Q1. What Documents Can I Use to Show That I am a United States Citizen?

  • If you were born in the United States, a copy of your birth certificate, issued by the civil registrar, vital statistics office, or other civil authority. If a birth certificate is not available, refer to the I-130 Form for further details?"
  • A copy of your naturalization certificate or certificate of citizenship issued by USCIS or the former INS.
  • A copy of Form FS-240, Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States, issued by an American embassy or consulate.
  • A copy of your unexpired U.S. passport
  • An original statement from a U.S. consular officer verifying that you are a U.S. citizen with a valid passport.

Q2. What Documents Do I Need to Show That I am a Permanent Resident?

If you are a permanent resident, you must file your petition with a copy of the front and back of your permanent resident card. If you have not yet received your card, submit copies of your passport biographic page and the page showing admission as a permanent resident, or other evidence of permanent resident status issued by USCIS or the former INS.

Q3. What Documents Do I Need to Prove a Family Relationship?

You have to prove that there is a family relationship between you and your relative when filing for the petition. If you are filing for:

A husband or wife, submit the following documentation:

  • A copy of your marriage certificate.
  • If either you or your spouse were previously married, submit copies of documents showing that all prior marriages were legally terminated.
  • A passport-style color photo of yourself and a passport-style color photo of your husband or wife, taken within 30 days of the date of this petition. The photos must have a white background and be glossy, unretouched and not mounted. The dimensions of the full frontal facial image should be about 1 inch from the chin to top of the hair. Using pencil or felt pen, lightly print the name (and Alien Registration Number, if known) on the back of each photograph.
  • A completed and signed Form G-325A, Biographic Information, for you and a Form G-325A for your husband or wife. Except for your name and signature you do not have to repeat on the Form G-325A the information given on your Form I-130 petition.

A child and you are the mother: Submit a copy of the child's birth certificate showing your name and the name of your child.

A child and you are the father: Submit a copy of the child's birth certificate showing both parents' names and your marriage certificate.

A child born out of wedlock and you are the father: If the child was not legitimated before reaching 18 years old, you must file your petition with copies of evidence that a bona fide parent-child relationship existed between the father and the child before the child reached 21 years. This may include evidence that the father lived with the child, supported him or her, or otherwise showed continuing parental interest in the child's welfare.

A brother or sister: Submit a copy of your birth certificate and a copy of your brother's or sister's birth certificate showing that you have at least one common parent. If you and your brother or sister have a common father but different mothers, submit copies of the marriage certificates of the father to each mother and copies of documents showing that any prior marriages of either your father or mothers were legally terminated. If you and your brother or sister are related through adoption or through a stepparent, or if you have a common father and either of you were not legitimated before your 18th birthday, refer to Form I-130 for more details.

A mother: Submit a copy of your birth certificate showing your name and your mother's name.

A father: Submit a copy of your birth certificate showing the names of both parents. Also give a copy of your parents' marriage certificate establishing that your father was married to your mother before you were born, and copies of documents showing that any prior marriages of either your father or mother were legally terminated. If you are filing for a stepparent or adoptive parent, or if your are filing for your father and were not legitimated before your 18th birthday, refer to Form I-130 for details.

Stepparent/stepchild: If your petition is based on a stepparent-stepchild relationship, you must file your petition with a copy of the marriage certificate of the stepparent to the child's natural parent showing that the marriage occurred before the child's 18th birthday, and copies of documents showing that any prior marriages were legally terminated.

Adoptive parent or adopted child: If you and the person you are filing for are related by adoption, you must submit a copy of the adoption decree(s) showing that the adoption took place before the child became 16 ready adopted, you must submit a copy of the adoption decree(s) showing that the adoption of the sibling occurred before that child's 18th birthday. In either case, you must also submit copies of evidence that each child was in the legal custody of and resided with the parent(s) who adopted him or her for at least two years before or after the adoption. Legal custody may only be granted by a court or recognized government entity and is usually granted at the time the adoption is finalized. However, if legal custody is granted by a court or recognized government agency prior to the adoption, that time may count to fulfill the two-year legal custody requirement.

Q4. What Are the Penalties for Marriage Fraud or Submitting False Information?

Title 8, United States Code, Section 1325, states that any individual who knowingly enters into a marriage contract for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws shall be imprisoned for not more than five years, or fined not more than $250,000, or both. Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001, states that whoever willfully and knowingly falsifies a material fact, makes a false statement or makes use of a false document will be fined up to $10,000, imprisoned for up to five years, or both.

Q5. I have further or specific visa inquires. Where can I get these answers?

  • Questions on visa application procedures and visa ineligibilities should be made to the American consular office abroad by the applicant. Before submitting your inquiry, we request that you carefully review this web site and also the Embassy Consular web site abroad. Very often you will find the information you need.
  • If your inquiry concerns a visa case in progress overseas, you should first contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate handling your case for status information. Select U.S. Embassy or Consulate , and you can choose the Embassy or Consulate Internet site you need to contact