CR1 Visa Filing DCF – A How To And Timeline

For most of you,

this is going to be a really boring post.

But I am hoping that for a few of you,

it will be really helpful.

This is our visa journey from start to finish.

I wish I had something like this post to reference when we were starting out.

note: we did not use an immigration lawyer and did all of the research and paperwork ourselves.
and by we i mean me. I just told Stephen where to sign. I dedicated around 5-10 hours to researching and reading government sites, youtube videos, and discussion forums.

*This is for all those filing for a CR1 or IR1 immigrant spousal visa/greencard through DCF (direct consolate filing) in the UK at the London office (the only place in the UK you can file).
I am a USC (United States Citizen) and my husband is a UKC (United Kingdom Citizen).

In order to file DCF in London the USC must be a UK resident.
Meaning they have been granted a residency permit (visa) and have been living in the UK for over 6 months.

The following is a list of the paperwork you will need to have filled out and gathered ahead of time

so that the process goes quickly and smoothly.

Any delay in getting paperwork only delays your processing time.
*note: if you are not in any hurry, then you can always slow down the process if you want, or be more lax about booking a medical date etc.

Paperwork for the USC for the petition (PART 1): 

  • 1-130 PETITION FOR ALIEN RELATIVE
  • G-25A BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION (ONE FORM FOR YOU AND ONE FORM FOR YOUR SPOUSE)
  • US PASSPORT SIZE PHOTOS FOR BOTH USC AND UKC (YOU CAN GET THESE AT SNAPPY SNAPS)
  • G-1145- E-NOTIFICATION PETITION ACCEPTANCE
  • PAYMENT OF $420 USD (USA DEBIT OR CREDIT CARD ONLY)
  • COPY OF MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE
  • PROOF OF US CITIZENSHIP (IE: BIRTH CERTIFICATE, PASSPORT) COPY 
  • PROOF OF UK RESIDENCY (IE: UK RESIDENCY PERMIT/VISA) COPY
  • DIVORCE PAPERS (IF APPLICABLE) COPY 

*see more information and official checklist for alien spouse here

Once your petition is (hopefully) approved you will hear back via post from the USCIS field office saying your petition was approved.
This can take anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months.

Then you will receive a case number.
Your case number will come AFTER you received your petition approval.
Again, getting a case number can take anywhere from a couple of weeks after the approval,
to a few months.

*you cannot book a medical appointment without a case number

In the meantime.
the UKC will need to obtain a police certificate.
You go online,
print it out,
and mail it in via post with a check of around 45 pounds,
and can take up to ten days to receive by post.
You need this for both the medical appointment and the interview.
The police certificate states (hopefully) that the UKC has no history of criminal behavior.
The UKC has to fill out the form stating all of the places he/she has lived since the age of 16.

*you can get the police certificate form online here

Paperwork needed for the UKC for medical (PART 2)
Once you receive your case number you can book your medical

  • FORMS DS-230 PART 1 AND DS-2001. ONCE YOU HAVE YOUR MEDICAL DATE FILL OUT THESE FORMS AND SEND THEM TO THE CONSULATE. THESE FORMS STATE YOU HAVE BOOKED YOUR MEDICAL AND HAVE ALL OF YOUR PAPERWORK READY FOR THE INTERVIEW. 
  • POLICE CERTIFICATE
  • VACCINATION HISTORY FROM YOUR GP
  • PASSPORT
  • £230.00 (GBP) PLUS A POSSIBLE £30 (PER VACCINATION) FOR ANY VACCINATIONS YOU MAY NEED TO GET

* you can find more information and download the forms here

{editors note}: to speed things along, I would call the consulate every so often to see if they had a case number yet on the system, instead of waiting for it by post. Once i got the case number from them on the phone, i also asked for the number to the doctor and then Stephen called the doctor to schedule his medical. I had already had the DS-230 and DS-2001 printed out from the website so didn’t need to wait for them in the post. By doing all of this I probably saved us a week or two in waiting for the next step by mail. You can book your medical for as soon as you want. We were obviously rushing everything so we booked for the very next day and traveled down to London from Scotland that night (the day we got our case number).

The medical examination is held only at one doctor’s office in London.

They were super friendly,

and we were in and out in 45 minutes.

It is only for the UKC (obviously)

and they will take a blood sample,

a chest x ray,

do a physical,

and give you any vaccinations you may need based on US requirements.

When the examination is over you pay your fee (listed above) and they send your information with your case number back to the London office.

Once the embassy receives your (hopefully) clean bill of health AND your DS-230/DS-2001

they will schedule you for an interview.

