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cl4677

Proof of relationship questions

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Hey dudes,

A quick intro; I'm marrying my Japanese fiancee next month in Japan. Going to file a I130 when I get home. Not doing a fiancee visa because she wants to get married over there, so we're just doing the paperwork in August so I can start this application with a real ceremony in January.

Trying to get my stuff together to file next month and had a couple questions. I pulled this list from the CR1 guide and I don't have 1-4, trying to wait until she gets here for all of those to happen.

1. Documentation showing joint ownership or property; or 2. A lease showing joint tenancy of a common residence; or 3. Documentation showing co-mingling of financialresources; or 4. Birth certificate(s) of child(ren) born to you, thepetitioner, and your spouse together; or 5. Affidavits sworn to or affirmed by third parties havingpersonal knowledge of the bona fides of the maritalrelationship (Each affidavit must contain the full nameand address, date and place of birth of the person makingthe affidavit, his or her relationship to the petitioner ofbeneficiary, if any, and complete information and detailsexplaining how the person acquired his or herknowledge of your marriage); or 6. Any other relevant documentation to establish that thereis an ongoing marital union.

So for number 5, I was thinking of getting my boss, uncle, and best friend to write some affidavits since they're the only ones that have met my fiancee in person. Is this sufficient?

For number 6, should I write some kind of statement about our relationship since #5 asked for third parties?

I have all of the reservation confirmations from airlines and hotels to show we've been in the same place at the same time, but no actual receipts or ticket stubs. (I didn't realize how intense these applications were until after I proposed). If I want to include her passport stamps to support the reservations, do I need to copy her entire passport or just the relevant pages? Or are photos of us together at those places enough?

I figured I'd toss in an invitation to our January wedding ceremony.

I have some photos of us but some are kind of... disjoint. For example, on our first date we took photos of each other since we were on opposite sides of the table, should I toss in both with a description on the back or restrict the photos to ones where we're both in the same picture. I've got a few pics of me with her fam. Definitely going to take some more in August. How bad does it look if I don't have any pics of her with my family? I didn't think to get one of her and my uncle when we were together in May. Definitely going to get one of her and my boss when we all have dinner next month.

Lurking the forums I see a lot of people throwing in phone or chat logs. What kinds of conversations are you guys putting in? I mean is there a theme or is it 90% Line stickers which is what mine probably looks like? lol

I just feel like my application is kind of light in its current state...

Also, can anyone here vouch for the Bray Fiance and Marriage Visa book from NOLO? That's what I've been going off of.

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I have no way to vouch for the book, but if you've read through the guides on this forum you're in good hands.

Affidavits of support are considered more or less worthless, but if you feel better about including them in your case, go for it. My husband and I did. My boss wrote one for me, and my husband's coworker wrote one for him.

Photographs and any receipts you might have kept are likely your best proof. I get all of my boarding passes sent to my email address; is it possible you have some still lurking around? Any photographs of you together are very important to include with your application. On the back of each of mine I wrote the approximate date taken, and the significance of each photo. I think your photograph about opposite ends of the table could work with an explanation -- during one of our visits my husband and I got matching tattoos, and so I included separate pictures of the both of us getting tatted. You could see the same design, the same artist, etc.

The family thing shouldn't be so bad. I didn't have any pictures of me with his family included in our petition, but we did include some of him with my family. Make sure you include wedding photos, even if you're just going to court to sign some documents. If you didn't get traditionally married with a ceremony etc. it might be in your best interest to explain why.

For chat logs, my husband and I took a sampling of our more lovey conversations from the years we'd been in contact. What you need to prove is that you've been having ongoing contact for a while. We used three primary sources: IM (oldschool AIM represent), facebook messenger, and Skype. It'd be a good idea to print screen it so you can show you haven't tampered with the dates sent/received. Some people send in hundreds of pages, but for low fraud countries (I think Japan is low fraud) maybe six to twelve pages should be more than enough. Make sure to cover a wide variety of dates.

After you are married, can you list your wife as the beneficiary to your life insurance? Can you list her as an authorized user on your credit card? Can she do the same for you? Providing evidence of this might help prove a sort of comingling of finances. My husband and I included this in our petition. We were approved without RFE at USCIS.

Good luck! Take lots of pictures and have fun. :)


September 29, 2012 - First met through a writing forum
January 5, 2014 - Engaged!
June 27, 2014 - Married!

USCIS:
September 23, 2014 - Sent off I-130 package
September 29, 2014 - Priority Date
September 30, 2014 - NOA1
March 26, 2015 - NOA2
April 2, 2015 - Case shipped to NVC

NVC:
April 13, 2015 - Case Number/IIN received
April 15, 2015 - DS-261 submitted
April 15, 2015 - AOS fee paid
April 21, 2015 - AOS package submitted
April 21, 2015 - IV package submitted
April 21, 2015 - Scan date

April 30, 2015 - DS-261 reviewed over the phone

May 12, 2015 - IV fee paid (late due to "EP lock")
May 13, 2015 - DS-260 submitted

May 27, 2015 - AOS/IV packages still not reviewed, flagged for supervisor review

July 10, 2015 - Supervisor review does nothing, flagged for unit manager review
August 11, 2015 - Case Complete!

