Evidence of Bona Fide Marriage

Updated on 10/21/2023

If you think that the USCIS will grant a foreign national a green card right after they marry a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, you are mistaken. Even though you both know that your marriage is a genuine, loving union, the USCIS will need you to prove it. So, what documents can you prove to the USCIS that you have a bona fide marriage; in other words, your marriage is entered in good faith?

Bona Fide Marriage

At DYgreencard.com, we prepare a complete marriage green card application package for you. The entire application package will be thoroughly reviewed by an experienced immigration attorney, which secures an approval by USCIS. All you need to do is just answer a few simple questions online and upload documents to our platform. If married to a U.S. citizen, click here to learn more. If married to a lawful permanent resident, click here to learn more.

Bona fide marriage checklist

The following checklist is prepared by an immigration attorney who has extensive experience in marriage-based green card applications. Please kindly note that in the real world, it is impossible that couples have all of these documents. As such, just prepare and collect the documents based on your own situations.

Strong Evidence

Birth certificate or pregnancy proof for child in common

Joint federal and state tax returns

Bank statements of joint bank account(s)

Statements of joint credit card(s)

Joint lease

Proofs of joint ownership in car, real estate or other asset

Jointly liable mortgage or loan

Family-plan health, dental or vision insurance

Joint vehicle insurance

Joint home insurance

Joint utilities

Life insurance, 401k or retirement account, indicating one spouse has made the other a beneficiary

Will or living trust in favor of the beneficiary

Medium Evidence

Family-plan phone bill

Driver license or state ID with same address

School or medical records listing the stepparent as an emergency contact for the stepchildren

Air tickets/hotel records for joint travel or vacation

Wedding photos

Wedding invitation

Photos with families, friends, etc.

Facebook or other social network to show you are couple

Joint membership card(s)

Weaker Evidence

Sworn affidavits from families/friends/etc.

Greeting cards from families/friends/etc.

Split utilities with same address

Statements/letters/shipping labels addressed to either of the couple with same address

Photos (only the couple in the photos)

Air tickets, fares, hotel records, visa stamps, arrival/departure records of visits to each other if not living together

Tickets for show that watching together

Emails, text messages, phone or chat records between the couple

Receipts for any gifts purchased for each other

Useful tips for bona fide marriage document preparation:

  • If you have much strong evidence, you may provide some medium evidence simultaneously. However, it is unnecessary to provide weaker evidence.
  • If you have little strong evidence, you’d better provide medium evidence and weaker evidence simultaneously.
  • Generally, most recent three month statements or bills for joint accounts are good enough.
  • If a joint bank account or joint credit card account is not actively used (for example, no transaction at all for every month), you’d better not provide the statements of such account.
  • In most cases, 20-30 photos are good enough, print either in photo paper or regular letter size paper, write date and place on the back or in blank area.
  • If you need to provide sworn affidavits, 2-5 affidavits from the persons with different relationship with the couple are recommended. Get a sample affidavit letter for marriage immigration here.
  • Except photos and affidavits are normally provided in originals, you may just provide a copy of other evidence.
  • If the evidence is not in English and you apply for marriage green card through I-485 adjustment of status inside the United States, you should submit its original language copy and its certified English translation. A certification by translator shall be attached to the translation.
  • If you apply for marriage green card through Consular Processing (means the foreign spouse is outside the United States), you probably don’t have much evidence to prove your marriage is real because you and your spouse lived together for very short time. Actually, it is very common so please don’t be panic.

Let DYgreencard.com help with your bona fide marriage application

DYgreencard.com can guide you through the process of creating a persuasive I-130 application. Our independent immigration attorneys with extensive experience in marriage green card can be advocates for you as you prove that your marriage is real. DYgreencard.com can also help you prepare an I-485 application based on marriage. If married to a U.S. citizen, click here to learn more. If married to a lawful permanent resident, click here to learn more.

DYgreencard — Immigration lawyer, at an affordable price.