The interview date is usually within 1 month from the time they receive and process the medical and DS documents.

Paperwork needed for the Interview (PART 3)

  • DS-230 PART II
  • I-864 AFFADAVITE OF SUPPORT FOR USC AND OR JOINT SPONSOR (SEE MORE INFORMATION BELOW)
  • FINANCIAL PROOF FOR USC AND OR JOINT SPONSOR (MORE RECENT TAX RETURN, WAGES SLIPS, PROOF OF EMPLOYMENT)
  • ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND COPIES FOR USC AND UKC
  • ORIGINAL PASSPORTS AND COPIES FOR USC AND UKC AND JOINT SPONSOR (IF APPLICABLE)
  • ORIGINAL MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE AND COPIES
  • ORIGINAL POLICE CERTIFICATE AND COPIES
  • US PASSPORT SIZE PHOTO OF UKC
  • CREDIT OR DEBIT CARD (CAN BE A UK OR USA ONE) TO PAY THE VISA FEE OF $230USD PLUS THE COURIER FEE. WE PAID THE EXTRA AMOUNT FOR THE VISA TO BE DELIVERED BEFORE 8AM, IT WAS 36.30GBP (THE MOST EXPENSIVE OPTION). 

*I-864 Affadavit of Support: In order for the UKC to come to the USA the USC must prove that they can financially support the UKC. Since I am a UK resident I obviously don’t work in the US so I cannot sponsor him, so my mom is our joint sponsor. Even though I cannot sponsor Stephen, I still had to fill out the affidavit of support and bring in my most recent tax returns. In addition, I had to bring in an affidavit of support that my mom filled out and signed, in addition to 3 years of wage slips, 3 years of tax returns, a letter of employment and a copy of her passport and birth certificate. I was a little over-prepared and they only asked for her passport, wage slips, and most recent tax return, and letter of employment.

*you can find more information on the affidavit here

{editors note}: I attended the interview with Stephen. If the USC wants to attend the interview with the UKC then the UKC must call the embassy and put in a request via e mail with a code that the officer will give you over the phone. DO NOT BRING ANY ELECTRONICS WITH YOU TO THE INTERVIEW. No phones, no computers, no cameras, etc. They will not hold on to these things for you and will make you walk across the street and leave them at a random store. I knew this ahead of time and the security guards were singing our praises and complained about how no one pays attention or bothers to read the rules ahead of time.

*more information on the documents for the interview go here

Our personal timeline

  • MARCH 5TH 2013- FILED I-130 PETITION FOR ALIEN RELATIVE PACKET
  • MARCH 13TH- OFFICIAL FILING DATE OF THE 1-130 PETITION (ON MARCH 20TH IS WHEN WE WERE NOTIFIED THAT IT WAS FILED ON THE 13TH)
  • MARCH 20TH-NOTICE VIA E MAIL THAT PETITION WAS RECEIVED AND DATE OF FILING (THE 13TH) AND MONEY TAKEN FROM ACCOUNT ($420)
  • APRIL 12TH- I-130 PETITION APPROVED
  • MAY 9TH- RECEIVED CASE NUMBER
  • MAY 9TH- BOOKED MEDICAL IN LONDON
  • MAY 10TH- ATTENDED MEDICAL IN LONDON
  • MAY 13TH- MAILED OUT DS-230 AND DS-2001
  • JUNE 6TH- RECEIVED INTERVIEW DATE FOR JULY 10TH
  • JUNE 6TH-CALLED EMBASSY TO GET THE INTERVIEW BROUGHT FORWARD. SENT E-MAIL TO EMBASSY REQUESTING NEW DATE.
  • JUNE 12- RECEIVED VIA E MAIL A NEW INTERVIEW DATE FOR JULY 3RD.
  • JULY 3RD- ATTENDED INTERVIEW (VISA APPROVED)
  • JULY 9TH- VISA DELIVERED BY COURIER 
  • JULY 10TH- FLEW TO THE USA!

Stephen and I applied for the CR1 visa. This is a conditional visa/greencard for those who have been married for less than 2 years. Just before the 2 year mark we adjust for a status change to the IR1 visa at  our nearest USCIS.

For more information on any form of immigrant visas I HIGHLY recommend this website: 

britishexpats.com  the discussion forums are the best place to start.  

HUGE thanks to Lovely Jubbly London for letting me know about this route. We would not be home right now if it wasn’t for you. We owe you our first born.

And HUGE thanks to Betsy for answering my 50000 e mails.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *