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How do you prove you have a bona fide marriage?

On Behalf of | Oct 6, 2017 | Family Immigration

How do you prove to immigrantion and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials that your marriage to a United States citizen is valid and not just for the green card?

When it comes time to file your I-751 petition, which will ultimately move you out of conditional residency and make you a permanent resident, the evidence of your cohabitation and commingled finances are generally the easiest to obtain.

It’s much harder to fake the sort of intimacy that comes from actually being a couple. To prove that intimacy exists, do the following:

1. Become an amateur photographer.

Photos can be worth a thousand words — and a permanent resident’s visa — if you document your relationship from the very beginning.

Take selfies of the two of you together eating out, seeing the sights around town or experiencing your “firsts” in the U.S. as you explore your new country. Make sure that there’s also someone manning a camera when you get married — even if it is just a quiet civil ceremony.

It’s also a smart move to print out the photos and put them in an album in order, with the dates and names of anybody who was present. That way you can show a timeline — with all your evidence — in one smoothly-flowing piece to the ICE officer.

2. Start being sentimental.

Even if you aren’t particularly inclined to sentimentality, now is the time to start. Invest in romantic cards, start saving ticket stubs from the movies that you’ve seen together, keep the flyers or programs from the outdoor concert series you saw together.

Mementos from romantic getaways or trips out of the country to introduce your spouse to relatives are also useful. So are cards from relatives and friends congratulating you on your wedding or anniversary.

3. Use social media smartly.

You can bet that ICE is going to comb through your social media accounts, so make sure that evidence of your relationship is apparent. Photos of your spouse making breakfast, snoozing on the couch or other candid shots show a level of intimacy that’s hard to fake.

Commentary that backs up the timeline shown in your photographic journal is also a boost — compared side to side, this can help convince even the most suspicious ICE investigator.

For more information on family immigrantion topics, talk to an attorney today.

Source:, “33 Great Documents for Proving a Bona Fide Marriage on an 1-751 Petition,” accessed Oct. 04, 2017