4/16/2014 - The information in this thread is about FILING an I-130 with the USCIS office in Guangzhou. The information is still current, except that the consulate has relocated to its new location in Zhujiang New Town, Tianhe District - RW
I filed my I-130 at the Guangzhou consulate (DCF filing) last Friday, and wanted to describe the process/share what I learned for anyone who might be doing it there in the future.
- Where/When: To file the I-130 in GZ you must file at the GZ consulate (5th floor, 136-142, Linhe Zhong Rd) during the public walk in hours; these are only on Fridays from 9am to 11am. Highly advised to arrive early; I got there at about 8:40am, and didn't complete the process until 10am. When I left there were still a good 12 people in line, and at the rate they were going there was no way they were going to finish them all by 11am.
- Finding the office: It was shockingly difficult to find the actual USCIS office inside the GZ consulate. I had to ask three different people and was directed to three different locations before a security guard finally asked around and directed me and another person to the right place. To find it: at the top of the escalator to the 5th floor turn right towards the immigration area (not left towards the US citizen services area). You will go through security, after security turn left and enter the large room with several lines. In the far back corner on the right side there is a glass door; that is the USCIS office and the line formed on the seats outside the door. There is a little paper sign on the door that you can't read until you get close to it.
- Residency: To prove Chinese residency, they required my Chinese residence permit (the visa sticker inside my passport). They did not require any other documents to prove this.
- Address used: Since I was moving back to the US as soon as I filed, I listed my address as my wife's address, which happens to be in Wuxi, which is NOT in the Guangzhou consulate's area (would fall under Beijing). This caused a little confusion, but I explained I did live in Guangzhou but was leaving that address and thus wanted anything mailed to go to my wife's home. They accepted that explanation.
- Original passports: I brought both my and my wife's original passports, and both of our marriage certificates (the little red books). They looked at both of them and verified the copies were legit before giving them back to me. So I believe in GZ it is required (or at least preferred) to bring originals of these docs.
- Notarial marriage certificates/wife's birth certificate: When we got married at the "foreign marriage office" in Nanjing, they told us they dealt with the US consulate all the time and knew what papers they needed, and offered to prepare them for us for an extra 80RMB, which we gladly accepted. These were white books (A4 size), with the original document, translated copy, and a notary statement ensuring these were legit translations. These seemed to satisfy the GZ office, so I would recommend anyone order these if it is an option when you are married.
- G235a: I downloaded what I think are the new (one page) version of this form, but they still required 4 copies of mine and my wife's. This wasn't a problem though since she made the copies for me at the consulate.
- Required 2 pictures: probably goes without saying, but these are passport sized pics. Make sure they are the US sized passport pics; all countries don't use the same specs.
- Pics to prove relationship: she said they didn't need these but I was welcome to turn them in if I liked. I did so; better safe than sorry.
- Payment: after she verified all the documentation she sent me out to the payment window to pay my $355 fee. They payment window accepts US dollars, RMB, or US credit cards (will charge you in USD; a nice option!)
That's it for now; hopefully this info helps out someone in the future going through the process. Feel free to send me any questions if desired.
Edited by Randy W, 16 April 2014 - 05:27 AM.