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Sending only the marriage license without proof of bona fide marriage

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I see a lot of affidavits in this thread.  Understand thst affidavits are very low evidence.  People of course are going to say nice things about your relationship and even lie about it.  There are better ways to have evidence of a genuine relationship. 


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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From the I-130 instructions. Notice that more than the marriage certificate is required when filing for a spouse.  Notice the word "must" and that there are things in bold.   The bold part is in there, I didn't put it there. 

 

5. What documents do you need to prove family relationship?
You have to prove that there is a family relationship between you and the beneficiary. If you are filing for a relative
listed below, submit the following documentation to prove the family relationship.
A. A spouse:
(1) A copy of your marriage certificate;
(2) If either you were or your spouse was previously married, submit copies of documents showing that each of
the prior marriages was legally terminated; and
(3) You must submit two identical color passport-style photographs of yourself and your spouse (if he or she is
in the United States) taken within 30 days of filing this petition. The photos must have a white to off-white
background, be printed on thin paper with a glossy finish, and be unmounted and unretouched.
Form I-130 Instructions 02/27/17 N Page 7 of 12
The two identical color passport-style photos must be 2 by 2 inches. The photos must be in color with full
face, frontal view on a white to off-white background. Head height should measure 1 to 1 3/8 inches from top
of hair to bottom of chin, and eye height is between 1 1/8 to 1 3/8 inches from bottom of photo. Your head
must be bare unless you are wearing headwear as required by a religious denomination of which you are a
member. Using a pencil or felt pen, lightly print your name and A-Number (if any) on the back of the photo.
NOTE: In addition to the required documentation listed above, you should submit one or more of the
following types of documentation that may prove you have a bona fide marriage:

(1) Documentation showing joint ownership of property;
(2) A lease showing joint tenancy of a common residence, meaning you both live at the same address together;
(3) Documentation showing that you and your spouse have combined your financial resources;
(4) Birth certificates of children born to you and your spouse together;
(5) Affidavits sworn to or affirmed by third parties having personal knowledge of the bona fides of the marital
relationship. Each affidavit must contain the full name and address of the person making the affidavit; date
and place of birth of the person making the affidavit; and complete information and details explaining how the
person acquired his or her knowledge of your marriage; or
(6) Any other relevant documentation to establish that there is an ongoing marital union.
NOTE: You must submit clear and convincing evidence that you and your spouse entered into the
marriage in good faith and not for immigration purposes if you married your spouse while your spouse
was the subject of an exclusion, deportation, removal, or rescission proceeding (including during the
judicial review of any one of these proceedings); or you are a lawful permanent resident that obtained
your permanent residence through a prior marriage that was not determined by the death of your
spouse and you are filing your petition for your spouse that you were married within five years of
obtaining your permanent residence.

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29 minutes ago, aaron2020 said:

From the I-130 instructions. Notice that more than the marriage certificate is required when filing for a spouse.  Notice the word "must" and that there are things in bold.   The bold part is in there, I didn't put it there. 

 

5. What documents do you need to prove family relationship?
You have to prove that there is a family relationship between you and the beneficiary. If you are filing for a relative
listed below, submit the following documentation to prove the family relationship.
A. A spouse:
(1) A copy of your marriage certificate;
(2) If either you were or your spouse was previously married, submit copies of documents showing that each of
the prior marriages was legally terminated; and
(3) You must submit two identical color passport-style photographs of yourself and your spouse (if he or she is
in the United States) taken within 30 days of filing this petition. The photos must have a white to off-white
background, be printed on thin paper with a glossy finish, and be unmounted and unretouched.
Form I-130 Instructions 02/27/17 N Page 7 of 12
The two identical color passport-style photos must be 2 by 2 inches. The photos must be in color with full
face, frontal view on a white to off-white background. Head height should measure 1 to 1 3/8 inches from top
of hair to bottom of chin, and eye height is between 1 1/8 to 1 3/8 inches from bottom of photo. Your head
must be bare unless you are wearing headwear as required by a religious denomination of which you are a
member. Using a pencil or felt pen, lightly print your name and A-Number (if any) on the back of the photo.
NOTE: In addition to the required documentation listed above, you should submit one or more of the
following types of documentation that may prove you have a bona fide marriage:

(1) Documentation showing joint ownership of property;
(2) A lease showing joint tenancy of a common residence, meaning you both live at the same address together;
(3) Documentation showing that you and your spouse have combined your financial resources;
(4) Birth certificates of children born to you and your spouse together;
(5) Affidavits sworn to or affirmed by third parties having personal knowledge of the bona fides of the marital
relationship. Each affidavit must contain the full name and address of the person making the affidavit; date
and place of birth of the person making the affidavit; and complete information and details explaining how the
person acquired his or her knowledge of your marriage; or
(6) Any other relevant documentation to establish that there is an ongoing marital union.
NOTE: You must submit clear and convincing evidence that you and your spouse entered into the
marriage in good faith and not for immigration purposes if you married your spouse while your spouse
was the subject of an exclusion, deportation, removal, or rescission proceeding (including during the
judicial review of any one of these proceedings); or you are a lawful permanent resident that obtained
your permanent residence through a prior marriage that was not determined by the death of your
spouse and you are filing your petition for your spouse that you were married within five years of
obtaining your permanent residence.

