What to Include in the I-130 USA Visa Package

Last Updated on August 6, 2022

In this post, I will go through exactly what we included in the I-130 USA Visa Package (aka CR1 Spousal Visa Process).  This is the very first pack in the whole process.  Please note I am not an immigration lawyer, I have been through the process and this is what was accepted for our application when we applied in 2015, make sure you check official government websites at the time of applying.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I may I receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking. It comes at no extra cost to you. As always, opinions are my own.

First things first, for this stage of the process:

The USA Citizen is the Petitioner

The Alien Relative is the Beneficiary

It took me ages to get my head around that!

With help from https://www.uscis.gov/i-130 this is how we put our I-130 Visa pack together.  It was accepted first time with no request for additional documents.

  • Cover letter

We drafted one up that said:

{FULL NAME of petitioner}, a citizen of the United States, would like to file a petition for his foreign spouse {FULL NAME of beneficiary}

Please find enclosed the following required and supporting documents:

{Bullet point list that matched the one in this blog post}

We also mentioned that the documents submitted were exact photocopies of unaltered documents and we understood that the originals may be required later on in the process and they were available for this.

  • Completed and signed form G-1145

This just stated that we’d like to receive correspondence by Email as well as by post.  We created a joint Email address, that we both have the password for, so we could access it from either country.  Otherwise everything was sent to the American address and I wanted to have a nose at it too!

  • Completed and signed i-130 petition form
  • Check for $420 for the i-130 filing fee

This was paper clipped to the front page of the i-130 petition

  • Completed and signed form G-325A and photograph (petitioner)

This is just a basic details form.  The photo was 2×2 AMERICAN passport size, placed in a little ziplock bag…to protect it…and paper clipped to the form.

  • Completed and signed form G-325A and photograph (beneficiary)

Same as above.  Even if the beneficiary isn’t in America, a 2×2 photo is required.  UK passport photos are a different size.  I got my Mum to take a photo of me on just a regular point and shoot camera, standing against our WHITE plastic conservatory wall.  Photo requirements are available online.  I sized it up in photoshop and then had them printed on photo paper.  This was fine, was a lot of work but was cheaper.

  • Copy of petitioner’s birth certificate

The American citizen.  A lot of these details are required on the i-130 form.

  • Copy of petitioner’s Passport photo page and UK Marriage Visitor Visa

Again, the American citizen.  UK Marriage Visitor Visa wasn’t required as evidence, not everyone would have it, we chose to get married in my home country, it was there in the passport so we thought we’d include it as extra evidence.

  • Copy of our marriage certificate

Pretty important when you are applying for a CR1 Spousal Visa.  Our UK certificate is obviously written in English and is recognised by America so everything was fine.  Would be worth checking for other countries.

  • Copy of beneficiary’s birth certificate

Alien (why do they call us aliens?!  We do live on the same planet!!!) relative’s.

  • Proof of a bonafide relationship

I wrote a full post on what we submitted as proof of a bonafide relationship but to sum it up: a timeline of our story and THREE affidavits of support.  Three seems to be the magic number, if I remember correctly, I believe there is nothing on the website that actually states the number they require, but I have read of others who have been requested for more after only submitting one.  My friend done an affidavit of support for someone we knew going UK bound, they were told by the company they were using that they needed 3…so I copied and it worked!

And that was it!  We put it all in a giant padded envelope and sent it on its merry way.  The website at the top of the post will state the nearest ‘drop box’ to send it to.  Ours was Chicago.   After a week, we were sent a notice that our application had been received and had been forwarded onto Nebraska, along with log in details so we could track it online.  It took 5 MONTHS before we heard anything again and that was to say it had all been approved and was being forwarded to Stage 2, the NVC!

If you have any questions please feel free to ask!  Please remember, as said above, I’m not an immigration professional.  This book was my lifeline…

Fiancé and Marriage Visas: A Couple’s Guide to U.S. Immigration (Fiance and Marriage Visas)

Kylie Signature
What to Include in the i-130 USA Visa Package

12 thoughts on “What to Include in the I-130 USA Visa Package

  1. Hi, you have great advice! I prefer to type out the I-130 and other forms for the spouse visa application. However, my wife’s name is too long to fit into the boxes. Do you know if it is ok to type what I can and then write in the name after I print it? Also, Did your Husband write an affidavit as extra weight to your case. I was thinking of writing a piece to document our relationship, what are your thoughts? Thank you for your time.

    1. Hi! Thank you! I believe they said you have to pick one way or the other, you write it all or type it all. In my particular case the DS-260 is a completely online form…that was the one all about me (the one moving to America). He didn’t write an affidavit but I don’t think it would hurt! As long as you still have 3 from outside of the relationship. In my timeline evidence, I included messages/Facebook status and comments (showing the dates!) of messages we wrote to each other, for example when we were excited about a meet up 🙂

  2. Hi Kylie! Thankfully, our petition was recently approved after an expedite request was pushed (and approved) after 3mos. Hooray military! I would like to think your great information proved to be extremely beneficial! It guided me very well.

    I hope you have a fantastical day! 🙂

    1. That’s awesome news Shaun! Congratulations! Thank you for the lovely comment, I’m glad I could be of help though this tricky process!
      Hope you have a great day too!

  3. Hey Kylie, it’s Viv again! Just wanted to clarify another little thing. The copies of the birth certificates and marriage certificate were just bog standard photocopies, right? I read somewhere that some documents may need to be certified copies but I would have thought a photocopy of both of these things would be adequate if they will have access to the originals of these docs at the interview stage, right?
    Thanks again!

    1. Haha! Yes I just copied them on my scanner/printer at home! Exactly right, they ask to see the originals at the interview for this reason!

  4. Happy to find this site because my husband and I are in the process of filling this form. Our case is similar to your case because we live in different countries.
    No property together, no bank account together.
    We have a 30year age gap which o read in many site is a red flag.
    The information here is very helpful,i have also read the post on prove of Bon fide marriage. Very helpful.

    1. Good luck!! Ironically I found this part of the process easier to prove that the part I’m currently on…I started this process back in 2015 and I’m still going nearly 4 years later! I’m in the middle of removing my 2 year conditions and my advice is to get on the mortgage/rent ASAP once you arrive in the USA! It sucks that it feels like a very old fashioned process in the sense they want everything like a typical old school relationship. Age is just a number and shouldn’t even come into it!!

  5. Hi, Kylie! Thanks so much for sharing these resources! I was wondering if the affidavits you submitted were the originals or copies? Unfortunately I’m collecting them from three different countries (not all of which have reliable mail service). Also, did you have them notarized? Any additional info would be much appreciated. Thanks again!

    1. Hi Claire! Yes mine were originals, I made the American affidavits do them while they were over for the wedding and the English ones did theirs at the same time. Do they have access to scanners so could email you one with their signature on? (I also made photocopies of the originals for myself). And nope I didn’t get them notarised!

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