Doing DCF in London had a lot of it's own rules. I thought I'd gather a lot of London specific information here.
In order to file your I-130 petition with USCIS London you must be a resident of the UK. Generally this means that you have been in the UK on some kind of resident visa for at least 6 months. ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain), LLR (Limited Leave to Remain) and EU Family Permits have all been accepted in the recent past. The important distintion is that the USC must be genuinely resident, and can prove it, rather than here temporarily.
Submitting the Petition
When submitting your petition to USCIS London make sure to use their checklist. I have linked the spousal checklist, but the others can be found here. On that page you will also find the actual I-130 petition itself and the G-325A.
On the section of the checklist for the I-130 it asks for an email address. There is no box for this on the actual I-130 form. You will have to handwrite it at the bottom of the page after you print it out. The email address is not required, but if you do include one USCIS London will email you your NOA1. This is the quickest way to know that your petition has been accepted for processing.
Please note that USCIS London requires only one page of the G-325A for the Petitioner (the USC) and one for the Alien Spouse, despite the fact that there are 4 copies in the document.
Please also note that USCIS London also asks that you do not submit any extraneous documents, such as those proving a bona fide marriage. If they have any doubts about the bona fide nature of your marriage they will send you an RFE later.
Once your petition has been received by USCIS London, you will typically have to wait about 10 weeks for it to be approved. You can see on the right of this page on their website where they are with the I-130 approvals at any time. The processing information is updated about every 2 weeks.
I-130 Approval and Packet 3
After you receive your NOA2 otherwise known as Notice of Approval from USCIS London, your file will be sent over to the Immigrant Visa Branch of the London US Embassy.
The Immigrant Visa Branch of the Embassy send you a package of information known as Packet 3. Included in packet 3 is a cover letter with your case number on it (starting with the letters LND) a checklist, the DS-230 part 1, and information about booking your medical.
You must fill out the DS-230 part 1 and return it to the embassy. You must also tick off the checklist sign it and return it to the embassy. You don't have to send the checklist and the DS-230 part 1 together, but you should note that your interview will not be scheduled until your checklist is returned.
The embassy also describe this process here, but they are incorrect in one aspect. The embassy will not notify you which police certs to get after you send in your DS-230 part 1. You must simply work it out yourself by looking here.
The London embassy has information on the packet 3 that it sends out here, but please note that the checklist you will receive does not resemble in any way the one they call the DS-2001.
- A passport that is valid for travel to the United States
- Their birth certificate, the original and a copy (long form, with parents names on it)
- Police cert - Original and a copy(Instructions to get UK police certs here. Please note the UK embassy is no longer accepting Subject Access forms. The ACPO cert is the only acceptable one.
- Court and Prison Records - original and copy(only if applicable)
- Military Records - original and a copy(if applicable)
- Photograps (2 US Size passport photographs)
- Evidence of support - I-864
- Marriage Certificate - original and a copy
- Translations (of anything that isn't in English)
- Medical Examination (you don't have to have had the medical when you send in the checklist, just by the interview) The results of the Medical will be sent straight to the Embassy by the examiners.
- Vaccination - you need to have all the appropriate vaccinations before your medical examination.
The Medical In London is the almost the same regardless of whether you're getting an IR-1, CR-1 or K-1.
The main difference is that you must fulfill your vaccination requirements in London for DCF, but not for K-1.
See reviews of recent interviews at the London Embassy here.
You generally have to be at the embassy, queueing up 30 mins before you appointment time. Once you get in the building you take a ticket and wait for the ticket to be called.
You speak to two CO's while your there. The first takes your documents and sends you to make your payment. The second is your 'interview' where they will ask you questions about some of the information that you have put on the forms. The interview portion is usually conducted in a very friendly manner, and is rarely very probing. You then pay for SMS couriers to return your passport to you once the visa has been issued. That's it, your done!!
Contacting the Embassy
You can find information on the embassy including contact information here.
The embassy's phone lines are known both as 'the extortion line' and the 'misinformation line'. It is very expensive to call and frequently are not very helpful. It can be cheaper to call the DOS.
Operator Assisted Visa Information: 09042-450-100 (£1.20/min) Monday through Friday, between 8.00 am and 8:00 pm, and Saturday, between 09.00 am and 4.00 pm
Visa Information Line: 09068-200-290 (60p/min) 24 hrs only available in the U.K., within U.K. may be unavailable from some business telephones and mobile networks.
Emails sent to the address above get an automatic response that they will be deleted and not responded to. However in the past some emails have been responded to, even after getting this initial auto-response, but it is a little hit and miss. You can increase your chances by putting your LND case number in the subject, or something to the effect of 'query re ongoing visa application'.
To ensure that you get a response to your email you must first call the extortion line, and be given a code to put in the subject line of you email. This code ensures that you email is responded to. This is often the best compromise in contacting the embassy. It lets you contact the embassy, without spending too much time on the £1.20pm line.