Methods To Prove The Legitimacy Of Marriage For Immigration

by Legal Published on: 06 October 2022 Last Updated on: 06 February 2023

Marriage For Immigration

One of the most vital processes of applying for a marriage permanent residence card is to prove the legitimacy of your marriage for immigration and that your marriage is bona fide. 

This ensures that you and your spouse want to build a future together and don’t get married because you need a green card.

You also need to prove an intent to enter a good faith marriage if you want to qualify for a K-1 fiancée visa. Immigration agencies would ensure the totality of the evidence submitted to ensure that the marriage is valid and isn’t done solely for a green card.

The Various Methods:

Legitimacy Of Marriage For Immigration

Specific persuasive evidence you can use includes proof of the couple owning a joint estate or having children together. Let’s find out several ways to prove the legitimacy of marriage for immigration.

1. Proof Of Cohabitation

The USCIS expects a married couple to live together (check below for what couples who don’t live together can do). Therefore, the lack of such proof is one of the primary reasons why a marriage-based permanent residence card can be denied.

The following (listed below) document should be included in your I-130 petition package. They would help you make a strong case for your marriage. You don’t necessarily need to add every document listed below. But, the USCIS usually wants to see documents that fall into most of the categories mentioned below.

For instance, if you and your spouse choose to live in  Bakersfield, you might not be sure of the document list needed for a marriage-based Green Card or which marriage for immigration form you should submit. In that case, immigration attorneys located in Bakersfield can help put through a comprehensive list of documents needed. 

For most cases, an example of documents that can help prove that you live together include:

Copies of the following documents which show both spouse’s names:

  • Property deed.
  • Utility and other bills which have both spouses’ names.
  • Joint lease or mortgage documents. Ensure that you add a copy of the whole lease or mortgage.

Copies of the following documents which contain the same address for both spouses:

  • Joint bank statements.
  • Insurance statements.
  • Property deed.
  • Driver’s licenses.

Original copies of the following documents. They should show the same address for both spouses:

  • Letter from employers, family members, and friends.

Keep reading to find out methods to prove the legitimacy of marriage for immigration! 

What Happens When The Couple Doesn’t Live Together?

When a couple doesn’t live together, it could be cause for concern. If you and your spouse have not lived together since getting married, you must give a convincing justification for this. Couples who do not cohabit must submit a letter that is signed by both partners.

This letter will explain why they live apart (maybe for school or work). It must also include the date they intend to move in together and, if available, where they plan to move in. The letter is usually addressed to “To Whom It May Concern” or  “USCIS.”

When a couple thoroughly and honestly shows evidence of their unusual living circumstance and a genuine marriage, their living situation shouldn’t be enough to stop them from getting a permanent residence card.

Then the need for proving the legitimacy of marriage for immigration comes into need.

2. Proof Of Combined Finances

Another criterion to show that you have a bona fide marriage is to present proof of financial documents that establish both you and your spouse have combined assets and liabilities.

For example, the documents could include copies of:

  • Deeds or titles for joint properties such as vehicles and real estate.
  • Joint bank account statements which show the name of both spouses.
  • Loan or mortgage documents that show joint payments responsibility.
  • Life insurance policies list each other as primary beneficiaries.
  • Joint health, auto, and home insurance policies show both spouses’ coverage under the same policy or plan.
  • Joint credit card statements show each spouse’s name as either an authorized user or an account holder.

3. Proof That You Both Have Children Together

Another strong piece of evidence for proving the legitimacy of marriage for immigration is to show that you both are raising children together. Again, it could be from your current or previous marriages.

Examples of documents that can show this proof include:

  • Certificate of adoption.
  • Your children’s birth certificates. This should include one of the spouse’s names if the child is from a previous marriage.
  • Medical and school records list the stepparent as an emergency contact for the stepchildren.

Additionally, you should also add original copies of:

  • Family photos from events like vacations show spouses and children or stepchildren.
  • Letter from a medical provider attesting to fertility treatments or current pregnancy.

4. Affidavits From Family And Friends

Affidavits from friends or families are written under oath to testify to the legitimacy of your marriage, love for one another, and shared life. This option is especially excellent for new couples who might not have much evidence otherwise.

Family and friends can talk about how they met you, how well they know you, how they meet you at events, and their thoughts about your marriage as a couple. These letters must be from the heart and are unique.

It might not be good when everyone says the same thing. Therefore, the letters have to be personal. Additionally, these letters must come from residents or citizens in the United States.

You can also add proof of the person’s citizenship, like a copy of the permanent residency or the person’s citizenship (passport). It is not necessary to notarize an affidavit. But notarising it would make it credible. In addition, this will allow the officer to attach more weight to the case.

5. Add Pictures To Your Applications

While preparing your I-130 petition package, you must bring alongside a picture of your relationship over time. 

For example, you should get photos of over five years of marriage rather than photos you took together in the past month. So, to make a strong case for your marriage, you need to include these pictures.

Next, we will discuss some more proof required to establish the legitimacy of marriage for immigration!

Other proofs

Besides children and cohabitation and others, USCIS also wants to see that you both have a real relationship. They want to know how you communicate and your activities together. 

Examples of such proofs will include copies of:

  • Chats and phone records that show regular conversations.
  • Travel itineraries for vacations both spouses took together.
  • Receipt of any gifts bought by both spouses.


One of the conditional bases by which the United States issues a green card is via marriage. But, before the green card is given, the USCIS will conduct investigations to ensure the marriage is bona fide. 

So, as an applicant, you must show sufficient evidence to ensure you aren’t trying to defraud the government. The most vital thing for marriage-based immigration is to show that you both are legitimately married and this is not a matter of marriage for immigration.

So, the methods mentioned above should help you prove the legitimacy of your marriage and get you a permanent residency card.

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Arnab is a Passionate blogger. He loves to share sentient blogs on topics like current affairs, business, lifestyle, health, etc. If you want to read refulgent blogs so please follow RealWealthBusiness.

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