Legal Blog

Checklist for Marriage Based Immigration Petitions For U.S. Citizens wishing to Sponsor Foreign National Spouses

Below is a list of documents required to file for a spouse-based I-130 immigrant petition:

I-130 Spouse Petition Document Requirements

  • I-130 by U.S. citizen (USC)
  • G-28 for USC
  • I-130A for foreign spouse
  • G-28 for foreign spouse
  • USCIS filing fees* ($535 as of 11/15/18)
  • One passport photo of U.S. citizen
  • One passport photo of foreign spouse
  •  Proof of U.S. citizenship: copy of U.S. passport, Certificate of Naturalization
  • Copy of marriage certificate
  •  Copy of any divorce decrees
  • Copy of any name change documents
  • Copy of joint bank account, utility bill, health insurance, lease agreement, auto insurance, or other documents showing that you and your spouse have combined financial resources
  • Birth certificates of children born to you and your spouse together
  • Written statements of support (affidavits) by third parties having personal knowledge of the marriage
  • Any other documents to show that there is an ongoing marital union

*NOTE:  Filing fees are subject to frequent revisions, as are the forms and requirements. For the current fee amounts please check the USCIS website I-130 page.  This has the most current instructions, I-130 and I-130A forms and information on where to file.[1]


If the Beneficiary (foreign spouse) is in the U.S. they will also file for the Adjustment of Status. Below is a list of documents needed:

I-485 Adjustment of Status

  • I-485 Form by foreign spouse
  • Forms G-28s from USC and foreign spouse
  • Two passport photos of foreign spouse
  •  USCIS filing fees* ( $750 to $1,225 depending on age, as of 11/15/2018. No fee for those admitted to the U.S. as a refugee)
  •  Foreign birth certificate [copy] with English translation
  • Copy of passport page with visa stamp for foreign spouse – for all U.S. visas issued to them within, copies of OPT/EAD card etc. if applicable
  • Copy of any criminal records
  • Form I-864 signed by USC and spouse
  • Tax return, pay stub, offer letter [copy]
  • Passport of foreign spouse [copy]/ passport of USC
  • Form I-864A signed by foreign spouse and USC [if applicable]

*NOTE: Filing fees are subject to frequent revisions, as are the forms and requirements. For the current fee amounts please check the USCIS website I-485 page.  This has the most current instructions, I-485, I-864, and I-864A forms, and information on where to file.[2]

I-765 Application for Employment Authorization

  • I-765 by foreign spouse
  • Two passport size photos of foreign spouse
  • Form G-28 by foreign spouse
  • No separate filing fees are required if filed with a marriage based adjustment application

NOTE: For the I-765 please visit the USCIS website I-765 page for the most current I-765 form and instructions. [3]

I-131 Application for Travel Document

  • I-131 by foreign spouse
  •  Two passport photos of foreign spouse
  • Form G-28 by foreign spouse
  • No separate filing fees are required if filed with a marriage based adjustment application

NOTE: For the I-131 please visit the USCIS website I-131 page for the most current I-131 form and instructions.[4]

Additional Notes About All Forms:

  • Any foreign language document will also need an English translation
  • Original ink signatures will be needed for all forms and all affidavits

[1] https://www.uscis.gov/i-130

[2] https://www.uscis.gov/i-485

[3] https://www.uscis.gov/i-765 

[4] https://www.uscis.gov/i-131