How to Apply for a Green Card- Do it Yourself

petition for parents question

i am in the process of petitioning for my parents i am us citizen. my parents have been legally residing in the us for the past 15 years. they have a pending i485. my question is do i need to submit a i693 with my petition ? do they require a medical even though a medical was submitted on their precious i485 application ?
Me (OPT on F-1 visa) and my husband (GC holder) knew each other for over 2 years. We just got married last week. we didn't have any witnesses, excepting the justice of peace. We didn't hold the wedding ceremony, but we probably have it later next year back in my home country. We don't even have a ring. We are going to file all forms for AOS after my husband becoming USC, which probably in next week. My questions are-

- Next week my husband has tan interview for USC. In case everything's going well and the case's approved, can he take an oath and get the naturalization certificate on that day?

- In case he got the certificate on that day, can i just submit all forms to apply for AOS right away after he becomes USC? Does it look suspicious because we just got married not over a month and also no wedding ceremony?

- The real reason we got married so soon and didn't held the ceremony is because my husband just want me to be able to stay in the US legally after my OPT will expire in OCT 09, and we will open a business together. However, we really love each other and this is not the fake marriage but just sooner than we expected because of the visa status. Should we tell the truth about this when we go to the interview (for my GC)? Because we don't have any pictures of the wedding to show them.

- From now until my GC interview date, what should we do and get prepare for the interview (exp; take a lot of our pics, ...)?

Really need suggestions pls..Thanks a lot.
Great post! It's very nice. Thank you so much for your post.
Hi everybody,
I find this thread very very helpful but I wonder since it has been posted in 2005-6yrs ago- can I still follow it as a guide of my AOS process and succeed or is there something new about the gathering of the GC package (I'm talking about the first couple of posts of the thread- the 'do it yourself')

Oh and I also have a question about the supporting letter describing how we met; how long we dated; or how long we lived together before getting married.Did anyone write a letter like this?How did u start it?What exactly did you say first before describing all the details about your relationship?

Thank you;)
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Registered Users (C)
Nice to be back among this knowledgable community.
I need you guidance on a few thing.

Please help me.

My daughter (USC) is in grad school (grad date 08/2011) and my would be son-in-law is on F1 (OPT) and at this moment has no
fixed address per se due to the nature of his job. He has already changed three clients (states) in this last 9 months but with the same employer.

We intend to initiate the green card for my son-in-law sometime in early June after the civil marriage but my question at this point is which address
to use for both of them in I-130 and the other AOS Forms.

My daughter is presently out of her resident state (tax purpose) and will be there till her graduation.

Can they use my address (daughter's permanent address) for this purpose and what will be the ramifications if my daughter explains this fact in her I-130 ?

Another thing, going by the post I see people receiving NOAs for various applications made to the USCIS, including I-130.
When does one get an I-130 approval when filed concurrently with the AOS stuff ?

Appreciate your patience and help in this regard.
hi first off i am new so sorry if i am writing into people's convos. i have a question.. i am in the us for almost three yrs now and i'm married to a us citizen..i am filling for my green card but my i-94 has been lost. do i need to file for another one before i can file the i-485? i'm getting different opinions. please someone help me!


Registered Users (C)
I find this thread very very helpful but I wonder since it has been posted in 2005-6yrs ago- can I still follow it as a guide of my AOS process and succeed or is there something new about the gathering of the GC package (I'm talking about the first couple of posts of the thread- the 'do it yourself')


Registered Users (C)
Quick question, what is the best way to compile and send all the papers together?

Just put each form with the required documents for each in a separate folder and send them in one package or just put them all together ?

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Registered Users (C)
If I-864 will be submitted for the purpose of AOS then there is NO fee for it, but if it will be submitted for a consular processing then there is a fee. I know the wording on the USCIS website is confusing when they have stated there about "domestically".


Registered Users (C)
So good to be in this forum. The best thing that happen to me while applying for my Green card. For those who want to apply stick to this site and for sure it will helps a lot. This will walk with you all the way through.

canada visa requirements
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Wife's name - not included


My PD is current. I am going to apply for I-485. But, I am not planning to include my wife and child's name due to some reasons.

Can I include their names at a later stage? If I do not include their names what are the repercussions.

How long will it take to get EAD after applying for I-485?

Pls reply.


im canadian and was initially admitted into the US in jan. of 2011. i came here to marry a woman i met online. we then traveled to canada and she got rejected at the border. so... we were turned around and came back. at the time i was issued an i-94 and..i honored my return date which was 2 weeks later. so 2 weeks later i returned to Canada. i then entered the US again and drove thru with my folks. i was inspected and given NO VISA of any kind. no i-94 ...nothing.. that was march 5th..ive been here ever since. i now am applying for my permanent residency. my question is... my wife and i sent the i-130 and required documents with it. do i recieve a reciept # when that petition is approved??? no i have not sent my i-485 etc...just the petition.

any advice or help would be a HUGE help, ty
Lots of Very Specific Questions

I've read through this entire thread and many others and some of my questions have been answered, but I still have others. I'll begin by explaining my situation and then ask my questions.

