How to prove a bona fide marriage?
If you are looking to apply for a marriage green card (US lawful permanent residence ) one of the most important steps is proving that the marriage is a bona fide marriage.
A bona fide marriage implies that you and your spouse intend to build a life together and are not pursuing the process just for immigration purposes.
Family based petitions are always centered on proving the relationship through the form I-130 supporting documents and in the case of marriage petitions, this must be checked through certain documents and the I-130 interview.
Documents to prove you have a bona fide marriage
The first step before filing the petition is making sure you have everything that’s necessary for it to be successful. Here is a list of the documents you should start gathering in order to comply with the Requirements for filing form I-130
Logically, the main documents you need to provide to show you have a bona fide marriage are:
- A copy of your marriage certificate.
- Copies of documents showing that each of the prior marriages was terminated (if applicable).
- Two identical color passport-style photos of you and your spouse.
This is not enough to prove that your marriage is an authentic bona fide marriage. You have to provide sufficient and solid proof and be prepared to show that it is not a fraudulent marriage, so here are some other documents you should look for:
Joint ownership of property
If you have owned property together, gather evidence such as a deed showing both spouses’ names. Other important documents are the purchase contract, mortgage account statements, property tax bills and others.
Joint tenancy of a common residence
A lease showing joint tenancy of a common residence, meaning you both live at the same address together.
For USCIS it is important to make sure that the couple lives together, otherwise, you will need to explain the situation with full transparency and honesty and provide alternative evidence.
Combined financial resources
As proof of this, you can add joint bank account, joint credit card or joint health insurance policies. In other words, proof that you and your spouse have united your financial lives.
Birth certificates of your children
In the case that you and your spouse have children together, It’s important to add your children’s birth certificates or adoption certificates.
Affidavits sworn to or affirmed by third parties having personal knowledge of the bona fides of the marital relationship.
Each affidavit must contain the full name and address of the person making the affidavit; date and place of birth of the person making the affidavit; and complete information and details explaining how the person acquired his or her knowledge of your marriage.
Relevant evidence of the marriage
Any other relevant documentation to establish that there is an ongoing marital union such as: Wedding photos, Proof of relationship and shared activities, letters, emails, or cards you sent to each other, receipts from gifts that you bought for one another (such as gifts of affection).