For AOS within the US - before you send your package in this is the standard list that is generally recommended after the wedding and before the interview

 

Matching drivers licenses or state ID

Merged car insurance

Merged bank accounts

Merged health insurance

Merged credit cards

Each party listed as beneficiary to one another on life/retirement etc

 

Some cannot be done for K1.  Usually the drivers licenses come after EAD but definitely merged financial, insurance, etc can be done with a SS card.  AOS from other categories?  These get looked at a little closer and there is ample time to get this straight before filing.  A lot of these items apply to different categories of adjustment but not for filing for an overseas spouse.

 

For I-130 outside the US?  Most of this can’t be done and many, many couples have been processed (absent high fraud or red flags) by just sending in proof of time together, photo evidence of a wedding, and marriage certs.  

 

I’ve been dealing with immigration for 12 years now.  We had one AOS interview in 2008 but that list (above) was enough to suffice (he compared our house keys and copied our credit cards which had the same number).  This isn’t magic.  Couples who do everything they can to merge their lives and financials together do not have to show anything extra to move through the immigration process.

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3 minutes ago, Nitas_man said:

For AOS within the US - before you send your package in this is the standard list that is generally recommended after the wedding and before the interview

 

Matching drivers licenses or state ID

Merged car insurance

Merged bank accounts

Merged health insurance

Merged credit cards

Each party listed as beneficiary to one another on life/retirement etc

 

Some cannot be done for K1.  Usually the drivers licenses come after EAD but definitely merged financial, insurance, etc can be done with a SS card.  AOS from other categories?  These get looked at a little closer and there is ample time to get this straight before filing.  A lot of these items apply to different categories of adjustment but not for filing for an overseas spouse.

 

For I-130 outside the US?  Most of this can’t be done and many, many couples have been processed (absent high fraud or red flags) by just sending in proof of time together, photo evidence of a wedding, and marriage certs.  

 

I’ve been dealing with immigration for 12 years now.  We had one AOS interview in 2008 but that list (above) was enough to suffice (he compared our house keys and copied our credit cards which had the same number).  This isn’t magic.  Couples who do everything they can to merge their lives and financials together do not have to show anything extra to move through the immigration process.

People have a history before they get marry.  They communicate.  They date.  They spend time together.  They share their relationship with others; communicate and go out with family and friends.  USCIS expects them to send in that evidence with the I-130.  

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, aaron2020 said:

People have a history before they get marry.  They communicate.  They date.  They spend time together.  They share their relationship with others; communicate and go out with family and friends.  USCIS expects them to send in that evidence with the I-130.  

sending in proof of time together and marriage certs did the trick for us.  Back then it was 129F/130 filed separately and approved separately. 

 

At that point?  I had visited my wife in person only once.  To get married.  Not much time together right?  Arrive, marry, honeymoon, leave.  But it was still  a smooth process.

 

Although I do recommend a couple of wedding photos I didn't bother to send them in myself at that stage.  I did provide that during AOS after arrival.

 

I think we tend to exaggerate how much documentation is needed to process an I-130. 

 

In 2011 I re-filed DCF and got to see how much they keep and how much they discard because they go through the package at the embassy counter in front of you.  They kept the bare package and handed back all of the financial documentation, the copied drivers licenses, the insurance info, everything but the bare minimum, told me thanks, and that we'd get a Packet III soon.  They didn't even read them. 

3 weeks later?  We're gathering documents for interview.  That CO didn't talk to my wife when I filed that I-130.  They neither kept nor were interested in anything but the basic attachments listed on the instructions.

Edited by Nitas_man

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2 hours ago, NikLR said:

I see a lot of affidavits in this thread.  Understand thst affidavits are very low evidence.  People of course are going to say nice things about your relationship and even lie about it.  There are better ways to have evidence of a genuine relationship. 

By the way, the reason I brought up an affidavit is specifically because it's the least useful evidence from the USCIS instructions list. The thinking was: USCIS asks you to provide, among other documents, a marriage license, and at least one of the following, where the following is a list of very useful things plus affidavits. 

 

So technically, you're not, not following instructions, by providing a marriage license and a random affidavit you could have written yourself. That's why I was asking. 

 

I am by no means suggesting this as a good option whatsoever, I was just wondering. 

 

As I mentioned, our IO specifically chose to actually somewhat look at two items, trips together and an affidavit from my in-laws, the rest she glanced at, at best. But we did have other, far superior, proof of our bona fide nature of the marriage. I don't know why she wanted to read that one affidavit so much. We had two others as well, straight to the binder it went. 

 

I was adjusting from TN and we have been married 1.5 years at the time of the interview, for context. 


Adjusting from TN to GC as spouse of USC

2015-11-23: Last TN received at CBP

2017-06-12: Married

2018-06-25: Mailed I-485, I-864, I-130/I-130A, and I-765 to USCIS

2018-07-24: Biometrics appointment

2018-08-28: Expedite request submitted for EAD via USCIS support line

2018-09-21: EAD and SSN received in the mail

2018-10-11: Case is ready to be scheduled for interview

2018-10-31: Interview is scheduled

2018-11-21: TN expired

2018-12-11: AOS Interview - approved 

2018-12-18: Green Card received

------------------

2020-12-11: Conditional green card expires 

 

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