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CR-1 Preparation | I-130

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Greetings, VJ community!

I’m preparing to begin the CR-1 visa process for my wife and her adolescent son. Both are citizens of the Philippines, and I’m a US citizen. Based on my state residence, I’ll be mailing their I-130 packets to the USCIS Phoenix Lockbox. I’ve read many posts on VJ forums about the CR-1 process, including the IR-1/CR-1 Guide. However, I wanted to consult with the VJ members for any advice before the I-130 packets are mailed. The following documents will be included in the I-130 packets.

Spouse Packet
  1. Cover Page
  2. Payment
  3. Cover Letter
  4. Form G-1145
  5. Form I-130
  6. Form I-864
  7. Form G-325A — Petitioner
  8. Passport Style Photo — Petitioner
  9. Form G-325A — Spouse
  10. Passport Style Photo — Spouse
  11. Birth Certificate — Petitioner
  12. Birth Certificate — Spouse
  13. LCR Legitimation — Spouse Birth Certificate
  14. Current Passport — Spouse
  15. Expired Passport — Spouse
  16. CFO Guidance & Counseling Certificate — Spouse
  17. Marriage Certificate
  18. Report of Marriage
  19. Advisory of Marriage
  20. CENOMAR — Spouse
  21. Joint Apartment Lease
  22. Family Photos
  23. Remittance Receipts
  24. Passport Stamps — Petitioner
  25. Passport Stamps — Spouse
  26. Flight Itineraries
  27. Hotel Vouchers
  28. Wedding Package Voucher
Stepchild Packet
  1. Cover Page
  2. Payment
  3. Cover Letter
  4. Form G-1145
  5. Form I-130
  6. Form G-325A — Petitioner
  7. Passport Style Photo — Petitioner
  8. Passport Style Photo — Stepchild
  9. Birth Certificate — Petitioner
  10. Birth Certificate — Stepchild
  11. LCR Legitimation — Stepchild Birth Certificate
  12. Passport — Stepchild
  13. Marriage Certificate — Petitioner & Spouse
  14. Report of Marriage — Petitioner & Spouse
  15. Advisory of Marriage — Petitioner & Spouse
  16. CENOMAR — Spouse
  17. Family Photos
Notes
  1. My wife and I were married in Fiji. In addition to our Fiji marriage certificate, we filed an official Report of Marriage with the Philippine Embassy.
  2. We obtained our Report of Marriage on SECPA (security paper) from the PSA. The PSA confirmed to us that our SECPA Report of Marriage is our marriage contract in the Philippines.
  3. Our SECPA Report of Marriage has been authenticated in the Philippines by both the PSA and the DFA (red ribbon process).
Questions
  1. Are there any documents that should be added or removed?
  2. Should the order of the documents in either packet be changed?
  3. The USCIS lists the I-130 filing fee as $420 for each person. As a result, my total filing fee will be $840. Because I don’t have any checks available, I’ll pay with two separate money orders of $420 each purchased from the USPS. The I-130 instructions from the USCIS state to make money orders payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”. However, no address is given. Do I need to include an address for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, or can I leave that section blank on the money orders?
  4. Should I include Form I-864 with the I-130 packets, or will it be required at a later stage in the CR-1 process?
  5. If I need to get a joint sponsor, which form do they need to complete? Is it Form I-864, Form I-864A, or a different form?
  6. Should my stepson’s packet include a Form G-325A for himself?
  7. Should my stepson’s packet include his passport style photo?
  8. How many family photos should I provide as evidence of a bonafide marriage?
  9. I’ll be mailing both I-130 packets in the same envelope through Fedex. The USCIS Phoenix Lockbox lists a separate mailing address for express mail and commercial courier deliveries. Does that include Fedex?
I apologize if any of my questions have already been answered in previous posts. Thanks in advance for your help!

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The I-864 is for the NVC stage. It won't be required for some time.

Joint sponsors also complete an I-864. Household members who are combining with a joint sponsor to reach the required amount complete an I-864A. But that is some months away yet.

No G325A required for minors.

Include a selection of photos of you over the course of the relationship. Don't go overboard as photos are secondary evidence anyway. I sent two or three from each year of our relationship showing that we had seen each other several times a year. 5 photos each taken at different times are much better than 200 wedding photos from the same day.

