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Filling out the Form I-129F Petition
This section goes line by line to the Form I-129F to help you complete the document correctly. I recommend that you do not read this section in its entirety, rather start working on the form and use this section as a reference guide as needed. Also, note that the immigration agency updates its forms very often. It is likely that this section will become outdated relatively quickly as the immigration agency moves various parts of the forms around. Pay attention to the questions rather than just the item numbers referenced here.
Part 1. Information about you.
This part asks for information about the U.S. citizen petitioner.
Item 1. The alien registration number is assigned to a foreign national after she files immigration paperwork. Unless you immigrated to the U.S., you do not have an A-number. If you have been a resident in the past, this number appears on your alien registration card (I-551), usually referred to as a green card. If you do not have an alien registration number, use zeros to fill in the blanks.
Part 2. USCIS Online Account number. USCIS is transitioning – very slowly – to online form filing. For now, only very limited forms are filed online including green card renewal applications and naturalizations. Unless you’ve completed the immigration process before, you probably do not have an online account. In that case, this field may simply be filled with zeros.
Item 3. Social Security Number. List your Social Security number here.
Items 4.1-5. Since you are completing a petition for a fiancée visa, you should mark item 4.a.
Items 6.a-6.c. Enter the petitioner’s current and complete legal name. This should be the same name that appears on the individual’s passport. If there is a discrepancy between what is listed here in the passport, you will likely need to update your passport to reflect your current name.
Items 7.a-7.c. List all other names that you have ever used. This includes a maiden name, aliases, and even nicknames. You can exercise some judgment. For example, if the kid sitting behind you in first grade called you Dumbo, it’s probably safe to skip that. But any name that you have used in any formal contexts should certainly be included here. Err on the side of over inclusion. If you need extra space turn to Part 8.
Items 8.a-8.j. Mailing address. This can be whatever address you would like used for receiving correspondences about the immigration petition. If you have any known problems receiving mail at your residential address, consider renting a PO Box. It will be a major hassle for you if you miss a correspondence in your immigration case.
Items 9.a-9.h. Physical address 1. If your mailing address is different than your current physical address (the place where you are actually living) list the physical address here.
Pro tip: in the section of the petition you will be asked to provide all of the addresses where you have been living for the past five years, and the dates you are living at each address. I very often see clients leave holes in this address history. Make sure the dates match up so that the “Date To” (move-out) date for Address 2 matches the “Date From” (move-in) date for Address 1. If there are any holes that you need to explain, you can do that in Part 8. So, for example, if you were traveling for two months between when you switched residences, and briefly explain that. But you want to avoid the possibility of a Request for Evidence if the agency thinks that you have accidentally omitted a period of time.
Item 10.a. Enter the date on which you moved into your current physical address.
Items 11.a-11.h. Physical Address 2. They should be the address you let that immediately prior to your current physical address.
Items 12.a-12.b. List your move in and move out dates for the above address. Make sure that the “Date To” on 12.b matches the “Date From” on 10.a. If the date listed in Item 12.a is more recent than five years ago, go to Part 8 to provide your physical address history going back to the five year mark.
Items 13-16.b. Provide the full name and physical address for your most recent employer (regardless of where in the world the employer was located) and dates of employment. If you have never been employed, write Unemployed in Item 13. For Item 15 list your job title.
Items 17-20.b. List the employer for whom you work immediately prior to your current work. If your current work is the only job you’ve ever had, write N/A for Item 17. If the date you listed on Item 20.a it is more recent than five years ago, use Part 8 to provide additional employer history going back five years.
Item 21. Immigration forms currently require you to answer gender identity in the binary male or female. If this does not reflect your gender identity, you may provide a further response in Part 8. I recommend that you do provide a binary answer in Item 21, to ensure that the form is not designated as incomplete, then provide further response in Part 8.
Item 22. Provide your date of birth. Ensure that this matches the date of birth on your birth certificate and identity documents. If there is a discrepancy you will need to explain it during this process.
Item 23. Marital Status. Since you are applying for a fiancée visa, your response should be single, divorced, or widowed. If you are currently married, please go back to the eligibility section of this resource!
Items 24-26. Location of birth. Provide information about the physical location where you were born. For Item 24, ensure that you list the actual name of the municipality, and not a neighborhood within the city.. That is a mistake that I noticed pretty frequently with my client.
Items 27.a-36.b. Information about your parents. If you lack any of this requested information about your parents, simply write “Unknown” in the relevant field. Doing so normally will not create a problem for the petition. But that is appropriate only when you cannot ascertain the information… not when you just forgot your mother’s birthday.
Item 37. Have you ever been previously married? If you have ever been married to anyone – anywhere in the world – you need to answer this item in the affirmative. Do not attempt to conceal a prior marriage.
Items 38.a-39. Information about prior marriage. If you were previously married, enter that spouse’s full name here. The “Date Marriage Ended” is the date on which your marriage was legally terminated (final divorce/dissolution decree or annulment) or your former spouse died. If you have had more than one prior marriage, provide the same information about the other spouses on Part 8.
