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SabrinaJerome

bona fides, marriage and relationship

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I am about to file the I-130 and get this thing started. Wondering about the language of the bona fide bit.

The only thing we have to prove that we have a bona fide "marital union" is our certificate from TWO DAYS AGO (yeaaaa!!) and affidavits from a friend and a relative that were at our ceremony.

On the instruction page (http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-130instr.pdf) it asks for

"third parties having personal knowledge of the bona fides of the marital relationship... how the person acquired his or her knowledge of your marriage." and "Any other relevant documentation to establish that there is an ongoing marital union."

But other than that, we have no joint bills, property, credit cards (US cards require a SS#), etc etc... the only thing I am doing now is creating a joint bank account before we go back to Spain in a week. (My US bank doesn't exist in this area of the US, otherwise I could add him.)

(My apartment (rental) and bills and everything are in another part of the US, not where we are at the moment, so it would be a bit difficult - not to mention silly - to put his name on utilities... for a place he has never lived!)

I suppose we could try to do something in Spain (bank account, etc), even though we're supposedly leaving there by mid 2016.

We have TONS of documents, photos etc to prove that we have been together as a couple for 4 years, but not much to prove the bona fides of an ONGOING MARITAL UNION.

We're newlyweds!

Thanks, friends.


October 2011: Met in Spain

2012-2014: Video chat + visas + visits and vacations = we made it through!

June 2014: Moved to Spain, got engaged 

December 31, 2015: got married

April 20, 2016: sent I130 package

May 2, 2016: package received in Chicago Lockbox - - - 12 days for delivery!! Don't use TNT couriers!! 

May 2nd or 5th, 2016: email NOA1... accepted and sent to.... NEBRASKA 

And now.... breeeeeeathe..... be like water my friend....

October 26th, 2016: NOA2 [We had waited almost 6 months. Received notification from the phone app, never got an email.]

November 9th 2016: USCIS sent the petition to NVC (app notification) [waited 2 weeks after approval for this]

November 25th 2016: NVC received and created account for our petition [waited 16 days after USCIS sent it, for NVC to acknowledge receipt]

Dec 1st 2016: Chose agent online DS261 [a few days later than it could've been since the above NVC email went to SPAM!]

Dec 6th 2016: Case available for paying fees. That was fast, I think! 5 days!

Took a long time to get package out because... life... and husband's family in Morocco had to travel to get police document.

Feb 20th 2017: Scan date at NVC, received weird email.

April 28th 2017: CHECKLIST. Moroccans are required to send a Court Report regardless of Police Record status. My husband had to go back to Morocco to get it in person. Also, NVC wants a 2016 tax return now that is 2017. My bad.

September 15th 2017: 2nd Scan Date at NVC. Sent for document review October 20th.

Nov 10th 2017: Email requesting document be brought to interview. Will schedule interview.

Case complete date??: TBD :clock:.... November 8th!!

Interview date : January 18, 2018!!           Result: Administrative Processing      :mellow:

Embassy called for new medical last week of August. New Medical Sept 10.

Visa ISSUED September 14, 2018. :blink:

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Instead of focusing on the phrase "ongoing marital union" – not so useful when you've been married two days – think about what you have that shows you're in an "ongoing couple." For example, include those documents, photos, etc that show you've been together as a couple for four years. (Another way to think about it: those four years led into the marriage.)

P.S. In your other thread, you mention that you have lived together in Spain these past two years. Include this in your evidence.

Edited by awaywego

2012: Married
2014 2016 2017: I-130 packet direct to Frankfurt

Frankfurt's "steps" to DCF:

Step 1: I-130 Petition Checklist (PDF, from their USCIS page)

Step 2: Immigrant/Fiance(e) & K-Visa Applicant Checklist (PDF, from their Appointment & Interview page)

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Congratulations on your marriage. My Thai wife and I have been married 22 years this April, and we're in the same boat. Property in her name, utilities in one name and no joint bank accounts. For us, we still know the two witnesses to our marriage registration back in 1994, and I'm going to take them to the US Embassy here in Bangkok and have them swear out an affidavit.

But I agree that in your case, showing a lengthy relationship would be important. Photos showing the two of you aging over the years. (Okay, so four years is not that long to age.) Any boarding passes or ticket stubs from trips together. Maybe an affidavit or two from friends you've known the whole time of your relationship, or at least the last couple of years.

Edited by Siam Sam

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A marriage certificate is proof of being married, not proof that you're in a bona fida relationship. :)

For most that don't live together, proof of bona fida relationship will be photos of time spent together, email/phone logs, passport stamps/boarding passes of visits to see each other and/or trips taken together. If you live together in Spain, send proof of living together, such as either a lease you're both on or something that shows that you're living at the same address.

US immigrations want to see that you're in a real relationship, so that's what you need to prove and that started way before you got married.

By the way, congrats to the newlyweds. :)


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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Evidence not proof is needed. Provide evidence you have an ongoing genuine relationship. You just got married and the USCIS understands that. Chat messages, time spent together, pictures, emails, etc...


