Prove Bona Fide Marriage Other Relevant Documents Spouse Visa
Guide to Prove Bona Fide Marriage with Other Relevant Documents
I-130 Documents to Prove Family Relationship
In our last blog post on items needed for the USCIS I-130, Petition for Alien Spouse to prove bona fide marriage, we discussed “third party affidavit affirming bona fide marriage”. Click here if you want to see this previous post.
In this post, we specifically discuss “Any other relevant documentation to establish that there is an ongoing marital union“. There are some additional other relevant Documents that you can use to prove bona fide marriage for USCIS I-130 Petition for Alien Spouse, IR-1 and CR-1 Spouse Visa.
The instructions for the I-130 state,
“5. What documents do you need to prove family relationship?
You have to prove that there is a family relationship between you and the beneficiary. If you are filing for a relative listed below, submit the following documentation to prove the family relationship.
A. A spouse:
(1) A copy of your marriage certificate;
(2) If either you were or your spouse was previously married, submit copies of documents showing that each of the prior marriages was legally terminated; and
(3) You must submit two identical color passport-style photographs of yourself and your spouse….”
These documents above are specifically required.
In addition, the instructions go on further to say,
“NOTE: In addition to the required documentation listed above, you should submit one or more of the following types of documentation that may prove you have a bona fide marriage:
(1) Documentation showing joint ownership of property;
(2) A lease showing joint tenancy of a common residence, meaning you both live at the same address together;
(3) Documentation showing that you and your spouse have combined your financial resources;
(4) Birth certificates of children born to you and your spouse together;
(5) Affidavits sworn to or affirmed by third parties having personal knowledge of the bona fides of the marital relationship. Each affidavit must contain the full name and address of the person making the affidavit; date and place of birth of the person making the affidavit; and complete information and details explaining how the person acquired his or her knowledge of your marriage (For examples of third party affidavits, see our blog post “Third Party Affidavit Affirming Bona Fide Marriage Example for USCIS I-130 Petition for Alien Spouse, IR-1 and CR-1 Spouse Visa.); or
(6) Any other relevant documentation to establish that there is an ongoing marital union.”
Other Relevant Documents to Prove Bona Fide Marriage Examples
Overall, most newly married couples have a hard time providing items (1) – (4) on the additional list of documents to prove bona fide marriage. Therefore, many couples provide Item (5), third-party affidavit affirming bona fide marriage and Item (6), Any other relevant documentation to establish that there is an ongoing marital union.
In this post, we provide examples specifically for Item 6, other relevant documents to prove bona fide marriage.
Although not specifically mentioned in the instructions, photographs are a great way to also prove bona fide marriage. Only a few photographs are needed with 4 – 5 at a minimum and 12 at a maximum. However, do not submit a photo album. Usually, USCIS will most likely return your photo album.
There are several ways to submit your photographs including:
- Placing them inside of a zip lock bag. If you do this, make sure that you write the names, date and location on the back of each photograph.
- Placing them inside of a photo sheet protectors. Again, make sure that you write the names, date and location on the back of each photograph.
- Taping them to sheets of blank 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper. If you do this, make sure that you write the names, date and location below each photograph.
- Printing photos on paper, Again, make sure that you write the names, date and location below each photograph.
Ordinarily, you will not get these photos back.
Submit a few photographs of you and your spouse at your wedding. For example, only 2 – 4 photos of your wedding are needed.
Also, other photos of you and your spouse together are great. In addition, provide one or two photographs of you and your spouse with some of your or your spouse’s family or friends. Therefore, these provide good proof that the relationship is known to others.
Certification from Foreign Country Central Statistical Registry
The U.S. Government specifically does not keep a central statistical registry for births, marriages and deaths and cannot verify this information. On the other hand, many other foreign countries do keep a statistical registry on marriage. For example, my wife’s country of the Philippines has the Philippine Statistical Authority that tracks marriages in a database.
If your spouse’s country has a central statistical registry for marriages, specifically request a report documenting your marriage in the registry. Include this document as an additional relevant document to prove boni fide marriage.
For example, in the Philippines, this is called a CENOMAR (Certificate of No Marriage). After you get married, the CENOMAR will show the marriage. See below for an example.
While all attempts are made to present correct information, it may not be appropriate for your specific circumstances and information may become outdated.
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If this process seems too difficult for you, we recommend that you use a visa/immigration consultant. For this purpose, we recommend using Rapid Visa.
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