For FedEx use the commercial courier address for Phoenix.

Edited by JFH

 

 

 

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Spoiler

Adjustment of Status

AOS March 5, 2014 Submitted AOS with EAD/AP package to Chicago USICS

Delivered March 8, 2014 AOS packaged delivered to USCIS drop box

Accepted March 19, 2014 Text message with receipt numbers

Biometrics April 16, 2014 Biometrics completed

EAD May 23, 2014 Employment Authorization Document approved and went to card production

TD May 23, 2014 Travel Document approved and went for card production

Receipt EAD/AP May 30, 2014 Received combo card EAD/AP

Green Card Approved July 11, 2014 Approved, no interview. Went to card production.

Green Card received July 17, 2014 GC received without interview

Removal of Conditions

Mailed I-751 Dec 16, 2015 Submitted ROC (removal of conditions)

Received Dec 18, 2015 USPS notification of successful delivery

Check Cashed Dec 21, 2015 Check was cashed

NOA-1 Issued Dec 21, 2015 NOA-1 for ROC issued

NOA-1 Issued Dec 26, 2015 NOA-1 Received

Biometrics Appt. Jan 29, 2016 Biometrics Appointment Scheduled [Completed]

 

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Spouse Packet

  1. Cover Page
  2. Payment
  3. Cover Letter
  4. Form G-1145
  5. Form I-130
  6. Form I-864
  7. Form G-325A — Petitioner
  8. Passport Style Photo — Petitioner
  9. Form G-325A — Spouse
  10. Passport Style Photo — Spouse
  11. Birth Certificate — Petitioner
  12. Birth Certificate — Spouse
  13. LCR Legitimation — Spouse Birth Certificate
  14. Current Passport — Spouse
  15. Expired Passport — Spouse
  16. CFO Guidance & Counseling Certificate — Spouse
  17. Marriage Certificate
  18. Report of Marriage
  19. Advisory of Marriage
  20. CENOMAR — Spouse
  21. Joint Apartment Lease
  22. Family Photos
  23. Remittance Receipts
  24. Passport Stamps — Petitioner
  25. Passport Stamps — Spouse
  26. Flight Itineraries
  27. Hotel Vouchers
  28. Wedding Package Voucher
Stepchild Packet

  1. Cover Page
  2. Payment
  3. Cover Letter
  4. Form G-1145
  5. Form I-130
  6. Form G-325A — Petitioner
  7. Passport Style Photo — Petitioner
  8. Passport Style Photo — Stepchild
  9. Birth Certificate — Petitioner
  10. Birth Certificate — Stepchild
  11. LCR Legitimation — Stepchild Birth Certificate
  12. Passport — Stepchild
  13. Marriage Certificate — Petitioner & Spouse
  14. Report of Marriage — Petitioner & Spouse
  15. Advisory of Marriage — Petitioner & Spouse
  16. CENOMAR — Spouse
  17. Family Photos

I have crossed out the documents that you do not need to send to USCIS; but you should save them as you will need them for when you get to the NVC & Interview stages. JFH has already answered your other questions ;) Good luck on your visa journey!


USCIS Process:
Sent I-130 (via USPS): February 20, 2016
NOA1 hardcopy received: February 26, 2016
NOA2 approval text & email: May 6, 2016 (71 days from NOA1)
Petition sent to NVC text & email: May 11, 2016

NVC Process:
Case number and IIN Assigned: May 26, 2016
Choice of Agent (DS-261) completed: May 27, 2016
AOS Fee Invoiced: May 27, 2016
Pay AOS Fee: May 27, 2016
AOS Fee appeared as PAID: June 2, 2016
IV Fee Invoiced: June 3, 2016
Pay IV Fee: June 3, 2016
IV Fee appeared as PAID: June 6, 2016
IV application (DS-260) completed: June 7, 2016
Sent AOS & IV packets (via FedEx): June 8, 2016
Scan date: June 9, 2016
CC: July 14, 2016 (FINALLY saw 3rd N/A... 35 days after scan date)
Confirmation of CC email received: July 21, 2016
Interview date received over the phone: July 26, 2016

Interview Process:
Interview letter/P4 received via email: August 5, 2016
Medical Exam (@SLEC): August 3-4, 2016

Sputum samples given: August 15-17, 2016

Pulmo Consultation: August 18, 2016 (sputum smear is NEGATIVE!)