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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Instead of focusing on the phrase "ongoing marital union" – not so useful when you've been married two days – think about what you have that shows you're in an "ongoing couple." For example, include those documents, photos, etc that show you've been together as a couple for four years. (Another way to think about it: those four years led into the marriage.)

P.S. In your other thread, you mention that you have lived together in Spain these past two years. Include this in your evidence.

Yeah, I will do that, thank you.

I was just stuck on the directions on the form that indicate the marital bit as opposed to the relationship.

Regarding Spain, we registered my information in the town hall when I moved to live with my husband, and my ID has the same address. Thinking about copying that as well.


October 2011: Met in Spain

2012-2014: Video chat + visas + visits and vacations = we made it through!

June 2014: Moved to Spain, got engaged 

December 31, 2015: got married

April 20, 2016: sent I130 package

May 2, 2016: package received in Chicago Lockbox - - - 12 days for delivery!! Don't use TNT couriers!! 

May 2nd or 5th, 2016: email NOA1... accepted and sent to.... NEBRASKA 

And now.... breeeeeeathe..... be like water my friend....

October 26th, 2016: NOA2 [We had waited almost 6 months. Received notification from the phone app, never got an email.]

November 9th 2016: USCIS sent the petition to NVC (app notification) [waited 2 weeks after approval for this]

November 25th 2016: NVC received and created account for our petition [waited 16 days after USCIS sent it, for NVC to acknowledge receipt]

Dec 1st 2016: Chose agent online DS261 [a few days later than it could've been since the above NVC email went to SPAM!]

Dec 6th 2016: Case available for paying fees. That was fast, I think! 5 days!

Took a long time to get package out because... life... and husband's family in Morocco had to travel to get police document.

Feb 20th 2017: Scan date at NVC, received weird email.

April 28th 2017: CHECKLIST. Moroccans are required to send a Court Report regardless of Police Record status. My husband had to go back to Morocco to get it in person. Also, NVC wants a 2016 tax return now that is 2017. My bad.

September 15th 2017: 2nd Scan Date at NVC. Sent for document review October 20th.

Nov 10th 2017: Email requesting document be brought to interview. Will schedule interview.

Case complete date??: TBD :clock:.... November 8th!!

Interview date : January 18, 2018!!           Result: Administrative Processing      :mellow:

Embassy called for new medical last week of August. New Medical Sept 10.

Visa ISSUED September 14, 2018. :blink:

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Congratulations on your marriage. My Thai wife and I have been married 22 years this April, and we're in the same boat. Property in her name, utilities in one name and no joint bank accounts. For us, we still know the two witnesses to our marriage registration back in 1994, and I'm going to take them to the US Embassy here in Bangkok and have them swear out an affidavit.

But I agree that in your case, showing a lengthy relationship would be important. Photos showing the two of you aging over the years. (Okay, so four years is not that long to age.) Any boarding passes or ticket stubs from trips together. Maybe an affidavit or two from friends you've known the whole time of your relationship, or at least the last couple of years.

Thank you!

Yes, I have been following your thread. Good luck!

Yes we have TONS of photos lolll and maybe we haven't aged THAT much but we certainly have gained weight heehehee Ohhhh Spain.

We have saved a lot of boarding passes, ticket stubs, etc, etc... and I was thinking also printing emails of airline confirmations - would that work?

And does affidavit imply that a statement is notarized?


October 2011: Met in Spain

2012-2014: Video chat + visas + visits and vacations = we made it through!

June 2014: Moved to Spain, got engaged 

December 31, 2015: got married

April 20, 2016: sent I130 package

May 2, 2016: package received in Chicago Lockbox - - - 12 days for delivery!! Don't use TNT couriers!! 

May 2nd or 5th, 2016: email NOA1... accepted and sent to.... NEBRASKA 

And now.... breeeeeeathe..... be like water my friend....

October 26th, 2016: NOA2 [We had waited almost 6 months. Received notification from the phone app, never got an email.]

November 9th 2016: USCIS sent the petition to NVC (app notification) [waited 2 weeks after approval for this]

November 25th 2016: NVC received and created account for our petition [waited 16 days after USCIS sent it, for NVC to acknowledge receipt]

Dec 1st 2016: Chose agent online DS261 [a few days later than it could've been since the above NVC email went to SPAM!]

Dec 6th 2016: Case available for paying fees. That was fast, I think! 5 days!

Took a long time to get package out because... life... and husband's family in Morocco had to travel to get police document.

Feb 20th 2017: Scan date at NVC, received weird email.

April 28th 2017: CHECKLIST. Moroccans are required to send a Court Report regardless of Police Record status. My husband had to go back to Morocco to get it in person. Also, NVC wants a 2016 tax return now that is 2017. My bad.

September 15th 2017: 2nd Scan Date at NVC. Sent for document review October 20th.

Nov 10th 2017: Email requesting document be brought to interview. Will schedule interview.

