Marriage-based Green Card Applications
Evidence of a Genuine Marriage
If you are getting married to a USC and you are eligible to receive a green card, then you will need to file petitions and submit evidence of a genuine marriage with your green card application. Many people hire lawyers to do the petitions for them because the amount of information you need to put together can be overwhelming and no one wants to pay thousands of dollars to the government in fees and have to re-apply later because they made an avoidable mistake. I think it's important to educate people and make sure everyone knows what USCIS is looking for so that whether you hire a lawyer or submit the application on your own, you understand the process better and can have a higher chance of success.
Here is some helpful information about the types of evidence to submit:
I ask all of my clients who will be filing for green cards based on marriage to a USC if they have heard of being "innocent until proven guilty," and everyone says yes. In my immigration practice I have found that the USCIS believes the exact opposite and considers all marriages fraudulent until they are proven genuine. They will closely scrutinize your marriage and you must show them proof that your marriage is genuine.
When you are getting married you should take pictures of your wedding ceremony and make sure that those family members and friends that are closest to you and your fiance can attend. Couples have many different ways of doing things, but I always find it helpful to submit this information with green card applications.
Here are additional types of evidence that can help show that your marriage is genuine:
- Children's birth certificates born to the two of you
- Recent joint bank account statements
- Tax returns that were filed jointly
- Residential lease or mortgage
- Life insurance policies designating your spouse as a beneficiary
- Joint utility bills
- Joint medical insurance
- Car insurance in both of your names
- Original photos with the both of you; photo albums featuring the two of you with additional family members; birthdays; occasions; vacations etc.
- Letters, cards and emails that you have sent to each other
- Letter from the person who married you both
- Letters from friends and family members that confirm your marriage based on their personal knowledge
- Letters addressed to the two of you sent to your home
- Congratulatory wedding letters and cards
- Photos from the wedding ceremony and reception as mentioned above
- Any thing else that you can think of that helps to show that this is a genuine marriage
I have additional helpful information and articles on my immigration blog.
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