Results of sputum culture: October 12, 2016 (NEGATIVE!)

Completed: October 17, 2016
Interview date: October 24, 2016 (APPROVED! case status ISSUED the same day) :content:

Visa ready for pickup @MOA (via 2GO tracking): October 26, 2016

Visa in hand: October 27, 2016

Pay Greencard Fee: October 27, 2016

POE: November 6, 2016 (L)

SSN received (via USPS): November 14, 2016

10-year Greencard received (via USPS): December 17, 2016 (41 days after POE) :dance:

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Hi, just to add make sure you make at least 3 copies of all of everything that you have document, civil. And personal cuz you will need to have on your journey

And make a duplicate package of what you send in to uscis

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we submitted copy of CFO certificate and copy of passport with married name with our I-130. Several have posted that it is not necessary. But from our perspective, it was just more proof.


2013/05/03 Married

2013 CFO seminar to change name

2013 Passport issued in married name

USCIS

2015/06/27 Sent I-130

2015/06/29 Priority Date

2015/0701 NOA1

2015/08/05 NOA2

NVC

2015/08/17 Package received at NVC

2015/08/26 Received DS-261/AOS bill

2015/08/29 Sent AOS/IV

2015/08/31 AOS/IV scan date

2015/09/01 DS-260 submitted

2015/09/21 3 n/a (CC)

2015/09/28 Receive confirmation email of CC waiting interview date

2015/10/01 Interview date scheduled (P4)

Manila Embassy

2015/10/12 SLEC Medical, required to get doctor certificate and return the 30th.

2015/10/19 Went to hospital to get the doctors certificate for SLEC

2015/10/30 Appointment with doctor at SLEC for evaluation

2015/11/03 Completed medical

2015/11/05 Interview scheduled - APPROVED

2015/11/06 CEAC changed to issued

2015/11/11 Passport and visa delivered

2015/11/12 Passport stamped at CFO

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My old friend Hank used to say "why do when do will do". ;-)


Spoiler

Adjustment of Status

AOS March 5, 2014 Submitted AOS with EAD/AP package to Chicago USICS

Delivered March 8, 2014 AOS packaged delivered to USCIS drop box

Accepted March 19, 2014 Text message with receipt numbers

Biometrics April 16, 2014 Biometrics completed

EAD May 23, 2014 Employment Authorization Document approved and went to card production

TD May 23, 2014 Travel Document approved and went for card production

Receipt EAD/AP May 30, 2014 Received combo card EAD/AP

Green Card Approved July 11, 2014 Approved, no interview. Went to card production.

Green Card received July 17, 2014 GC received without interview

Removal of Conditions

Mailed I-751 Dec 16, 2015 Submitted ROC (removal of conditions)

Received Dec 18, 2015 USPS notification of successful delivery

Check Cashed Dec 21, 2015 Check was cashed

NOA-1 Issued Dec 21, 2015 NOA-1 for ROC issued

NOA-1 Issued Dec 26, 2015 NOA-1 Received

Biometrics Appt. Jan 29, 2016 Biometrics Appointment Scheduled [Completed]

 

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Thank you to everyone who replied!

The I-864 is for the NVC stage. It won't be required for some time.

Joint sponsors also complete an I-864. Household members who are combining with a joint sponsor to reach the required amount complete an I-864A. But that is some months away yet.

No G325A required for minors.

Include a selection of photos of you over the course of the relationship. Don't go overboard as photos are secondary evidence anyway. I sent two or three from each year of our relationship showing that we had seen each other several times a year. 5 photos each taken at different times are much better than 200 wedding photos from the same day.

For FedEx use the commercial courier address for Phoenix.

Your answers were especially helpful. Much appreciated!

I have crossed out the documents that you do not need to send to USCIS; but you should save them as you will need them for when you get to the NVC & Interview stages. JFH has already answered your other questions ;) Good luck on your visa journey!

Noted. Thank you!

Hi, just to add make sure you make at least 3 copies of all of everything that you have document, civil. And personal cuz you will need to have on your journey And make a duplicate package of what you send in to uscis

Definitely. I'll make a duplicate package of my official USCIS submission.

we submitted copy of CFO certificate and copy of passport with married name with our I-130. Several have posted that it is not necessary. But from our perspective, it was just more proof.