My situation:

I'm a USC. My husband and my 3 step kids are Canadian citizens. My husband is J1 in Academic Training. My step kids are J2s. They have all received waivers of their 2 year home residency requirements. My husband and I married in June 2009. We have been dating since April 2005. We have lived together since May 2007. My husband has been separated from his ex-wife since August 2004. My husband has been divorced from his ex-wife since June 2009 (they waited until the last minute so that she could get her immigration issues in order). My husband has been invited to go to Canada to work for 3 months in Summer 2012 and we would take the 3 kids. My husband and I had low income in 2008 and 2009 (we both finished graduate school in 2009). In 2008 and 2009, neither of us made 125% of the poverty line for our family size on our own, and our combined household income was just on the cusp. We filed taxes separately in 2008 and 2009 (we were not married until halfway through 2009). My husband now (as of 2010) has a steady income over the 125% poverty line for our family size. My income is not steady (freelance) and is on the cusp of the 125% poverty line for our family size. We do no have any significant assets. For the first time in 2010, we filed taxes jointly and claimed the 3 kids as dependents. My husband's current income will continue at the same rate from the same source for at least the next several years. My husband came to the U.S. as a Fulbright scholar and received funds from both Canada and the U.S. My husband has been affiliated with the public university (University of California), either as a graduate student, teaching assistant, fellow, or employee scholar since his initial entry into the U.S. in 2003. As such an affiliate of the university, my husband has received certain benefits such as living stipends, access to on-campus housing, etc. Also, as a university affiliate my husband and 3 step kids have received benefits such as subsidized child care. My husband and 3 step kids have also received public benefits such as reduced cost health care and reduced cost bus passes. My husband and 3 step kids have not received unemployment, welfare, food stamps, grants, etc. My husband currently has employment authorization until December 2012 and his immigration status as a J1 in Academic Training is also valid until December 2012. My husband and I are expecting a child together in December 2011. We are filing concurrent I-130s and I-485s as soon as possible.

My questions:

1. Should we file an I-765 if my husband already has current employment authorization until December 2012? In other words, will the I-130 and I-485 process disrupt his current work authorization? I was told by a representative at the university's international center (who processes my husband's J1) that he can apply for an Employment Authorization Document so that he can work while his status adjustment is pending. Does this make sense?

2. Should we file I-131s concurrently with our I-130s and I-485s if we plan to travel to Canada in Summer 2012? Is it even possible to file the I-131 concurrently with the I-130 and I-485? The instructions for the I-131 request a USCIS receipt as evidence that you filed the I-485. Also, Part 2 of the I-131 asks for the application type - Would we select a. because my husband and 3 step kids would be conditional residents?

3. We just got back from a trip to Europe and re-entered the U.S. at the Detroit airport. My husband and 3 step kids received I-94s. Are these I-94s (the most current I-94s) the ones we should refer to when filing out our paperwork or should we use the I-94s from their initial entry in 2003? It is my understanding that immigration officials are supposed to remove the old I-94s from the passports when new ones are issued, but apparently my husband and 3 step kids still have their old ones.

4. Should we just attach a copy of my husband's 2 year HRR waiver or do we need to attach additional supporting documentation regarding the waiver (such as the no objection letter and our waiver application)?

5. Should we attach a letter from my doctor stating we have a child due in December?

6. Will the fact that my husband and I started dating before he was officially divorced from his ex-wife raise any concerns?

7. On the I-130 Part C, 22. do I need to fill out both parts of the question? We should be eligible to apply for adjustment of status in the U.S. so is it necessary to state where we will apply for adjustment of status if we are not eligible?

8. On the I-485 Part 3, C. what kinds of organizations do people usually put down here? Do schools and employers count? We are planning to put down Fulbright and the professional organizations that my husband has belonged to. Is there anything else in particular we should put down?

9. I understand that I need an I-864 for each member of my family, so on Part 3, 8. I mark 'Yes' and I leave 9. blank and enter 01 for 10. on each applicant's form. Is that correct for my situation?

10. On the I-864 Part 5, 21. I am not supposed to count anyone twice so for my husband's form should I enter 0 for c. (spouse) and on my step kids' forms, should I enter 02 for d. (dependent children) since I will have already counted each family member on their own as 01 in a. (the person I am sponsoring)?