Case complete date??: TBD :clock:.... November 8th!!

Interview date : January 18, 2018!!           Result: Administrative Processing      :mellow:

Embassy called for new medical last week of August. New Medical Sept 10.

Visa ISSUED September 14, 2018. :blink:

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A marriage certificate is proof of being married, not proof that you're in a bona fida relationship. :)

For most that don't live together, proof of bona fida relationship will be photos of time spent together, email/phone logs, passport stamps/boarding passes of visits to see each other and/or trips taken together. If you live together in Spain, send proof of living together, such as either a lease you're both on or something that shows that you're living at the same address.

US immigrations want to see that you're in a real relationship, so that's what you need to prove and that started way before you got married.

By the way, congrats to the newlyweds. :)

Thank you! I can't believe it! :joy:

Yeah, well that's what I was getting upset about - the directions very clearly indicate "marital"...

We have some evidence in Spain (see above response).

I've always thought, from hearsay and movies and whatnot, that we were supposed to be proving we have a real relationship, not just the legal marriage bit, so with the emphasis on that, I was at a loss.


October 2011: Met in Spain

2012-2014: Video chat + visas + visits and vacations = we made it through!

June 2014: Moved to Spain, got engaged 

December 31, 2015: got married

April 20, 2016: sent I130 package

May 2, 2016: package received in Chicago Lockbox - - - 12 days for delivery!! Don't use TNT couriers!! 

May 2nd or 5th, 2016: email NOA1... accepted and sent to.... NEBRASKA 

And now.... breeeeeeathe..... be like water my friend....

October 26th, 2016: NOA2 [We had waited almost 6 months. Received notification from the phone app, never got an email.]

November 9th 2016: USCIS sent the petition to NVC (app notification) [waited 2 weeks after approval for this]

November 25th 2016: NVC received and created account for our petition [waited 16 days after USCIS sent it, for NVC to acknowledge receipt]

Dec 1st 2016: Chose agent online DS261 [a few days later than it could've been since the above NVC email went to SPAM!]

Dec 6th 2016: Case available for paying fees. That was fast, I think! 5 days!

Took a long time to get package out because... life... and husband's family in Morocco had to travel to get police document.

Feb 20th 2017: Scan date at NVC, received weird email.

April 28th 2017: CHECKLIST. Moroccans are required to send a Court Report regardless of Police Record status. My husband had to go back to Morocco to get it in person. Also, NVC wants a 2016 tax return now that is 2017. My bad.

September 15th 2017: 2nd Scan Date at NVC. Sent for document review October 20th.

Nov 10th 2017: Email requesting document be brought to interview. Will schedule interview.

Case complete date??: TBD :clock:.... November 8th!!

Interview date : January 18, 2018!!           Result: Administrative Processing      :mellow:

Embassy called for new medical last week of August. New Medical Sept 10.

Visa ISSUED September 14, 2018. :blink:

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Evidence not proof is needed. Provide evidence you have an ongoing genuine relationship. You just got married and the USCIS understands that. Chat messages, time spent together, pictures, emails, etc...

Yeah, that's what I was hoping. Maybe they should change the wording on that?


October 2011: Met in Spain

2012-2014: Video chat + visas + visits and vacations = we made it through!

June 2014: Moved to Spain, got engaged 

December 31, 2015: got married

April 20, 2016: sent I130 package

May 2, 2016: package received in Chicago Lockbox - - - 12 days for delivery!! Don't use TNT couriers!! 

May 2nd or 5th, 2016: email NOA1... accepted and sent to.... NEBRASKA 

And now.... breeeeeeathe..... be like water my friend....

October 26th, 2016: NOA2 [We had waited almost 6 months. Received notification from the phone app, never got an email.]

November 9th 2016: USCIS sent the petition to NVC (app notification) [waited 2 weeks after approval for this]

November 25th 2016: NVC received and created account for our petition [waited 16 days after USCIS sent it, for NVC to acknowledge receipt]

Dec 1st 2016: Chose agent online DS261 [a few days later than it could've been since the above NVC email went to SPAM!]

Dec 6th 2016: Case available for paying fees. That was fast, I think! 5 days!

Took a long time to get package out because... life... and husband's family in Morocco had to travel to get police document.

Feb 20th 2017: Scan date at NVC, received weird email.

April 28th 2017: CHECKLIST. Moroccans are required to send a Court Report regardless of Police Record status. My husband had to go back to Morocco to get it in person. Also, NVC wants a 2016 tax return now that is 2017. My bad.

September 15th 2017: 2nd Scan Date at NVC. Sent for document review October 20th.

Nov 10th 2017: Email requesting document be brought to interview. Will schedule interview.

Case complete date??: TBD :clock:.... November 8th!!

Interview date : January 18, 2018!!           Result: Administrative Processing      :mellow:

Embassy called for new medical last week of August. New Medical Sept 10.

Visa ISSUED September 14, 2018. :blink:

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