Interview:

October 6, 2015 - Medical

October 13, 2015 - Interview date (AP - need to submit copy of 2014 W2)
October 21, 2015 - Visa status changed to "READY" and then a few hours later "ISSUED"

October 28, 2015 - Passport received (was available for pickup Oct. 27)
October 28, 2015 - POE fee paid
October 30, 2015 - POE!

After POE:
November 9, 2015 - Received SSN (checked off option to apply on forms)
December 1, 2015 - Received Green Card

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Thanks for the response!

Affidavits of support are considered more or less worthless

Bummer. I guess I was under the impression that the more people that knew about your plans, the better it looked on paper.

I get all of my boarding passes sent to my email address; is it possible you have some still lurking around?

I've only made one trip to Japan so far and have those paper tickets. She doesn't have anything besides reservation confirmations and passport stamps from her trips to the US.

As for the photos, I have 8 of us together including one of us and her family for NYE, 6 of me and her family without her in it, and 4 pairs of these across the table photos. We really don't take too many photos.

What you need to prove is that you've been having ongoing contact for a while.

We used Facebook Messenger for a bit, then switched to Line. <EDIT> I figured out how to export my Line conversation although it only goes back until about September of last year. (250 pages and only 10% stickers lol)

After you are married, can you list your wife as the beneficiary to your life insurance? Can you list her as an authorized user on your credit card? Can she do the same for you?

I switched the beneficiary on my IRA to current spouse (it was the only option I could do that didn't require any kind of identification stuff). I have no problem adding her to my bank/credit accounts. I'll head over to the bank today and see exactly what I need to get that taken care of. Does it have to be a joint account or just an authorized user? I hadn't thought of asking her to add me to her stuff since I figured that would get closed when she moves over but not that I think about it it's probably good for her to keep some of that stuff going even if she's not living there.

One other question, I've read in a few posts some people include a cover letter but I haven't seen that in any of the guides. Is this another one of those things that helps people feel better? I was definitely going to include a list of what was in the packet. Any other stuff that might be useful that isn't in the guides?

Thanks!

Edited by cl4677

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My replies are in bold. I am but a simple creature and am not sure how to quote specific parts of a text as you did.


I've only made one trip to Japan so far and have those paper tickets. She doesn't have anything besides reservation confirmations and passport stamps from her trips to the US.

I forgot to mention that if you want to include the passport stamps (seems like a good idea to me), I'd include a copy of every page for consistency. Seeing a complete book with pages marked consistently with the same kind of identification will do you better than a random page. I'd also include an explanation stating that these are stamps she got on xyz visits to come see you on xyz dates as backed up by the reservation confirmations.

As for the photos, I have 8 of us together including one of us and her family for NYE, 6 of me and her family without her in it, and 4 pairs of these across the table photos. We really don't take too many photos.

My husband and I probably submitted less than a dozen photos in total, so you're fine. Definitely submit some with her family, and some of you guys together.

I switched the beneficiary on my IRA to current spouse (it was the only option I could do that didn't require any kind of identification stuff). I have no problem adding her to my bank/credit accounts. I'll head over to the bank today and see exactly what I need to get that taken care of. Does it have to be a joint account or just an authorized user? I hadn't thought of asking her to add me to her stuff since I figured that would get closed when she moves over but not that I think about it it's probably good for her to keep some of that stuff going even if she's not living there.

Joint accounts can be hard to get in the USA with a foreign spouse because a lot of the time they require SSN. I'm the foreign beneficiary, and I listed my husband as my life insurance beneficiary and as an authorized user on my credit card account (I had a new card made for him with the same card number, just with his name on it instead of mine). At the time he didn't have a credit card, and his work insurance was unable to add me on because I was not a US resident. If you can get a joint account it might strengthen your case, but it's not a deal breaker at all. I think your IRA should be good proof even if all else fails.

One other question, I've read in a few posts some people include a cover letter but I haven't seen that in any of the guides. Is this another one of those things that helps people feel better? I was definitely going to include a list of what was in the packet. Any other stuff that might be useful that isn't in the guides?


We included a cover letter. I'll PM you what we did with our information redacted. I think it's just to make people feel better, but it may help USCIS figure out where each of your documents is. I hear they rip apart the petitions and refile them in the order necessary for processing, so if it helps someone reorganize the package in a way that's suitable for review then I think it's useful.

September 29, 2012 - First met through a writing forum
January 5, 2014 - Engaged!
June 27, 2014 - Married!

USCIS:
September 23, 2014 - Sent off I-130 package
September 29, 2014 - Priority Date
September 30, 2014 - NOA1
March 26, 2015 - NOA2
April 2, 2015 - Case shipped to NVC

NVC:
April 13, 2015 - Case Number/IIN received
April 15, 2015 - DS-261 submitted
April 15, 2015 - AOS fee paid
April 21, 2015 - AOS package submitted
April 21, 2015 - IV package submitted
April 21, 2015 - Scan date

April 30, 2015 - DS-261 reviewed over the phone

May 12, 2015 - IV fee paid (late due to "EP lock")
May 13, 2015 - DS-260 submitted

May 27, 2015 - AOS/IV packages still not reviewed, flagged for supervisor review

July 10, 2015 - Supervisor review does nothing, flagged for unit manager review
August 11, 2015 - Case Complete!

Interview:

October 6, 2015 - Medical

October 13, 2015 - Interview date (AP - need to submit copy of 2014 W2)
October 21, 2015 - Visa status changed to "READY" and then a few hours later "ISSUED"

October 28, 2015 - Passport received (was available for pickup Oct. 27)
October 28, 2015 - POE fee paid
October 30, 2015 - POE!

After POE:
November 9, 2015 - Received SSN (checked off option to apply on forms)
December 1, 2015 - Received Green Card

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I submitted barely anything - photos (certainly less than a dozen, and most from the wedding), two affidavits from family and friends, and an itinerary from my husband's visit to meet my family in the US. I just didn't have anything else... no life insurance, no kids, no mingling of finances etc. We were living together but I didn't have any real proof of that because the property belonged to his grandparents. Still, our application was approved with no RFEs.

I say get and do whatever you can that you think will help (and my experience was the affidavits were not worthless), but don't stress out about it too much.

I used that book in conjunction with the forums and forum guides here. The book is useful because it has examples of forms filled out, and the forum is helpful because you can get tips about common mistakes and how to avoid them.

Edited by shiroiuso

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If she's been to visit you in the US, take a copy of the biometric page from her passport and all the pages that show her entry stamps to the US. We did that for our I-130. My passport with all my stamps (every third month for the past four and a half years) along with our photos were pretty much the only bona fida proof we sent. We did have two affidavits as well, but as others have said, they really don't carry much weight.

Real face time is your best proof, so photos and passport stamps/boarding passes.

Not worry about the joint bank accounts or joint ownership, most people on the CR/IR-1 won't have that until after they've immigrated.

Good luck with your visa journey. :)


Met online October 2010


Engaged December 31st 2011


heart.gifMarried May 14th 2013 heart.gif



USCIS Stage


September 8th 2014 - Filed I-130 with Nebraska Service Center


September 16th 2014 - NOA1 received


March 2nd 2015 - NOA2 received :dancing:



NVC Stage


March 28th 2015 - Choice of agent complete & AOS fee paid


April 17th 2015 - IV fee paid


May 1st 2015 - Sent in IV application


May 12th 2015 - Sent in AOS and IV documents


May 18th 2015 - Scan Date


June 18th 2015 - Checklist received


June 22nd 2015 - Checklist response sent to NVC


June 25th 2015 - Put for Supervisor Review


Sept 15th 2015 - Request help from Texas US Senator Cornyn and his team


Sept 23rd 2015 - Our case is moved from supervisor review to NVC's team for dealing with Senator requests


Nov 4th 2015 - CASE COMPLETE!!!! :dancing:



Embassy Stage


Dec 16th 2015 - Medical exam


Dec 21st 2015 - Interview


Dec 21st 2015 - 221(g) issued at interview for updated forms


Jan 13th 2016 - Mailed our reply to the 221(g) to the US Embassy, received and CEAC updated the next morning


Jan 20th 2016 - Embassy require more in-depth info on asset for i-864


Feb 1st 2016 - Sent more in-depth info on assets as requested. Received the next morning


Feb 16th 2016 - Visa has been issued :dancing: :dancing: :dancing: :dancing: :dancing:



In the US


April 5th 2016 - POE Newark. No questions asked.


April 14th 2016 - SSN received


May 10th 2016 - First day at my new job :dancing:


May 27th 2016 - Green Card received


June 7th 2016 - Got my Texas driver's license

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If she's been to visit you in the US, take a copy of the biometric page from her passport and all the pages that show her entry stamps to the US. We did that for our I-130. My passport with all my stamps (every third month for the past four and a half years) along with our photos were pretty much the only bona fida proof we sent.

I was thinking about copying all the pages in her passport and then marking relevant pages and doing the same for my passport.

Thanks for the help!

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Thanks shiroiuso!

About the itinerary, did you just write a summary of your husband's visit?

I printed out and sent the email from the airline that had the dates and times of his flights. Fortunately I'm pretty lazy about deleting emails so I just happened to still have it.

I think your idea to send copies of the stamps in her passport is a good one. We didn't do that but that is probably even better proof than an itinerary.

Good luck to you! I bet you'll be fine. :) Japan is one of the easier countries.

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