How do You Prove You Have a Bona Fide Marriage?
- By: Jane
In some countries, such as the U.S., attaining permanent residency based on marriage might be challenging than you could have ever imagined. With the rising cases of fraudulent marriages with non-US citizens, you might need to put more effort into proving to have a bona fide marriage. How do you prove that your union is genuine? Follow through here to learn how to portray the authenticity of your relationship.
What is a bona fide marriage?
Bona fide formally means genuine or authentic. You can therefore guess what a bona fide marriage means. The marriage type consists of two individuals who genuinely cherish and care for each other as a couple.
For instance, if you have a non-US lover who wants to attain a permanent residency, the authorities might want to assess the legitimacy of your relationship. The exercise is stringent, and it would be best to remain honest for successful citizenship attainment.
How to prove that your marriage is bona fide
Proving a bona fide marriage requires sufficient preparation before setting foot to the immigration offices. The critical factors to remember are perfect documentation and transparent presentation.
You might begin by filling in some marriage forms, depending on your location. The different forms have varying document requirements for submission.
Some of the ways that might assist you in proving a bona fide marriage might include:
1. Proof of a valid marriage
Some state laws determine a valid marriage by where it took place. The critical document to pass this requirement is your marriage certificate. The paper might need to come from a well-known government entity.
2. Prove that you are living together
Staying together under the same roof is one of the success factors of proving a bona fide marriage. However, this might not be the case for some relationships. You might then need to revise this if this evidence affects you. Or gather up justifiable reasons for the immigration authorities.
If you stay in the same apartment with your spouse, you might have to prepare the following documents.
· Document copies of your rented apartment lease or mortgage containing both of your names.
· Document copies that portray your utility bills such as gas, phone, or internet. It needs to have both names on it.
· Document copies showing matching addresses. They might include your driver's license or letters.
3. Proof of children
Children are also significant indicators of a bona fide marriage. But remember, it is not necessary. Step-children and adopted kids might also assist you in proving a bona fide marriage.
Below are several acceptable documents to act as proof of children to immigration authorities.
· Birth certificate with the name of your child or children.
· If you have adopted children in your marriage, you might need to present the adoption certificate.
· Evidence showing association with children. These might include photos, holiday itineraries, or academic records.
· Medical records to show an incoming newborn.
· Proof as an emergency contact for your step-children.
4. Proof of family engagements
Family activities are great pieces of evidence for a bona fide marriage. Some of the shared moments might include:
· Evidence of trips or visits. It might include travel tickets, lodging or vehicle rental receipts, or joint events.
· Online conversation proofs. You might present your social media talks or emails.
· Gift receipts.
· Proof of your wedding. You might show your wedding invitation copies, venue payment details alongside your wedding gowns and suits.
· Family photos.
· Evidence of owning a joint property.
5. Proof of shared finances
Married couples tend to share out their financial resources. Evidence of shared finances is strong proof of a bona fide marriage. Even if you independently manage your financial needs, you might not miss the event of commingling your finances.
Some of the supporting documents might include:
· Bank statements for your savings or credit accounts.
· Proof of declined checks for your joint accounts.
· Joint loan statements. Or, you might show related loans where one of you is the co-signor.
· Bank statement copies of your separate accounts. You might show shared costs responsibilities of massive purchases.
· Evidence of joint health, life, or auto insurance cards or agreements.
· Tax returns proof portraying your legal titles, husband or wife.
· Proof of joint investments or stock.
6. 3rd parties affidavits
It would be wise to consider asking your friends, families, colleagues, employers, or religious leaders to attest the legitimacy of your relationship. In the affidavits, your writers need to affirm your marriage knowledge critically. Most forms might compulsorily require you to present this third-party proof.
Each letter needs to have the full name, address, and year of birth of the writer. It should effectively explain the writer's relationship besides valid reasons why they think the marriage is bona fide. For a higher likelihood to pass this requirement, the writer might cite your wedding attendance or being part of the wedding committee. Third-party affidavits might come from any individual. However, it would be helpful to consider a U.S. citizen or one with a permanent residency.
7. Past marriage
If both of you have past marriage cases, you might need to present legal documents to prove its termination. You might offer your divorce papers or your former lover's death certificate.
8. Contacting immigration attorneys
Proving your marriage authenticity is vital. Please reach your attorney for a high-performing presentation. The expert individual might help with filing the petition in an effective method. He or she might highlight the significant shreds of evidence on the documentation.
How to prove a bona fide marriage in an immigration interview
You might need to attend a scheduled interview at immigration offices to establish a bona fide marriage other than presenting documents. Most times, this part comes last in the application process. The authorities offer you a set of questions to test the knowledge you have for your spouse.
It would be incredible to prepare yourself adequately before your interview. Your performance might affect your chances of becoming a permanent U.S. citizen by marriage.
Some of the common questions might include;
· How and where was your first meeting?
· Do you have a mutual friend?
· How and where was your first date?
· Who proposed first?
· How and where was the proposal?
· When did the relationship become special?
· When did you decide to marry or get married?
· What is your husband or wife’s date of birth?
· Which is your favorite destination to visit?
· Do you have pets?
You might need to expect more of these personal questions. The great thing is to know your partner critically. You might hold a mock-up interview with your partner to pass this phase at the immigration office.
Signs of a marriage that is not bona fide
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officers pay attention to several factors that might dictate a fraudulent marriage. Some of these elements might include the following:
· There exists a wider disparity between the spouses' ages. Marriage partners with more enormous age differences have a higher likelihood of failing to prove a bona fide marriage. If your partner is greatly legally younger or older than you, this should not hold you back from initiating that citizenship process.
· Rise of a language barrier between the spouses. It might be challenging to obtain that citizenship if you cannot speak your partner's language.
· Also, a wider gap in your cultural or ethnic backgrounds is a weaker indication of a bona fide marriage.
· A hidden marriage might showcase an unhealthy relationship. Your spouse might at least have met your friends or family members.
· A marriage arrangement by a third party might fail to prove a bona fide marriage.
· A marriage that took place immediately after a departure order from the country might not prove a bona fide.
· If your responses in your interview hugely differ, you might fail to showcase a real marriage before the immigration authorities.
· If your beneficiary is a family friend, you might fail the bona fide application process.
The elements are not complete proof that your union is not bona fide. However, it would help if you prepared yourself for more bureaucratic processes. For instance, specific careers such as the military might explain the reason for not staying together.
Marriage is a legal way of attaining your spouse's citizenship. Some immigration offices might need you to present more than a marriage certificate when proving to have a bona fide association with your partner.
There are lengthy procedures involved to minimize sham marriages. You might need to prepare and craft your required documents well for your spouse to attain citizenship in a particular country.
The article has a list of things you need to do to prove a bona fide marriage. Some of the factual evidence might relate to your wedding, engagements with friends, or shared responsibilities. Some forms go beyond what the article outlines. It would be helpful not to miss these pieces of evidence when visiting your immigration office.