It’s almost Valentine’s Day! What could be more romantic than ensuring that you and your spouse can live together in the United States, happily ever after? Marriage green cards are a great immigration option for many immigrants who have married U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. But along with a number of other eligibility requirements (see our post on eligibility) your relationship must be able to withstand the scrutiny of USCIS!
USCIS needs to be assured that you are in a bona fide marriage. When two people get married and intend to establish a life together as spouses, the marriage is bona fide. A marriage entered into for the sole purpose of getting a green card is not bona fide. It’s called a “sham” or “fraudulent” marriage, and the USCIS tries to uncover these fake marriages and will refuse to issue green cards to people in a marriage that does not appear to be bona fide. USCIS is very strict in determining whether a marriage is bona fide. You will be asked many questions during the course of your application process and you will have to provide extensive documentation to show that you are establishing a life together. How can you prove that your relationship is bona fide?
To prove that your marriage is bona fide, you should be able to provide proof of the following:
Evidence of communication between you and your spouse
You can prove that you and your spouse communicated extensively through telephone and internet communications. You can provide copies of phone, email or skpye records, and also personal letters. If there are private sections in your communications, you can mark those with black marker so they are kept private.
Evidence of Meetings in Person
You should be able to prove that you and your spouse met in person before your marriage. You can provide copies of things such as airplane boarding passes and flight itineraries, passport stamps, hotels receipts, and vacation photos.
Evidence of Wedding
You and your spouse can provide evidence such as your marriage certificate, wedding invitation to ceremony, pictures from wedding and ceremony, bills for wedding, wedding registry, guest list or list of people who attended wedding. Even if you had a small wedding or were married at the courthouse, you can provide emails or other announcements that you may have sent. It is not unusual for family members to be in other countries and not be able to attend.
Evidence of Co-habitation & Other Marriage Factors
People in bona fide marriages often have children together or have pets and other evidence from daily life that shows that they share their lives in substantial ways. If you have children together, you can provide copies of their birth certificates. It is always good to provide pictures of you and your spouse living together. If you are considering applying for a marriage green card, you should start taking photos with friends and family as evidence, as well as photos when you go out together. You can also provide copies of greeting cards from special dates, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. If you have received any cards or gifts from family and mutual friends, these are also helpful to show that your marriage is bona fide.
Evidence of Joint Ownership of Assets and Shared
Married couples often share many aspects of their lives, including assets, memberships, or bills. If you have a lease or mortgage together, car lease, medical or other insurance, etc., copies of these contracts are beneficial to prove that you are married for more than a green card! Even something like a shared gym or movie rental membership helps establish that you are in a bona fide marriage.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your marriage green card application or need help preparing for your interview, feel free to call or email Your Immigration Angel! We have helped many couples obtain a marriage green card!