Proving Your Marriage in the 21st Century
When you apply for a marriage-based green card, you must prove that the marriage is real. This means that the USCIS officer reviewing your alien relative petition, Form I-130, must be satisfied that you are a real couple. Before your adjustment of status application, Form I-485, can be approved, you must demonstrate with objective evidence that you are married in good faith and not for the purposes of circumventing immigration laws. Immigration officers often refer to a real marriage as a “good faith marriage” or “bona fide marriage.” Evidence of bona fide marriage is often called “bona fides.” The officer at your marriage-based green-card interview will ask you for bona fides of your relationship.
Most people know the typical bona fides of a relationship that can be provided in a marriage-based immigration case: photographs together, bills with both of your names, joint lease, insurance cards, bank account statements, etc. However, with so much technology at our disposal, the different ways your relationship can be proven as legitimate to an immigration officer are unlimited. Here are some creative, modern ways to show bona fide evidence of your relationship.
Social Media Posts Between the Couple
Social media has become an integral part of every day life for most couples. What better way to show an officer your relationship by showing the many examples of interacting with your spouse on social media? Here are a few examples:
- Posts regarding your relationship on Facebook, Instagram, etc.;
- If your relationship status is posted on Facebook, you can use to show the date that you both posted your status on Facebook (AKA became “Facebook Official”);
- Checking into locations on Facebook on date nights, vacations, etc.;
Copies of conversations between you and your spouse in your direct messages.
Related: Why Should I Hire a Lawyer for my Marriage-Based Adjustment Case?
Venmo and PayPal
If you and your spouse do not have a joint checking or credit account, there are ways you can use modern technology to show that you and your spouse share funds:
- Sending money to one another through apps such as Venmo and PayPal. Venmo also allows you to write descriptions of every transaction. That way, officers cannot only see you and your spouse are splitting finances but can also see you are using them for such things as utility bills for the home you share, groceries and other shared sources.
- Listing them as authorized users on your streaming apps. There are many different streaming apps from Hulu to Netflix and more. Rather than having one person pay for all, you can share who has what membership and list each other as authorized users on your accounts.
If you and your spouse had or are planning a wedding, a wedding website is a new trend that can be a great alternative to costly wedding invitations. If you had a wedding website, you can print off different pages from the site including photographs of you together, with family and friends and with the details from the wedding.
Some couples also choose to use RSVP websites for the other events associated with their weddings such as bridal shower and engagement party. This is not only helpful information to show you and your spouse have hosted an event together, but it also would show how many of your friends and family have attended and celebrated with you.
Snapchat is a very popular app these days, especially with couples. While conversations are not stored, if you and your spouse snapchat every day and create a “streak,” you can provide a screenshot of this showing how many days your streak has been doing on for.
You may have received some evites to birthdays, parties or other events, to which you may have responded as a couple. Or you may have been invited together as a couple. Print-outs from such evites are great objective evidence of your relationship and that the others recognize you as a couple.
Online Purchases, Amazon
One way to show that you share finances as a couple is to demonstrate various online purchases using the same account. For example, when spouses share and order stuff from Amazon, “Your Orders” page or delivery details would be a great resource for showing that the marriage is real.
Text Messages, E-mails, WhatsApp
Communications between spouses can take many forms. Screenshots showing casual text messages between the couple serve as great bona fides. The context does not have to romantic. In fact, try to avoid using cliché evidence such as photographs hugging and kissing or romantic messages. USCIS officers are tired of seeing those. Stick to evidence of casual life. Messages between the couple arguing or disagreeing about something are also great evidence of real marriage.
For some couples, traditional evidence of real marriage is not always available. Sometimes, it becomes important to be creative. We often use untraditional bona fides which serve as more objective evidence of good faith marriage. An applicant for a marriage-based green card must meet his or her burden of establishing that the marriage is real and not entered for the purposes of immigration. Failing to meet this burden can cause delays or denial of your case. Over the years of our practice, professional at I.S. Law Firm helped numerous couples to go through the marriage-based green card process. To avoid anxiety and uncertainty about your case, please contact our law firm to schedule your initial consultation.
NOTICE: The information contained on this page is intended to educate the general public and is not intended to provide legal advice. To ensure proper handling of your individual situation, please contact I.S. Law Firm, PLLC.
Article Title: Proving Your Marriage to USCIS, Bona Fides in the 21st Century
Short Description: When you apply for a marriage-based green card, you must prove that the marriage is real. This means that the USCIS officer reviewing your alien relative petition, Form I-130, must be satisfied that you are a real couple. Before your adjustment of status application, Form I-485, can be approved, you must demonstrate with objective evidence that you are married in good faith and not for the purposes of circumventing immigration laws. Immigration officers often refer to a real marriage as a “good faith marriage” or “bona fide marriage.” Evidence of bona fide marriage is often called “bona fides.” The officer at your marriage-based green-card interview will ask you for bona fides of your relationship.
Author: I.S. Law Firm, PLLC
Publisher - Orgnization: I.S. Law Firm, PLLC