Immigrants under a K-1 fiancé visa or spousal visa need to prove their marriage is valid in order to obtain a green card. The marriages of immigrants to American citizens are inspected during United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) interviews where the immigration officer is looking for inconsistencies as indicators of marriage fraud. During the interview, applicants must prove they have a real, bona fide marriage – and not marriage just to get a green card.
When you apply for a marriage green card (US.lawful permanent residence), you must prove that your marriage is legal and also that your marriage is “bona fide.” A bona fide marriage means that you and your spouse have a real relationship and plan to build a future together – and did not get married just for immigration purposes. You will need to provide evidence during your marriage interview to prove you have a bona fide marriage.
The types of evidence you will need to prove your marriage is bona fide include:
1. Proof You Live Together
A shared lease or rental agreement with both your names, a mortgage in both your names or other proof that you share the same residence.
2. Shared Expenses
Show that you have utility bills for the same household, that you share joint bank accounts, that you make financial decisions together.
3. Joint Income Tax Returns
Filing taxes together as a married couple.
4. Shared Experiences
Photos and other proof of merging your lives together such as vacations, family holidays and shared pets.
5. Romantic Relationship
Evidence of a loving, romantic relationship including photos, emails, love letters and affidavits from family, friends or a priest.
A bona fide marriage shows USCIS that your marriage is legitimate and was entered in for the correct reasons – and not for immigration reasons. Marriage fraud is a federal crime. A fake marriage only for the purposes of getting a green card can result in a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to $250,000 for both the immigrant and the American citizen.
An experienced family immigration lawyer can answer your marriage visa and green card questions, and prepare you for your marriage interview to prove you have a bona fide marriage. With experience in many immigration cases, Mario Godoy and the immigration attorneys at the Godoy Law Office can assess your situation and advise you on your best options to get your green card. Call us today at 630-912-0322.