Proving a Bona Fide Marriage for a Successful Green Card Application

by: Attorney Noyes

8/2/20232 min read

man and woman hugging each other
man and woman hugging each other

When applying for a marriage-based green card, establishing that you have a bona fide marriage is crucial for a successful outcome. A bona fide marriage means you and your spouse intend to build a life together as husband and wife.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) places significant emphasis on identifying fraudulent marriages due to the high number of dishonest applications. Therefore, they carefully review the evidence provided to ensure the legitimacy of the wedding.

You will be asked to provide proof of your shared life throughout the application and interview. Waiting until the last minute to demonstrate that you live together and trust each other can lead to a denied petition.

To present a strong case for your bona fide marriage, consider attaching the following documents to your I-130 application:

• Filed joint tax returns with the IRS

• Proof of a joint bank account and credit card

• Titles or deeds for jointly owned property

• Name of spouse on the mortgage or apartment lease

• Name of spouse on utility, cable, or water bills

• Children's birth certificates or adoption certificates

Additionally, it's essential to showcase a long-lasting relationship progressively over time. Including photos and documents spanning a significant period will convey a more genuine and authentic marriage. Along with financial documentation, consider including items that demonstrate a happy marriage, such as:

• Cards or love letters exchanged

• Shopping receipts for engagement rings or gifts

• Airplane tickets or hotel bills from trips taken together

• Letters or text messages discussing relationship or wedding plans

• Photographs from the wedding day or family events

After the USCIS reviews your application, you and your spouse will be scheduled for an in-person interview. During this interview, you'll be asked questions to validate your marriage. Preparing adequately is crucial, as even genuine couples may need help with specific questions due to forgetfulness or nervousness. Here are some examples of questions that may be asked:

• Details of your last vacation

• Number of keys needed for your residence

• Use of contraception and type

• Description of your spouse's tattoos or birthmarks

• Color of curtains in your kitchen

• Sleeping arrangements in your bedroom

• Difficulties encountered since marriage

• Food and drink served at your wedding

• Number of attendees at your wedding

• How and where you met your spouse

In Need of Legal Help?

If you're concerned about attending your green card interview alone or need expert assistance preparing your case, don't hesitate to contact our experienced immigration attorneys. We understand immigrants' challenges and can provide personalized guidance, answer legal questions, and even accompany you to your USCIS interview. Please schedule a consultation for expert support on obtaining a green card.