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MrsHarris16

I need help with proving bona fide marriage in a unique situation

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Posted (edited)

I been married to my foreign spouse for 3 years. We haven't filed for IR-1 yet because his mother was sick and he needed to stay to take care of her. Plus he wanted me to live in Jamaica instead of him coming to USA. She just recently passed away and I have convinced him to come USA because I feel like life would be easier for us here as a family. Now we are ready to file. The issue is I don't think besides pictures together, marriage certificate and multiple trips to his country, chat logs, affidavits and Western Union transfers are enough to prove our marriage is real. We don't have any joint accounts and have never lived together. Jamaica won't let me open an bank account there because I don't live or work there (being married is not enough). My employer won't let me add him to my insurance because he doesn't have a SSN. I work for a airline and I can't put him on my free flight privileges either because he doesn't have a SSN. That also means he can't be my beneficiary either on company paid health/life insurance. I travel to Jamaica to visit him several times a year. We communicate multiple times a day. I occasionally send him money. I'm very close with his family and two children (which I plan to file for along with him) I need help on proving my bona fide marriage. I don't even want to file until I have everything in order. Please advise!

Edited by MrsHarris16

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4 minutes ago, MrsHarris16 said:

I been married to my foreign spouse for 3 years. We haven't filed for IR-1 yet because his mother was sick and he needed to stay to take care of her. Plus he wanted me to live in Jamaica instead of him coming to USA. She just recently passed away and I have convinced him to come USA because I feel like life would be easier for us here as a family. Now we are ready to file. The issue is I don't think besides pictures together, marriage certificate and multiple trips to his country, chat logs, affidavits and Western Union transfers are enough to prove our marriage is real. We don't have any joint accounts and have never lived together. Jamaica won't let me open an bank account there because I don't live or work there (being married is not enough). My employer won't let me add him to my insurance because he doesn't have a SSN. I work for a airline and I can't put him on my free flight privileges either because he doesn't have a SSN. That also means he can't be my beneficiary either on company paid health/life insurance. I travel to Jamaica to visit him several times a year. We communicate multiple times a day. I occasionally send him money. I'm very close with his family and two children (which I plan to file for along with him) I need help on proving my bona fide marriage. I don't even want to file until I have everything in order. Please advise!

The strongest evidence you can provide in your situation is proof of actually being together, your marriage certificate, and any documentation normally generated during an international marriage......you have enough, imo, to file.....


                               :idea:MSC (National Benefits Center) I-751 filers- Please add your data :idea:                          https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Id1duRRByZHJmhEzl9N25GqwzcnUyLCR4e4N9W6zGLg/edit#gid=0

 

Retired 20 year US Air Force Missileer

Retired Registered Nurse with practice in Labor/Delivery, Home Health, Adolescent Psych, Adult Psych

Retired IT Professional, Software Developer, Database Manager

 

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Posted (edited)

Not having any joint accounts should not be a problem. I didn't have any with my CR1 spouse and got the visa just fine.

Looks like you already have enough evidence already to prove bona-fide marriage. Just include passport stamps, hotel receipts, marriage/wedding related expense receipts, etc

Edited by nastra30

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23 minutes ago, MrsHarris16 said:

I been married to my foreign spouse for 3 years. We haven't filed for IR-1 yet because his mother was sick and he needed to stay to take care of her. Plus he wanted me to live in Jamaica instead of him coming to USA. She just recently passed away and I have convinced him to come USA because I feel like life would be easier for us here as a family. Now we are ready to file. The issue is I don't think besides pictures together, marriage certificate and multiple trips to his country, chat logs, affidavits and Western Union transfers are enough to prove our marriage is real. We don't have any joint accounts and have never lived together. Jamaica won't let me open an bank account there because I don't live or work there (being married is not enough). My employer won't let me add him to my insurance because he doesn't have a SSN. I work for a airline and I can't put him on my free flight privileges either because he doesn't have a SSN. That also means he can't be my beneficiary either on company paid health/life insurance. I travel to Jamaica to visit him several times a year. We communicate multiple times a day. I occasionally send him money. I'm very close with his family and two children (which I plan to file for along with him) I need help on proving my bona fide marriage. I don't even want to file until I have everything in order. Please advise!

You can get a joint account JA. We did. NCB. You have to have 2 references who have an a account there. And seems as if you do have enough to submit your package, particularly if you have your boarding passes and maybe receipts or documents to show you all stayed in same place or did activities together. 

