Strong Evidence for Marriage-Based Green Cards
Applying for a marriage-based green card can be a daunting and challenging process. All couples hoping to obtain a green card through marriage must prove that their relationship is genuine and not merely one of convenience. To do this, couples must present substantial evidence that proves the validity of their marriage.
Sufficient evidence is necessary to show U.S. Immigration & Citizenship Services (USCIS) that the marriage is legitimate and authentic, as opposed to a fraudulent attempt to obtain lawful permanent residence in the United States. This is known as a bona fide marriage.
5 Types of Evidence to Get a Green Card Through Marriage
A “bona fide” marriage is any marital union that is entered into in good faith or for legitimate reasons. In other words, bona fide marriages are legally recognized and accepted by the U.S. government for immigration purposes.
Couples wishing to apply for marriage-based green cards must prove that their marriage is bona fide and not simply an arrangement for immigration benefits. This means providing evidence of a genuine, committed relationship between two people who share common values and interests, are financially interdependent, have mutual respect and trust, and live together as husband and wife.
To successfully obtain a green card through marriage, couples must provide relevant documentation and other types of evidence to prove that they’re telling the truth about the legitimacy of their union. Keep reading to learn 5 common types of strong evidence to include in your marriage-based green card petition.
1. Joint Property Ownership & Residence
When applying for marriage-based green cards, one form of strong evidence entails proof of joint property ownership or residence. Qualifying documentation can provide proof that you and your spouse are in a “bona fide” relationship and share a residence together.
Common examples of strong evidence include:
- Mortgage deeds in both spouses’ names
- Lease or rental agreements in both spouses’ names
- Automobile registrations with both spouses’ names
- Drivers’ licenses that show a matching address
- Postmarked envelopes to one or both spouses mailed to a joint address
2. Joint Financial Assets
Providing evidence of joint assets is a foundational element of marriage-based green card petitions, as a couple’s assets are considered a key component of any bona fide marriage. Bank records and other documents can help prove that you and your spouse share a genuine and authentic relationship.
Popular forms of evidence to include with marriage-based green card petitions include:
- Joint bank or credit card statements
- Titles or deeds with both spouses’ names
- Mortgage or loan documents with both spouses’ names
3. Joint Liabilities & Long-Term Welfare
Evidence of joint responsibilities, financial liabilities, and overall welfare can also fortify petitions for marriage-based green cards. Common examples of such evidence include:
- Tax returns and statements
- Loans and lines of credit in both spouses' names
- Wire transfers or checks between spouses
- Evidence of one spouse as the other’s beneficiary
- Wills and trusts that name both spouses
For couples who share children, evidence of childrearing can be an effective means to prove a legitimate relationship and bona fide marriage. Such evidence can include things like:
- Your child’s birth certificate
- Medical records from pediatricians and other physicians
- Adoption certificates
- School records, such as emergency contacts that list either spouse
5. Proof of Relationship
Lastly, non-quantifiable evidence of an authentic relationship can be just as powerful as financial records and other official statements. This entails more general proof of your authentic relationship as a whole and can include items like:
- Receipts from gifts exchanged between spouses
- Evidence of trips and vacations, such as photos or plane tickets
- Evidence of correspondence, such as letters or social media conversations
- Marriage certificates or other wedding items, such as photographs, receipts, proof of honeymoon traveling, or statements from guests who witnessed the union
Another form of evidence that couples should consider including is any proof detailing the progression of the relationship. For example, it’s wise to provide evidence from various stages of your partnership—such as dating, engagement, your wedding, childrearing (if applicable), and the like—to offer a more accurate and trustworthy depiction of a bona fide marriage.
Turn to a Trusted Immigration Attorney in Miami
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Whether you’re stranded in confusing bureaucratic processes or trying to help a loved one reach U.S. soil, you deserve experienced representation to protect your rights. Reach out to our office today to learn how our immigration attorneys can help make your American dream a reality.
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