PROCEDURAL WALK- THROUGH FOR 1-601 FILED ABROAD FOR SPOUSE OF CITIZEN
File Petition with CIS. USC spouse is Petitioner (P). Alien spouse is Beneficiary (B).
1. Forms: G-28, 1-130, G-325A for P, G-325A for 'B';
2. Supporting Docs: 'P's US birth cert or naturalization cert, marriage cert., proof prior marriages terminated for both 'P' and
'B' (divorce decrees, annulment, death cert.), passport-style photo of'P' and 'B', filing fee. Vital records can be
photocopies, rather than certified/official. Translations required.
3. Send to Chicago. Look at form instructions for current address and fee. www.uscis.gov Click on 'forms'.
4. Note that any alien children of alien spouse will need their own 1-130 (not covered here)
5. On question #22, only list the city abroad where 'B' will consular process. Don't list local CIS office in US.
Processing time: approx 5 months from 1-130 filing to 1-130 approval. Subject to change.
File Application Part I with NVC. USC spouse is Petitioner/Sponsor (PIS), Alien spouse is Applicant (A).
1. Must wait about 30 days after 1-130 approval before NVC sends the visa bill. Pay visa bill online according to instructions
sent by NVC. You cannot do this until you receive the bill.
2. After paying visa bilI, follow the online instructions to print out the Bar Code Sheet unique to the case.
3. Forms: DS-230 Parts I and II, 1-864
4. Supporting Docs: Bar Code Sheet, 'PIS's US birth cert or natz cert., 'A's birth cert, marriage cert for 'PIS' and 'A', proof of
termination of prior marriages, police certificates (not from US, Mexico or select other countries), all court/police records for
criminal history, relevant removal records, copy ofID pages of 'A's passport valid at least 6 months into future, 2 passport-
style photos of 'A', most recent tax return and W-2 for 'PIS', most recent paystub for 'PIS'. Vital records must be
certified/official. Translations not required if in language of country.
5. RFEs are common at NVC.
6. After NVC is done, it may be another 1-2 months or so before consular interview.
Processing time: approx 3-5 months from 1-130 approval to consular interview. Subject to change.
File Application Part II with consulate. USC spouse is PetitionerlSponsor (PIS), Alien spouse is Applicant (A).
I. 'A' will receive an instruction packet from the consulate. These packets are also usually available online from consulate
website. They have instructions on the medical exam and what NOT to bring in consulate.
2. 'A' must have medical exam at least 2 days before consular interview and must do so at medical office designated by
consulate in same city as consulate. 'A' mayor may not have to schedule the medical appointment himlherself. This will be
described in packet. 'A' must bring vaccination records.
3. At consular interview, consulate will check for medical grounds of inadmissibility, real marriage, whether sponsor meets
income requirement, identity of' A', and other grounds of inadmissibility
4. 'A' should bring to interview: copies of everything submitted with 1-130 and NVC processing, certified copies of all vital
records, proof of real marriage (especially photos and birth certs of kids in common!!)
5. If alien needs a waiver, consulate will usually make that determination at the consular interview and give' A' a notice listing
the section of law making him inadmissible and providing instructions on filing a waiver.
6. Sometimes consulate asks for additional items or wants a few days to issue the formal denial notice. 'A' should be prepared
to spend 3-10 days in the city where the consulate is located. Get a refundable ticket.
Processing time: two days to two weeks from medical exam to denial notice with waiver instructions
File waiver application with consulate. use spouse is Qualifying Relative (QR), Alien spouse is Applicant (A).
1. Sometimes you can file the waiver at the consular interview. Sometimes you need an appointment to come back (e.g. Ciudad
Juarez). Rarely you can mail it in after the interview. Consulate will provide instructions to 'A' at the interview.
2. Forms: G-28, 1-601, G-325A for 'A', sometimes G-325A for 'QR'. sometimes there's a consular questionnaire that is not
available online in advance
3. Supporting documents: Filing fee, letter from the qualifying relative, whatever else you need to prove extreme hardship, any
criminal records. In London you must have letter from 'A'. In Central and South America you must have all the vital
records and police certificates you submitted to the NVC plus English translations of those documents. If you have
additional qualifying relatives other than petitioner, you need proof of their LRP or USC status and proof ofrelationship (e.g.
'A's birth certificate if 'QR' is parent).
Processing time: One week to 18 months from 1-601 filing to decision, but usually 6-9 months. Subject to change. Note that
Mexico has the Pilot Program - in one week 'A' either approved or referred, if referred it will then be a year for final decision.
Post approval visa pickup. USC spouse is Petitioner/Sponsor (PIS), Alien spouse is Applicant (A).
I. If it is Mexico and' A' has Pilot Program approval, the immigrant visa will be in the passport in the DHL packet.
2. If the waiver is approved and visa can be issued under one year from Jast interview, 'A' will not need a new medical exam or
new DS-230, but may need a recent paystub and tax returnlW-2 from 'PIS'. Need consular appointment.
3. Ifwaiver approved and visa cannot be issued under a year from Jast interview, 'A' will need a new medical exam, new DS-
230 and a new consular interview. No new IV fees required, but must pay for new medical. Need consular appointment.
Processing time: unless it is Mexican Pilot Program approval, it can take 30 days for the consulate to receive CIS' approval
notice and another 30+ days to have the consular interview and issue the visa.