Items 40.a-40.c. Your citizenship information. In order to be eligible to file a form I – 120 9F petition, you must be a United States citizen. This reports on how you gain status as a United States citizen. Most people will answer using Item 40.a, that they were born in the United States. Answer 40.B, naturalization, applies if you were previously a green card holder yourself, and naturalized to become a US citizen. Answer 40.C applies if you gained your citizenship due to the status of your parents, and were born outside of the United States.
Item 41. Certificate of Citizenship or Certificate of Naturalization. This applies primarily to individuals who answered yes to item 40.B, as former green card holders. Most individuals who gain status through their parents will not necessarily have a Certificate of Naturalization. (Often such individuals document citizenship through something called a Consular Report of Birth Abroad). If you were born abroad to United States citizen parents, you should ask your parents if they acquired a Certificate of Citizenship for you, as you may not have ever actually seen this.
Items 42.a – 42.C. Information about your certificate. If you answered yes to item 41 provide that information here. If you have lost your certificate, you can write unknown. However, I would recommend that you obtain a replacement certificate. Doing so is time-consuming so you should go ahead and get started. This petition will continue to be processed, in all likelihood, as long as you can document your citizenship, for example with a current US passport.
Item 43. Have you filed a prior fiancée petition? If so you must answered in the affirmative here. This question goes to the multiple filer requirement described earlier in this resource in the eligibility section.
Items 44-47. If you indicated yes to Item 43, you must provide information about that fiancé visa petition. If you have filed more than one previous fiancée petition, information about those other petitions must be reported on Part 8. For any information in the section that you do not know you may respond with “Unknown.” If you lack such information, however, I recommend filing a Freedom of Information Act request with USCIS to obtain a copy of the file in the previous cases.
Items 49.a through 51.B. Information about your children. If you have any children under age 18, their age and location of residence must be reported here. That includes biological children as well as stepchildren and adopted children. If you have more than two children, use additional space in Part 8.
Part two. Information about the foreign national beneficiary.
This part asks about formation concerning the individual who will be applied for the fiancée visa
items 1.a – 1.C. Report the beneficiaries full legal name. If this differs from the name used on any official identity documents, you should pursue corrections for those documents.
Item 2. As described above, the Alien Registration Number (A – Number) applies only to an individual who has previously initiated the immigration process. The beneficiary will not have in A – Number, for example, if she applied previously for just a visitor visa. If the beneficiary does not have an A – Number, use zeros to fill this item.
Item 3. Social Security Number. If the beneficiary has ever had a Social Security number should be listed here. If not, use zeros to fill in the blanks..
Item 4. Date of birth. Provide the beneficiary’s date of birth. If the state of birth differs from the date of birth listed on any official documents to be provided in this case, you will want to explore correcting those documents.
Item 5. Gender. As described above, if the beneficiary identifies their gender as something other than male or female, an explanation should be provided in Part 8. But a response should also be given to Item 5 so that the agency does not think this was unintentionally left blank.
Item 6. Marital status. As above, the response to this question should be single, divorced, or widowed.
Items 7 – 8. City and country of birth. As described above provide the municipality where you were born (not just the neighborhood) and country of birth.
Item 9. Country of citizenship or nationality. If you have citizenship in more than one country, provide that information in Part 8.
Items 10.a – 10.C. Other names used. As described above, if the beneficiary has ever used another name, that should be listed here. Air on the side of over inclusion. Use Part 8 for additional names if needed.
Items 11.A – 11.by. Mailing address for the beneficiary. List the address to which the beneficiary would like to have official correspondences mailed.
Items 12.A – 15.B. The beneficiaries address history. As described above for the petitioner, provide the physical addresses where the beneficiary is live for the past five years. As with the petitioner, there should be no interruptions in this address here history. If there are, they should be explained in Part 8. This address history needs to be complete going back five years. Often times my clients have foreign addresses that do not fit neatly into the structure of this form section. If this is the case for you, simply use Part 8 to provide your answer, and in this section of the form right “see Part 8.”
Items 16-23.b. As with the petitioner above, provide the beneficiary’s full employment history going back five years. If the beneficiary has never been employed in the past five years, right “unemployed” for Item 16.
Items 24.a-33.b. Information about the beneficiaries parents. As you did with the petitioner above, provide information about the beneficiaries parents to the best of your ability.
Items 34 – 36. Information about the beneficiaries previous spouse. If the beneficiary has ever been married anywhere in the world that must be reported here. If there is more than one prior marriage, use Part 8 to provide information about the other spouse or spouses. As described above, the date on which the marriage ended is the date on which the marriage was legally terminated or the spouse died.
Item 37.has the beneficiary ever been to the United States? If the beneficiary has stepped foot into the United States even for three minutes, that must be reported here. (Although transiting through the international section of a US airport does not count as an entry into the United States).
