5 Documents to Include with Your Marriage-Based Green Card Case
You most likely have seen a TV sitcom or movie in which two characters decide to get married so that one of the characters can get a green card to stay in the United States. It is frequently a situation played for entertainment. However, as you might expect, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) takes the application for a marriage-based green card very seriously, and you should too.
So, what does that mean for you? It means that if you are planning to apply for a marriage-based green card with your spouse, you need to make sure that you can prove that your marriage is a valid, bona-fide marriage to USCIS. A valid bona-fide marriage means that, at the time, you got married, you intended to build a life with your spouse. Indeed, as with most legal matters, USCIS expects to see some evidence of a legitimate marriage to support the application.
To properly show that you are in a valid bona-fide marriage, USCIS expects to see documentation attached to your marriage-based green card application that demonstrates that your marriage is, in fact, a real and committed marriage.
Accordingly, in this article we will talk about 5 documents in particular that are very persuasive in proving to USCIS that your marriage is legitimate and worthy of supporting a marriage-based green card application. If, after reading this article, you have more questions about the marriage-based green card process, we invite you to contact us at Ashoori Law. Feel free to call us at +1-818-741-1117 or you may schedule a free consultation by clicking this link.
Now, let’s get to the 5 documents you should include in your marriage-based green card application.
#1 – Your Marriage Certificate
The primary source of proof that two people got legally married is, of course, the marriage certificate. Indeed, a marriage certificate contains a great deal of information to show USCIS that you entered into a real marriage. It is a document that provides the date of the marriage ceremony, the witnesses to the ceremony, and typically the person who officiated the ceremony.
All of that information can be verified by USCIS, which is why a marriage certificate should always be included with your marriage-based green card application.
#2 – Pictures with Each Other
When two people are married, you would expect that they would have lots of pictures with one another. In most relationships, a couple will have pictures on vacation, with friends, at special events, and of course, on the day of the marriage itself.
Accordingly, you want to make sure that you include with your marriage-based green card application a number of pictures with the two of you together, in different settings. It is further evidence that your relationship, and marriage, is real.
#3 – A Joint Bank Account
One aspect of marriage is combining finances. While married couples handle their finances in all different ways, it is common with married couples to have a joint bank account. So, be sure to include documentation that you not only have a joint bank account together, but that you actually use the bank account on a somewhat regular basis. As with the other documentation discussed here, it is further evidence that paints a picture for USCIS that the marriage is legitimate and was not entered into just for immigration benefits.
#4 – A Lease or Deed to Property with Both of Your Names on It
As with a joint bank account, married couples typically (but not always) have both their names on the lease for the apartment they are renting, or on the deed of the property in which they live. Because the goal is to demonstrate to USCIS that your marriage is valid and real, ensuring that both your names are on the deed or lease, and providing that documentation to USCIS, would be strong proof that you and your spouse are in for the long haul, and that the marriage is not a sham.
#5 – Utility Bills Addressed to Both of You
Having both your names on the account for any and all utility bills is also persuasive evidence that your marriage is valid. As you know, most people who have combined their lives to some degree in marriage will choose to have both their names on long-term, ongoing responsibilities like the gas/electric bill, or the cell phone bill.
Because marriage to a U.S. citizen appears to be one of the quickest way to obtain a green card, USCIS is aware that the process is vulnerable to fraud. That is why it is so important to make sure that you provide USCIS with documentation to persuasively demonstrate that your marriage is the “real deal.”
Further, to make sure that you present a strong case in your marriage-based green card application, consider having an experienced immigration attorney in your corner. An experienced immigration attorney can help to provide an immense amount of assistance with preparing and filing your case.
Have an Experienced Immigration Attorney from Ashoori Law Help You with Your Marriage-Based Green Card Application
My name is Michael Ashoori and I'm a U.S. immigration lawyer and the founder of Ashoori Law. As an immigration lawyer, I help married couples, families, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs get visas, green cards, and citizenship to the United States. If you have any questions, feel free to schedule a free consultation by clicking this link.
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Michael Ashoori, Esq.
U.S. Immigration Lawyer
I’m a U.S. immigration lawyer and I help families, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs get visas, green cards, and citizenship to the United States.
Since starting my law firm, I’ve helped hundreds of people from all over the world with their immigration needs. I’m very passionate, hard-working, and committed to my clients.
Got a question? Send me an email.