When filing a marriage-based immigration case, a couple must generally provide evidence that they have a bona fide marriage. A bona fide marriage is one that is entered into in good faith for legitimate reasons, and not solely for the purpose of obtaining a green card or evading U.S. immigration laws. A marriage certificate provides evidence that the marriage is legal but doesn’t prove the marriage is bona fide as is required to petition a spouse. USCIS requires proof to confirm both parties entered the marriage in good faith. Generally, the more documentation a couple can provide, the better.
Clients frequently ask for examples of documentation, so below you will find a comprehensive list. None of these individually are required to show good faith, and good faith marriages can look different for different couples. For example, some couples do not have children, cohabitate, or merge finances. In those cases, individuals and their attorneys will need to get even more creative to show the marriage is bona fide. Consider these examples when determining what documentation you have for your own relationship.
If you need any assistance with a marriage-based immigration case or have other questions, please call Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan at (312) 427-6163 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced immigration attorneys.
The material contained in this alert does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only. An attorney-client relationship is not presumed or intended by receipt or review of this presentation. The information provided should never replace informed counsel when specific immigration-related guidance is needed.
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