Checklist of Required Documents for Marriage-Based Filing

Petitioner (U.S. Citizen)

Marriage Certificate – must be clerk/court copy (ceremonial copies are not legitimate).

Divorce Decree (or Death Certificate) – for any prior terminated marriages.

Federal Income Tax Returns – The Petitioner to meet the Affidavit of Support requirements must provide a copy of the most recent tax year’s individual Federal income tax return, including any W-2s/1099s. We also need to confirm reported income for two tax years prior to your last return. E.g. if 2007 is the last tax filing, provide the 2007 return and W-2s, and income figures for 2006 and 2005.  If the April 15th deadline has passed, the government expects you to have filed your new return.

Proof of Petitioner’s Citizenship – Provide a clear photocopy of U.S. Passport or birth certificate and social security card and drivers license.

Photo – Provide one standard U.S. passport photo (any Walgreens or photo shop should do this).

Evidence of Support and Proof of Marriage Required – Please provide evidence of commingling of assets and joint marital responsibilities (e.g., joint bank account statements, apartment lease rental agreements, joint utility bills, joint credit cards, joint insurance policies, marriage photos, etc.) to show that the marriage was not entered into solely for immigration benefits.  If there are children of the marriage, please include birth certificates.

Newlyweds are unlikely to have such information. If recently married we will file simply with proof of the marriage (the marriage certificate) and wedding pictures.  After filing we can work on obtaining the other information over the months in which the case in pending (you’ll open a joint checking account, consolidate credit cards, etc. – we’ll talk about this prior to filing).  The materials you accumulate over the coming months will then be brought to your interview.

Beneficiary (Foreign National)

Divorce Decree (or Death Certificate) – for any prior terminated marriages.

Prior Status Documents – Provide copies of all current and expired recent status documents, including EADs, I-20s, DS 2019s, IAP-66s, I-94s, I-797s, and a complete copy of your passport (or passports) showing all entries to the U.S., and any proof of NSEERS registration.  For example, if you have had two passports since you first entered the U.S., we want a copy of every page of each passport and any status documents you received from USCIS/INS.  If faxing please enlarge pages so they are received legibly.

Birth Certificate – it should list names of parents date and location of birth. Let us know if this document is truly unavailable and we will advise on a work around.  Please keep in mind that it can be difficult to document birth if no birth document is available.

Photos – Provide six (6) U.S. passport photos.

Translations – Any document (e.g., birth or marriage certificate, educational document, etc.) in a language other than English must be accompanied by a translation. If your certificate and/or other document require translation, please ask someone fluent in English and the other language to help you.  This person does not need to be a certified translator. We can provide further direction on this if necessary.

Medical Exam Results – Each applicant for AOS must provide a medical examination, with the results in a sealed envelope.  A civil surgeon who has been designated by USCIS must conduct the medical examination.  To obtain by telephone the names and phone numbers of the designated civil surgeons in your area, please use the Civil Surgeon Locator website.  Please be sure to ask for an additional unsealed copy of the medical so we can review it to ensure it is complete.  And please understand that private insurance carriers rarely cover these costs and you should bring your immunization records to such appointments.  It can take 3-6 days to get a medical result and prices can vary widely so it doesn’t hurt to shop around.

Processing Note – in order to start drafting your case, we do not require the birth or marriage certificate, medicals or photos. Please work first on the other items and scan or express post these documents to us. We will also need you to complete all questionnaires to the best of your ability.  The medical, birth/marriage certificate and photos can be provided later with the signed forms.

Once we have draft forms for review we will set up a meeting either in person or by phone to review the forms and explain the process to you (including next steps and what to expect after filing).  Once we have finalized forms we will get the required signatures and file your case.

When we receive your interview notice we will schedule a follow up meeting to prep you for the meeting with the immigration adjudicator.

** This memo is provided for informational and discussion purposes only.  It does not act as a substitute for direct legal contact on an individual basis **

Contact us for a worry-free and efficient process for handling your foreign national employee status issues.