Items 38.a-38.d. Information about the beneficiary’s most recent trip to the United States. These items ask for legal information about the beneficiary’s last trip to the United States. Item 38.A asks for the individuals visa status. The I-94 Arrival-Departure Record is completed at the time the individual enters and exits the country. Historically this document was a small index sized card that was stapled inside of an individual’s passport. In recent years however all I-94s are electronic. You can go to https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/ to access the beneficiaries last record. In addition to the I-94 number, this record will also indicate the individuals visa status for the last trip.
Item 38.e. Passport number. Report the beneficiaries current passport number. The passport will need to have at least six months of validity as of the date the individual is interviewed for the fiancée visa. It is possible to go ahead and file the initial petition, however, and then renew a passport prior to the visa interview.
Item 38.f. Travel document number. Answer this item if you use a travel document, such as a refugee document, in lieu of a passport. Usually this item is inapplicable.
Items 38.g-38.h. Identify the country that issued your passport or travel document and its expiration date.
Item 39. Does the beneficiary have any children? Answer this question affirmatively if the beneficiary has any children (biological, adopted, or step) anywhere in the world.
Items 40.a – 43. Give the full legal name, country of birth, date of birth for each of the beneficiaries check children. Use attentional space in Part 8 if needed. Also indicate if the child is residing with the beneficiary.
Item 44.a-44.h. If the child or children are not currently residing with the beneficiary, provide the physical address where the child or children is residing. Use item Part 8 for additional space is needed. If unknown, write “unknown.”
Items 45.a-46. Location where the beneficiary intends to reside in the United States. In the vast majority of scenarios this will be the current residential address of the petitioner. The daytime telephone number can be the petitioner’s cell phone number if he does not use a LAN line. If you do not know the address will where you will reside, write “unknown” and provide an explanation in Part 8.Ite
Item 47.a-48. Beneficiaries physical address abroad. List the actual street address where the beneficiary is currently living.
Item 49.a-50.f. Beneficiary’s name and address in native alphabet. Complete this if the beneficiaries from a country that uses anything other than Latin characters, such as Cyrillic, Mandarin, Thai, etc. this item poses an obnoxious logistical challenge, because the addition or is not always able to write in that language. One practical solution is to write “see attachment” in Item 49.a. Then have the beneficiary write out the answer either by hand or computer application, and provide that document to the petitioner to include as an attachment. If you are completing the petition Adobe Reader, the beneficiary can also open that file, enter the answer in her native language, and then save it and return it to the petitioner.
Items 51-52. Are the petitioner beneficiary related? This should be answered with “yes” only if the couple has a known familial relationship, such as second cousins. We are all part of the human family, but this does not merit a yes response.
Item 53. Have you and your fiancée met in person in the past two years? The answer to this question should be “yes” or you will need to seek a waiver of the in-person meeting requirement. (Go back and read the eligibility section of this resource if you have not done so already).
Item 54. If you answered no to Item 53, then you will need to provide information for why you deserve a exception to the in person meeting requirement. That is going to require a whole lot more information than you can provide on the lines giving here on the form. So simply write “see attached” for Item 54. Then prepare a detailed declaration in support of the waiver request as described elsewhere in this resource.
Items 55-61. International Marriage Broker (IMB) information. This section applies only if you and the beneficiary met through a International Marriage Broker (IMBs). As described earlier in the section of this resource discussing IMBs, there is sometimes a question about whether a particular website or app qualifies as an IMB.
Items 62.a-b. Identify the US consulate where the beneficiary will go for her visa interview. In the vast majority of cases this will be a consulate located in the beneficiary’s home country. Note that many countries have more than one US consulate. But often only one of those consulates conducts interviews in immigrant visa cases (which is the unit that will process fiancée pieces). Go to the website for the consulates in your country to identify which one will have jurisdiction. If you are hoping to process the visa interview at a consulate anywhere other than the beneficiary’s home country, you will have to qualify for third country processing. Go to the consular processing section of this resource to learn more about the rules governing those cases.
Part 3. Other information about the petitioner.
Item 1. If you’ve ever been subject to a temporary or permanent protection or restraining order anywhere in the world must answer yes to this item.
Items 2.a-4.b. No history. These questions ask about criminal background issues that could potentially prevent the petitioner from seeking a fiancée visa for the beneficiary. You are waiting into seriously complex legal territory if you need to answer yes to any of these questions.
Items 5.1-5.d. Waiver request. Items 5.a-5.c apply if you are seeking a waiver due to a criminal background issue or having filed successive prior fiancée visa petitions. If you are not, respond with item 5.D (inapplicable). If you do require a waiver, that is a serious matter that will require substantial additional attention in your application.
Part 4. Biographic information about the petitioner.
This section request mandatory biographic information about the petitioner. Answer to the best of your ability. If you care to elaborate on your answer, for example with respect to race or ethnicity, you may do so in Part 8.
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