We share the same perspective.

Edited by 808

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I'd send your bio with your son's packet. At some point you will need PSA BC's not the LCR version. Sequentially number each page before copying and sending. Some where in your cover letter state that you are filing for spouse and dependent and you want both to processed together at USCIS and NVC.

On the I130 there is a question about who will be applying on this document. Leave that blank on your wife's. I entered my step daughter's name and it got rejected. Have your wife apply for passport with your surname. Much easier in the future.


IR-1/CR-1 Visa
Service Center : Vermont Service Center
Consulate : Manila, Philippines
Marriage (if applicable): 2014-05-17
I-130 Sent : 2014-06-23
I-130 NOA1 : 2014-06-25
I-130 RFE : 2014-08-11 (Wanted NSO Marriage Certificate, not LCR)
I-130 RFE Sent : 2014-08-14
I-130 Approved : 2014-08-27
NVC Received : 2014-09-15
Received DS-261 / AOS Bill : 2014-09-17
Pay AOS Bill : 2014-09-17
Submit DS-261 : 2014-09-17
Send AOS Package : 2014-09-19
Receive IV Bill : 2014-10-03
Pay IV Bill : 2014-10-03
Received Interview Letter by E-mail: 2015-03-20 (May 5, 2015)
SLEC completed: 2015-04-22
Visa Approved: 2015-05-05
Visa Issued: 2015-05-15 (221g for no CENOMAR!)

Visa Received: 2015-05-21

POE: Chicago 2015-09-14

GC Received: 2015-11-17

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I'd send your bio with your son's packet. At some point you will need PSA BC's not the LCR version. Sequentially number each page before copying and sending. Some where in your cover letter state that you are filing for spouse and dependent and you want both to processed together at USCIS and NVC.

On the I130 there is a question about who will be applying on this document. Leave that blank on your wife's. I entered my step daughter's name and it got rejected. Have your wife apply for passport with your surname. Much easier in the future.

Thanks for the helpful information. I have the PSA birth certificates of both my wife and stepson. Each PSA birth certificate has a corresponding LCR certificate. I'll make sure to number each page sequentially. Noted about the cover letter. My wife has already obtained a new passport, SSS card, and other photo ID's with my surname.

What should my bio consist of? Do you have an example?

Just to clarify about my wife's Form I-130, I'm not supposed to enter my stepson's name where it asks who will be applying on that document, correct? I'll leave that field blank.

Edited by 808

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Bio I was referring to is the 325. Someone previously crossed that out. Each packet should contain identical docs as pertains to the individual (no MC in your son's, duh). Total redundancy, but that's what USCIS wants.

Correct. Leave that space blank. I didn't and got a RFE. Actually I thought (misguided) that my step-daughter could be on the same ap. Big mistake on my part.


IR-1/CR-1 Visa
Service Center : Vermont Service Center
Consulate : Manila, Philippines
Marriage (if applicable): 2014-05-17
I-130 Sent : 2014-06-23
I-130 NOA1 : 2014-06-25
I-130 RFE : 2014-08-11 (Wanted NSO Marriage Certificate, not LCR)
I-130 RFE Sent : 2014-08-14
I-130 Approved : 2014-08-27
NVC Received : 2014-09-15
Received DS-261 / AOS Bill : 2014-09-17
Pay AOS Bill : 2014-09-17
Submit DS-261 : 2014-09-17
Send AOS Package : 2014-09-19
Receive IV Bill : 2014-10-03
Pay IV Bill : 2014-10-03
Received Interview Letter by E-mail: 2015-03-20 (May 5, 2015)
SLEC completed: 2015-04-22
Visa Approved: 2015-05-05
Visa Issued: 2015-05-15 (221g for no CENOMAR!)

Visa Received: 2015-05-21

POE: Chicago 2015-09-14

GC Received: 2015-11-17

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Bio I was referring to is the 325. Someone previously crossed that out. Each packet should contain identical docs as pertains to the individual (no MC in your son's, duh). Total redundancy, but that's what USCIS wants.

Correct. Leave that space blank. I didn't and got a RFE. Actually I thought (misguided) that my step-daughter could be on the same ap. Big mistake on my part.

I see. In that case, I'll include the G-325A in my stepson's packet.

Understood about the I-130. Thanks again for the information.

Edited by 808

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