Importance of Supporting Documents in Family-Based Adjustment of Status


Family based immigration can be complicated, and the speed and success of the process largely depends on the documentation provided. Lack of proper documentation can cause years of delays. 

When you are sponsoring your parents or filing a marriage-based case for your spouse, you need to provide all necessary documents at once to avoid delays or denials.

To apply for an Adjustment of Status based on family reunification, the petitioner and the applicant must submit multiple forms along with many supporting documents, which include evidence of genuine relationship, also known as “Bona Fides”. The more bona fides you provide the more likely your case will be approved quicker and without an interview.  The USCIS scrutinizes these documents to ensure that the relationship between the petitioner and beneficiary is genuine and not for the sole purpose of obtaining a Green Card or immigrating into the United States. There are many ways to prove that your relationship is valid. For example, in a marriage-based adjustment of status process, you can be creative in providing evidence of your good faith marriage and not just settle on traditional type evidence such as a joint bank account or a joint lease agreement (see: Proving Your Marriage in the 21st Century). 

In addition to proving the family relationship, applicants must provide evidence of their eligibility for a Green Card. Such evidence may include financial support, medical examinations, and police clearance certificates. Financial support documentation typically includes tax returns or employment letters demonstrating that the sponsor can financially support the applicant. Medical examinations are required to ensure the applicant is not inadmissible to the United States on public health grounds. Police clearance certificates are also required to ensure that the applicant has no criminal history that would make them unacceptable.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is currently trying not to avoid interviews and approve cases based on provided documents significantly speeding up the process. That is why providing all necessary documents upfront is crucial to avoid delays or denial of the application. Failing to provide the required documentation may result in a Request for Evidence (RFE) from USCIS, which can significantly delay the processing of the application, sometimes for several months or even years.

It is also essential to respond promptly and accurately to any RFE received. Failure to do so or providing inadequate documentation can lead to the denial of the application. A denial can have serious consequences, such as being barred from entering the United States, deportation, and separation from family members.

Therefore, working with an experienced immigration attorney in your Adjustment of Status case is crucial. An experienced attorney can ensure that your forms are accurately prepared, all necessary documents are provided in order to minimize the chances of an RFE or interview. To schedule a consultation with one of our immigration attorneys, please use the following link: Schedule a Consultation – I.S. Law Firm, PLLC.