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How to Prove a "Bona Fide" Marriage for Immigration Purpose?


I and my partner have not yet married but are exploring the possibility of a marriage and Green Card application. How to prove a "bona dide" marriage for immigration purpose?


Although marriage can mean different things to different people, a marriage entered into for the sole purpose of getting the immigrant a U.S. Green Card is clearly not bona fide. It’s called a “sham” or “fraudulent” marriage.

Uncovering sham marriages is a top priority of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which believes that a high number of the marriage-based green card applications it receives are fraudulent. USCIS is well aware that some U.S. citizens accept money to marry a foreign-born person, and some even create illegal, organized services that arrange marriages between U.S. citizens and green card seeking foreign nationals.

The result is that, when it comes to deciding whether a marriage is "bona fide", USCIS will take a hard look, and expect the applicant to provide plenty of solid proof that their marriage is real. You will need to submit several supporting documents as part of your I-130 petition package. Evidence of your bona fide marriage is a big part.  The evidence include:
  • Joint Ownership or Lease of Property
  • Joint Financial Assets
  • Proof of Raising Children Together
  • Proof of Relationship and Shared Activities
USCIS weighs some evidence more heavily than other evidence. In other words, they will consider some of your documents to be more convincing proof of a bona fide marriage as compared to other documents. Generally, evidence that shows you are combining your financial life together is strong evidence. Documents such as joint tax returns, bank accounts, and life insurance are great. These are really hard to fake. On the other hand, photos, love letters, travel, and affidavits carry less weight. A really determined person could fake these items. If you and your partner have not yet married but are exploring the possibility of a green card, now is the time to start gathering evidence. 




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