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Documents Needed for Petitions

The I-130 Petition requires the following:

*It is important to note that USCIS accepts photocopies of documents except where otherwise indicated.

  • An I-130 form signed by the U.S. citizen spouse,
  • Two completed and signed G-325A forms, one for the U.S. citizen and one for the alien spouse,
  • A copy of the civil marriage certificate,
  • If applicable, copy of all divorce decrees, death certificates, or annulment papers regarding any prior marriages of either spouse proving the legal termination of any such prior marriages,
  • Two recent, identical, passport style color photos for both the U.S. citizen and their alien spouse,
  • Evidence of all legal name changes that have occurred for you or your spouse, such as marriage and divorce decrees, official name changes, adoption decrees, and so forth,
  • The U.S. citizen spouse must provide proof of their citizenship status with either a) a copy of their U.S. passport b) a copy of their U.S. birth certificate c) a copy of consular report of birth abroad d) a copy of their naturalization certificate or e) a copy of their certificate of citizenship,
  • K-4 applicant’s (the minor unmarried children of the K-3 applicant) names, birthdates, and genders can be added to this petition,
  • If the K-4 child is adopted the adoption certificate must show that the adoption took place before your 16th birthday, and
  • If the K-4 child is a step-child, the marriage certificate showing that the marriage between their biological parent and the U.S. citizen took place before their 18th birthday must be provided. The marriage must have occurred before the child’s 18th birthday otherwise, the child cannot be considered a legal step-child of the U.S. citizen spouse for the purposes of immigration.

*The U.S. citizen spouse should note in the I-130 form that their alien spouse will apply for an immigrant visa through consular processing abroad.

The I-129 F Application at the USCIS requires the following:

  • The I-129F form. *It is important to not fill out the sections of the I-129F petition that pertain specifically to K-1 visas applicants (fiancés of U.S. citizens) as this form is currently used for both fiancés and spouses of U.S. citizens. The I-129F petition is used on a temporary basis until USCIS designs an appropriate K-3 application form for spouses of U.S. citizens. Therefore, please leave B17 through B-19 blank on the I-129F application
  • The I-797 (receipt notice) which shows that USCIS has received the I-130 petition on behalf of the alien spouse should accompany the I-129 form
  • A marriage certificate providing evidence of a legal marriage between the U.S. citizen and the alien spouse.
  • The U.S. citizen petitioner must provide proof of their citizenship status with either:
    • a copy of their U.S. birth certificate, front and back,
    • a certificate of naturalization,
    • a certificate of citizenship or an FS-240 form, if one were born outside the U.S.,
    • an expired passport that had been issued for a valid time period of at least 5 years (if lacking items a through c)
    • and finally, if all prior items are lacking certain forms of secondary evidence may suffice such as records from school, census, affidavits or baptism.

The K-3 Visa Application at a U.S. Consular Office Abroad Requires the following:

*It is important to note that Consular Offices abroad require original documentation

  • 2 nonimmigrant visa applications (DS-156 form),
  • A passport valid for travel to the U.S. and that is valid at least 6 months longer than the intended period of stay,
  • Marriage certificate of the foreign spouse and the U.S. citizen spouse,
  • Divorce or death certificates of any previous spouses, if applicable,
  • Police certificates from your present country of residence and all countries of residence for 6 months or more since age 16,
  • Medical exam (vaccinations are optional),
  • Evidence of financial support (an I-134 Affidavit of Support) may be required to remove doubt of the K-3 applicant’s becoming a public charge,
  • Two identical, passport style, color photos, and
  • Evidence of the relationship between the foreign spouse and the U.S. citizen spouse
  • Additional information may be required, such as wedding photos to prove the genuineness of the marriage. Documents in foreign languages, meaning languages other than those official languages of the country in which the application is taking place in, should be translated. Original documents should be brought to the interview and will be returned.

*K Visa applicants at the U.S. Consulate General Montreal and the U.S. Consulate General Ciudad Juarez have different application forms. Please go to their websites for details.

The K-4 Visa Requires the following:

The K-4 visa derives from the K-3 visa; this means that a K-4 visa holder must only have legal documentation that they are, in fact, the child of the K-3 visa applicant, under 21 years of age, and unmarried. A minor child will be considered the legal step-child of the U.S. citizen parent if the marriage between the U.S. citizen and foreign spouse occurred before the child’s 18th birthday, and the marriage certificate documenting this is also needed.


For more detailed information on K-3/K-4, including minimum requirements and USCIS policies, please click on the relevant links on this page: