Welcome to Marriage based Green Card Checklist phase of your application, which comprises of Form I-130 checklist, Form I-485 checklist, Form I-765 checklist, Form I-131 checklist, and Form G-1145 checklist. When we’re done with this, you will be ready to mail your application.

Before we move forward, let’s take a moment to recognize what you’ve accomplished so far. All the forms are filled and ready to go. That in itself is a huge undertaking, so pat yourself on the back.

In this phase, we will go through a marriage based green card checklist to ensure you file your application properly. It is extremely important to do this right the first way, since proper filing reduces chances of RFE (Request for Evidence), in turn preventing any delays in getting your green card.

Let’s gather all the documents that you need to file your application. Before you do that we recommend scanning or making a copy of all the forms you are going to file. Occasionally USCIS will misplace something and they may ask you to send it again.

Only send in originals of the USCIS Forms. Do NOT send originals of any supporting documents; only photocopies of supporting documents should be sent.

Arrange your green card application file in this order, from top to bottom:

  1. Form G-1145
  2. Form I-130
  3. Form I-485
  4. Form I-765, if applicable
  5. Form I-131, if applicable

All forms should be accompanied by supporting documents. Refer to the marriage based green card checklist below, which include the USCIS forms and list of supporting documents.

Marriage based Green Card Checklist

Form G-1145 Checklist (E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance)

Marriage based Green Card Checklist Form G-1145 Checklist

This step is optional, but highly recommended. Start your file by putting these 2 forms on top:

  1. Original Form G-1145 for U.S. citizen
  2. Original Form G-1145 for Green Card applicant

That concludes Form G-1145 checklist. Next up is Form I-130 checklist.

Form I-130 Checklist (Petition for Alien Relative)

Marriage based Green Card Checklist Form I-130 Checklist

Now that’s you’re done with Form G-1145 checklist, let’s get started with Form I-130 checklist.

Tips & Checks
  • Arrange the documents in the order listed below
  • Place the photos and filing fee on top of Form I-130
  • Use paper clips, heavy clips or fasteners to hold all the pages together
  • Do NOT staple anything
Checklist
  1. Filing fee for Form I-130
  2. Two U.S. passport size photos of the U.S. citizen
    • Write the following on the back of the photo:
      • U.S. citizen’s name
      • U.S. citizen’s Alien Registration Number, if applicable
    • Put it in a clear sealable bag
      • Tip: Ziploc sandwich bag works great.
  3. Two U.S. passport size photos of the Green Card applicant
    • Write the following on the back of the photo:
      • Green Card applicant’s name
      • Green Card applicant’s Alien Registration Number, if applicable
    • Put it in the same clear sealable bag as U.S. citizen’s photos
  4. Original Form I-130
    • Make sure it’s signed and dated
  5. Original Form I-130A
    • Make sure it’s signed and dated
  6. Copy of U.S. citizen’s unexpired passport
    • If Passport if not available, then for:
      • U.S. born citizen – Copy of Birth Certificate
      • Naturalized U.S. citizen – Copy of Naturalization Certificate issued by USCIS or former INS
      • Children to U.S. citizen parent(s) born outside of U.S. – Copy of Certificate of Citizenship issued by USCIS or former INS
    • For additional options of proof of U.S. Citizenship, refer to section “What documents do you need to show that you’re a U.S Citizen” in USCIS’s Form I-130 instructions
  7. Copy of your Marriage Certificate
    • If either of you were previously married, make sure you include copies of documents showing all previous marriages were legally terminated
      • See FAQ below for translation related questions
  8. Copies of documents showing evidence of your marriage
    • USCIS is looking to check if your marriage is genuine, and more importantly ensuring you didn’t enter it (purely) for immigration purposes. The following is not an exhaustive list, but a list of popular documents. Not all are required, but the rule of thumb is – more the merrier. Feel free to add additional documents that will help strengthen your case
    • Documentation showing joint ownership i.e. both your names appear on these documents
      • House – Mortgage, HUD, Homeowner’s insurance
      • Cars – Title, Tax, Auto Insurance
      • Any other assets that you co-own
    • Home/Renter’s Lease showing both your names
    • Bank issued documents showing co-mingling of finances
      • Joint bank accounts work best. Go as far back as possible. Avoid using web screen print outs from your online portal. Instead get annual statements from your bank on bank’s letterhead.
      • TIP: If you don’t have a joint account, you should open one and use it actively so when you have your interview you will have a few months of activity
    • Any other documents to show your relationship
      • Utility Bills – phone, cable, cellphone, water, gas, electricity etc.
        • Even if they are not joint accounts, include these to show they’re bills for a common residential address
      • Insurance Cards
        • Auto, Health
      • Wedding – Save the Date
      • Wedding – Invitation
      • Wedding Photos (include 5 – 10)
      • Other Photos (include 5 – 10)
        • These can be photos taken on vacations you’ve been on together
      • Ticket stubs, receipts from vacations, events, trips etc. taken together
        • Even from stuff you did before getting married, that reflects a long relationship. In USCIS’s book, long translates as genuine

That concludes Form I-130 checklist. Next up is Form I-485 checklist.

