petition for a spouse?

        Yes! Both a US citizen and lawful permanent resident can petition for a spouse that lives abroad.

        My spouse has a child, can we petition for them too?

        Absolutely! You must include all children of the beneficiary on the I-130 petition. Later when the I-130 is approved, you will then apply for a separate visa for each child.

        Can my spouse wait in the US while petition is pending?

        This may be possible if your spouse can visit the US on the Visa Waiver Program or apply for a tourist visa. They can only stay as long as their visa or entry doesn’t expire.

        What is a priority date?

        If you are a green card holder petitioning for your spouse (and children) you will be subject to the priority dates. Spouses of LPR must wait until a visa becomes available before an interview is scheduled. Your priority date will be on your receipt notice from USCIS. You can then check the Visa Bulletin every month to see your place in line.

        How long will it take for my  I-130 to be approved?

        USCIS adjudicates petitions in the order received. It can take anywhere from 5-11 months for your I-130 petition to be approved depending on your circumstances.

        When will I receive my receipt notice?

        You should receive your receipt notice within two weeks of submitting your I-130. If you included form G-1145, you will be notified by email/text message before you receive the I-797C in the mail.

        What do I do if my I-130 is rejected?

        If your I-130 is rejected by the lockbox, you will need to find out why it was rejected and correct the problem. Then you may resubmit your I-130 again. The lockbox may have rejected your petition because of an incorrect filing fee or not signing the I-130 form.

        If your I-130 is rejected by USCIS, they will let you know why. You then have the option to reapply for the I-130 and try to overcome the denial reason or you can submit a brand new I-130 petition that is stronger.