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What is a bona fide marriage?

 Posted on March 01, 2022 in family-based immigration

One of the primary objectives of U.S. immigration law is to keep families together. Consequently, if you are a U.S. citizen and marry a person who lives elsewhere, you probably have a streamlined process for securing legal permanent residency for your spouse.

Even though the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services wants to reunify families, immigration officials also want to prevent immigration fraud. Therefore, you can expect a USCIS officer to determine whether you have a bona fide marriage before approving your immigration paperwork.

Your marriage is for the right reasons

Everyone has his or her own reasons for choosing to walk down the aisle. To comply with U.S. immigration law, however, your marriage must not be for the purpose of securing immigration benefits. Therefore, you should provide evidence that shows your marriage has love and commitment as its foundation.

You have the right documentation

USCIS officers review thousands of immigrant visa petitions every single year. Consequently, you can make the officer’s review easier by providing the right documentation. According to the USCIS, in addition to a copy of your marriage certificate, you also may want to include the following items with your filing:

  • Copies of birth certificates for children you share with your spouse
  • Bank statements, mortgage documents, car loans and other evidence of the joint financial life you have with your spouse
  • Affidavits from friends and family members who know about your marriage
  • Photos of you and your spouse together at various times

Ultimately, by producing comprehensive evidence of your bona fide marriage, you may improve your chances of having a successful immigration interview.

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