Form I-485 Checklist (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status)

Marriage based Green Card Checklist Form I-485 Checklist

Now that’s you’re done with Form I-130 checklist, let’s get started with Form I-485 checklist.

Tips & Checks
  • Arrange the documents in the order listed below
  • Place the photos and filing fee on top of Form I-485
  • Use paper clips, heavy clips or fasteners to hold all the pages together
  • Do NOT staple anything
Checklist
  1. Filing Fee for Form I-485
  2. Two U.S. passport size photos of the Green Card applicant
    • Write the following on the back of the photo:
      • Green Card applicant’s name
      • Green Card applicant’s Alien Registration Number, if applicable
    • Put these in a little Ziploc sandwich bag
  3. Original Form I-485
    • Make sure it’s signed and dated
  4. Copy of Green Card applicant’s passport biographical pages
    • An expired passport is OK
    • Alternately, any government issued document with photo on it is acceptable e.g. drivers license
  5. Copy of Green Card applicant’s Birth Certificate
  6. Copy of Green Card applicant’s I-94 and Visa Stamp, if available
    • If you were issued an electronic I-94, retrieve it and print it out
    • If you were a paroled into USA, send in a copy of you Passport page with admission or parole stamp (issued by a U.S. immigration officer)
  7. Copy of your Marriage Certificate
    • If either of you were previously married, make sure you include copies of documents showing all previous marriages were legally terminated
      • See FAQ below for translation related questions
    • Include this again in the I-485 checklist, despite of having submitted as part of Form I-130 checklist
  8. Other Proof of Relationship
    • Repeat the same documents you submitted as part of ‘Copies of documents showing evidence of your marriage’ in Form I-130 Checklist above
  9. Original Form I-864EZ or I-864, depending on the one you filled out
    • Make sure it’s signed and dated
  10. U.S. Citizen/Sponsor’s Financial Documents
    • W-2 (last 3 years)
    • Federal or State Income Tax Returns (last 3 years)
    • Pay stubs (last 6 months)
    • Letter of continued employment (from all current employers)
  11. Original Form I-693
    • Make sure it’s signed and dated
  12. Copies of all documents related to criminal history, if applicable
    • Traffic violations don’t count as long the fine was under $500, and you weren’t arrested
    • Refer to Form I-485 instructions for additional information

That concludes Form I-485 checklist. Next up is Form I-765 checklist.

Form I-765 Checklist (Application for Employment Authorization)

Marriage based Green Card Checklist Form I-765 Checklist

Now that’s you’re done with Form I-485 checklist, let’s get started with Form I-765 checklist.

Form I-765 is an optional form. Put together the documents listed in Form I-765 checklist only if you’ve decided to filed Form I-765.

Tips & Checks
  • Arrange the documents in the order listed below
  • Place the photos on top of Form I-765
  • Use paper clips, heavy clips or fasteners to hold all the pages together
  • Do NOT staple anything
Checklist
  1. Green Card applicant’s two (2) U.S. Passport Size photos
    • Write Green Card applicants name on the back
    • Put these in a little Ziploc sandwich bag
  2. Original Form I-765
    • Make sure it’s signed and dated
  3. Copy of Green Card applicant’s I-94, if available
    • If you were issued an electronic I-94, retrieve it and print it out
    • If you were a paroled into USA, send in a copy of you Passport page with admission or parole stamp (issued by a U.S. immigration officer)
  4. Copy of any previously issued EAD, if applicable
  5. If no EAD has been issued previously, include a copy of Green Card applicant’s passport biographical pages
    • An expired passport is OK
    • Alternately, any government issued document with photo on it is acceptable e.g. drivers license

That concludes Form I-765 checklist. Next up is Form I-131 checklist.

Form I-131 Checklist (Advance Parole Travel Document)

Marriage based Green Card Checklist Form I-131 Checklist

Now that’s you’re done with Form I-765 checklist, let’s get started with Form I-131 checklist.

Form I-131 is an optional form. Put together the documents listed in Form I-131 checklist only if you’ve decided to filed Form I-131.

Tips & Checks
  • Arrange the documents in the order listed below
  • Place the photos on top of Form I-131
  • Use paper clips, heavy clips or fasteners to hold all the pages together
  • Do NOT staple anything
Checklist
  1. Green Card applicant’s two (2) U.S. Passport Size photos
    • Write Green Card applicant’s name on the back
    • Tip: Put these in a little Ziploc sandwich bag
  2. Original Form I-131
    • Make sure it’s signed and dated
  3. Copy of Green Card applicant’s passport biographical pages showing photo, name and date of birth
    • An expired passport is OK
    • Alternately, any government issued document with showing your photo, name, date of birth on it is acceptable e.g. drivers license
  4. Copy of document issued by USCIS showing your present status, if any, in United States
  5. Copy of evidence that your trip if for educational, employment, or humanitarian purposes or an explanation or evidence showing circumstances that warrants issuance of advance parole document

That concludes Form I-131 checklist.

Whew, that was quite the effort, wasn’t it? This concludes the marriage based green card checklist phase. You should be proud. The end is in sight. Just need to mail these out to USCIS.

Legal Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with any U.S. Government Agency. We are not Immigration Attorneys and no content on this website should be construed as legal advice. ©2022 GREENCARDEZ, LLC

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