11. We are using both my husband and my income. On the I-864 Part 5, 21, do I check d. or e.? My husband is the intending immigrant and his children are also immigrating, but as I am the sponsor for each of them, they would not be considered his "accompanying dependents," correct? It seems to me that for my husband's I-864, I would check e. and for the kids', I would check d. and attach my husband's I-864A. Is this correct?

12. On the I-864, Part 5, 25. should I put mine and my husband's combined income for the 2010 tax year in which we filed jointly because that is what is listed on our 1040 or should I calculate out my own income based on my W2s? For the 2009 and 2008 tax years, I will simply put my income as I filed separately. Is this correct?

13. As my income in 2008 and 2009 was low due to being a graduate student, should I include some kind of explanation of this situation?

14. As my husband is being included as a sponsor, should I include a letter from his employer stating that his employment and income will continue at the same level?

15. On the I-864A, 8. should I mark that my husband is the a. 'intending immigrant and also the sponsor's spouse' or b. 'intending immigrant and also a member of the sponsor's household?' He technically is both, but I need to pick just one.

16. On the I-864A, 11. should I put mine and my husband's combined income for the 2010 tax year in which we filed jointly because that is what is listed on our 1040 or should I calculate out his own income based on his W2s? For the 2009 and 2008 tax years, I will simply put his income as he filed separately. Is this correct?

17. When we file concurrent I-130s and I-485s, we attach supporting documentation such as a letter explaining mine and my husband's relationship, our marriage certificate, his divorce agreement, and photos of your wedding, etc., correct? Also, for each of the kids applications, we should file separate copies of these supporting documents, correct?

I know I have a lot of questions. For many of them, I could use my best judgement, but the legal system doesn't always operate on common sense, so any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
Affidavit of support

If you would like to handle your application yourself, read on and I hope this will be helpful to you. These instructions are probably most helpful to those of you who are in a similar situation to what I was in when I started the application process, i.e-

1. You are in the US legally and have not overstayed (I don’t know how overstaying affects your application; I was on a H1-B).
2. You are marrying a US citizen, and this is a legitimate marriage.
3. You want to adjust your status to become a GC holder.

With a little modification, I am sure you can use these instructions even if your situation is somewhat different from that described above (applying for parents etc).

These instructions are NOT the official how-to guide, and I am not a qualified attorney, so these instructions should not be taken as legal counsel. That said, I think that the process of applying for a Green Card (GC) through marriage to a US citizen (USC) might look complicated at first, but is fairly simple for someone of average intelligence. I managed just fine on my own and so far my process has been going quite smoothly, I have not had any RFE’s (Request For Evidence) so far although it is very early in the game.

Keep in mind that if you are just starting today, this whole process will take you about 3-4 weeks, so be prepared. It takes time to get all the required documentation together, and to proof read and check and re-check (what an attorney would hopefully do for you) everything before mailing it.

These are the forms you/your spouse will need to file:

Your USC Spouse files:

I-130, Petition for Alien Relative (your spouse files this); fee at this time is $355, to see most current filing fee, download form and instructions.

You (the GC applicant) file:

I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (this is your main application form); fee at this time is $1010,

Passport photos- You will need about 7 for the applicant and 1 for the USC spouse, get extras in case you mess up.

My suggestions on how to do this:

- Print out all the forms and instructions from the USCIS website, make sure you are filing close to when you print- check the version date and make sure it is the most recent or acceptable.
- Read the instructions, highlighting what else you need to send along with the form. Make sure you are sending enough documents from each required category.
- Make a list of all these items, and get them together.
- Fill out all the forms, sign and date them.
- Organize each application separately; do not send any original documents other than the forms unless specifically asked to do so.
- Print out cover letters for each application, this will also serve as checklists for yourself. I have attached the templates I used at the bottom. It is YOUR responsibility to check that the fees/forms used are current, and the requirements for supporting documents etc. have not changed. This was accurate at the time I applied for my AOS and as you can see from my timeline I have been successful so far.
- Clip each application securely with a large paper clip/put it in a separate plastic envelope/secure it in a way you like.
- Make sure once again that you have included everything, re-read the instructions at this point to see if you missed anything. This is probably what you would pay an attorney hundreds of dollars to do.
- Put all the applications in 1 big strong folder, seal it and mail it off!! If you are sending all the 4 applications together (and if you can, you should), they should go to the address on the I-130 instructions, i.e. to the Chicago Lockbox.
- Most importantly, READ ALL instructions carefully and more than once, this will save you time in the end.

If this was helpful to you, please give this post 5 stars and hopefully it will become a sticky. It would have made my life easier if I had seen something like this when I was starting my process.
With these instructions and other help on these forums, you should have a pretty easy time. Good luck.

Hello nkumar7 & Team,

My wife is US citizen but not working currently. I am the one who is on H1B and working right now. Should I have to skip Affidavit of Support form?

Please advise.