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JFox762

Regarding evidence of bonafide marriage

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I decided to go with Rapid Visa, since it is very important that we make no mistakes so as to get my wife to the US as quickly as possible. 

We are running into a snag with this:
 

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In addition to your marriage certificate, you need to provide two or more of the following documents: 1. Legible copies of your and your spouse's driver's licenses and/or identity cards from the appropriate state's motor vehicle department. 2. Legible copies of the civilly registered birth certificate for any child(ren) born to you and the petitioning spouse.
3. Copies of bank statements that reflect joint savings and/or checking accounts to include the transaction pages for each bank statement provided.
4. Copies of mortgage agreements, deeds or other instruments affecting the title to real estate that demonstrates joint ownership of assets or property.
5. copies of insurance policies such as life insurance, medical insurance, vehicle insurance, etc.
6. Copies of credit card statements.
7. Copies of loan documents such as car loans, home improvement loans, business loans, etc.
8. Copies of your State and Federal tax returns. Also include all required schedules, statements and any attachments such as W-2 records.
9. Copies of rental leases/agreements showing joint tenancy at a common residence signed by you, the petitioning spouse and the owner(s) of the property (or the property manager).
10. copies of utility bills such as telephone, gas, electric, water, cable, internet, etc. or other statements issued in both names indicating the residential address.
11. If applicable, submit copies of military Basic Allowance for Quarters (BAQ) form for housing and/or DD Form 1172 for dependant military dependant cards.
12. Any other documentation which shows that the marriage was not entered into in order to circumvent U.S. immigration laws.
 

Problem is, we haven't lived together yet. At best, I can show the form I filled out to my employer to change my marital status. Maybe post a copy of my paycheck stub showing my marital status. 

Additionally, I *CAN* go ahead and get a Term Life insurance policy to put her on as a beneficiary. I can also get a will done and put her down as a recipient of assets. But I don't know how beneficiaries that are stuck overseas can avail themselves of any assets if they can't come to the US in person. Additionally, wouldn't getting a Life insurance policy and will drawn up on the spot... just for the purpose of providing supporting evidence itself look more suspicious?

RapidVisa staff told me that photos of us together, chat logs, etc don't really help at all as the Embassy/USCIS Staff only really look at supporting documentation. Rapid Visa recommended that we either get a will drawn up, and life insurance policy in place with her name on it... OR get two sworn affidavits from witnesses of our wedding and relationship. 

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22 minutes ago, JFox762 said:

I decided to go with Rapid Visa, since it is very important that we make no mistakes so as to get my wife to the US as quickly as possible. 

We are running into a snag with this:
 

Problem is, we haven't lived together yet. At best, I can show the form I filled out to my employer to change my marital status. Maybe post a copy of my paycheck stub showing my marital status. 

Additionally, I *CAN* go ahead and get a Term Life insurance policy to put her on as a beneficiary. I can also get a will done and put her down as a recipient of assets. But I don't know how beneficiaries that are stuck overseas can avail themselves of any assets if they can't come to the US in person. Additionally, wouldn't getting a Life insurance policy and will drawn up on the spot... just for the purpose of providing supporting evidence itself look more suspicious?

RapidVisa staff told me that photos of us together, chat logs, etc don't really help at all as the Embassy/USCIS Staff only really look at supporting documentation. Rapid Visa recommended that we either get a will drawn up, and life insurance policy in place with her name on it... OR get two sworn affidavits from witnesses of our wedding and relationship. 

Most people filing through the consular process will not have lived together at all or for long.. so this is not uncommon. The advice regarding wills, beneficiaries of insurance and retirement accounts, is esssential. See if you can add her to a bank account even though she is living overseas at the time. Some large international banks can accommodate this.   Documentation and photos the wedding ceremony of course... vacations or other times spent together... affidavits carry little weight

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RapidVisa doesn't prevent RFEs. They are a service with a process to help you put your application together using a common guideline, but RFEs certainly show up.

 

If you don't currently live together then some items - like joint accounts - won't be available. USCIS and the COs know this and it's not an issue. A copy of your paystub or a work form saying you are married won't impact the process....the marriage certificate satisfies the requirement that you are married, and listing your spouse with your work isn't proof of it being a bona fide marriage.

 

I wouldn't say it's suspicious to get a life insurance or will for a spouse, although it's certainly not a requirement to do so. No single item proves a marriage as being bona fide or not...it's all about the bigger picture. You can always send the I-130 beforehand and do a will or life insurance policy afterwards to show at the interview.

 

25 minutes ago, JFox762 said:

RapidVisa staff told me that photos of us together, chat logs, etc don't really help at all as the Embassy/USCIS Staff only really look at supporting documentation. Rapid Visa recommended that we either get a will drawn up, and life insurance policy in place with her name on it... OR get two sworn affidavits from witnesses of our wedding and relationship. 

Showing where you've been, how you communicate regularly, etc. is good relationship/marriage evidence. These types of items absolutely should be included with an I-130 and shown at the interview.

As noted above a will and life insurance policy are 2 pieces of evidence to help show a bona fide marriage. Add them if you have it, but if you have plenty of other evidences then you're fine.

Affidavits carry very little to no weight. They won't hurt, but they are very unnecessary.

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We have photos from two different visits. I visited her for the first time in Thailand, on January 2017. We have plenty of photos of ourselves together. We also got married and spent about a month and a half together in July/August in the Philippines (her home country). We have photos of ourselves together as well as photos from the wedding.  I also have taken quite a few snapshots from our Skype chat logs. About 19 different snapshots from different time periods. 

I guess I will contact my bank, and see if they can add my wife to the account. I will also call my insurance provider, and ask for a quote for Life Insurance. As for getting a will written... does the fact that she doesn't yet have legal residency in the US affect how one will be written? This is actually why I was planning to wait until she arrives, before drafting up a Will. Because I was concerned, that perhaps the Will would need to be re-written once she arrives to the US. 

Edited by JFox762

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It's not necessary to share a bank account if she has never lived in US. It's not necessary to have her as your dependent on your work payroll either. Emails, tickets  from your visits , pictures and proof of phone calls along with marriage certificate translated into English along with the copy of the original is all that you need. I was approved with just that although I was concerned at first too. I used a lawyer to make sure it was done carefully with double check. 

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