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1 hour ago, MrsHarris16 said:

I been married to my foreign spouse for 3 years. We haven't filed for IR-1 yet because his mother was sick and he needed to stay to take care of her. Plus he wanted me to live in Jamaica instead of him coming to USA. She just recently passed away and I have convinced him to come USA because I feel like life would be easier for us here as a family. Now we are ready to file. The issue is I don't think besides pictures together, marriage certificate and multiple trips to his country, chat logs, affidavits and Western Union transfers are enough to prove our marriage is real. We don't have any joint accounts and have never lived together. Jamaica won't let me open an bank account there because I don't live or work there (being married is not enough). My employer won't let me add him to my insurance because he doesn't have a SSN. I work for a airline and I can't put him on my free flight privileges either because he doesn't have a SSN. That also means he can't be my beneficiary either on company paid health/life insurance. I travel to Jamaica to visit him several times a year. We communicate multiple times a day. I occasionally send him money. I'm very close with his family and two children (which I plan to file for along with him) I need help on proving my bona fide marriage. I don't even want to file until I have everything in order. Please advise!

Hi, from ur passage the following( marriage certificate, wedding pictures, living or outing pictures, trips receipts, money remittances receipts, call logs, chats evidences and time spent wid his kids as u plan filling for them as well )  are great items of bonafide marriage but.....

 

I would suggest as well u get 3 witnesses(who can confirm to ur marriage) from Jamaica  to swear AFFIDATIVE  attesting to ur marriage and u guud to go.  Thanks n wish u all d best 🙏🙏🙏

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From my own personal experience I would say in my opinion you have enough evidence to file.  My husband and I did not have a joint bank account either and we were fine.  We passed in our marriage certificate, we had family members write certified statements for us, we had tons of photos(which they never asked to view),  and that was about it.  During our interview we weren’t asked too many questions and unfortunately our case did go to AP due to a computer issue on their part but we were told our case was fine and my husband was asked to submit his passport so we are assuming we will eventually be approved.  When we had our interview we had been married for almost 6 years.  I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck! 

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46 minutes ago, Tutuka said:

I would suggest as well u get 3 witnesses(who can confirm to ur marriage) from Jamaica  to swear AFFIDATIVE  attesting to ur marriage and u guud to go.

In the absence of any quality evidence, I would agree with you.  However, affidavits are very weak pieces of evidence....since anyone can say anything in an affidavit.  


                               :idea:MSC (National Benefits Center) I-751 filers- Please add your data :idea:                          https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Id1duRRByZHJmhEzl9N25GqwzcnUyLCR4e4N9W6zGLg/edit#gid=0

 

Retired 20 year US Air Force Missileer

Retired Registered Nurse with practice in Labor/Delivery, Home Health, Adolescent Psych, Adult Psych

Retired IT Professional, Software Developer, Database Manager

 

Immigration Journey:

  • Texas Service Center after transfer from Nebraska
  • Consulate :Taipei, Taiwan
  • Marriage: 7/30/2015
  • I-130 NOA1 : 4/27/2016
  • I-130 Approved :9/8/2016
  • Case received at NVC: 10/11/2016                               
  • Case # and IIN#: 10/24/2016
  • AOS Fee Invoiced:10/24/2016  
  • AOS Fee Paid:10/25/2016
  • IV Fee Invoiced:10/24/2016  
  • IV Fee Paid:10/25/2016
  • DS-260 Completed: 10/28/16
  • Scan Date:11/9/2016
  • Supervisor review: 12/21/16 
  • Checklist: 1/13/17 
  • Case Complete: 4/10/17
  • Interview Date: 5/8/17 
  • Visa  "ISSUED": 5/10/17
  • Visa and Passport in hand/Flight to USA Booked!!!: 5/12/17  
  • POE Dallas DFW on June 22, 2017
  • SS Card received : 7/3/2017
  • 2-year Green Card received in mail: 7/15/17
  • I751 mailed to Dallas PO Box: 3/28/2019
  • I-797 extension letter  for ROC dated 4/2/2019  MSCxxxxxxxxxx received: 4/6/2019
  • Biometrics apt received for 4/25/2019: on 4/12/2019
 

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You should double-check on adding your spouse to your health insurance, beneficiary on retirement plans, life insurance, travel benefits with your airline, and so on.  I added my husband, who lives in Brazil, to all these without any problems, and he does not have a SSN.  Have you filed US income tax returns as married filing jointly, or married filing separately?  I recommend that you file 2018 as married filing jointly and attach a W-7 to request your spouse's ITIN.  If you have already filed, then submit an amended return, then include this as evidence.  There are lots of things you can do without a spouse's SSN.  Call the health insurance company.  Ask for a supervisor.   

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23 minutes ago, carmel34 said:

You should double-check on adding your spouse to your health insurance, beneficiary on retirement plans, life insurance, travel benefits with your airline, and so on.  I added my husband, who lives in Brazil, to all these without any problems, and he does not have a SSN.  Have you filed US income tax returns as married filing jointly, or married filing separately?  I recommend that you file 2018 as married filing jointly and attach a W-7 to request your spouse's ITIN.  If you have already filed, then submit an amended return, then include this as evidence.  There are lots of things you can do without a spouse's SSN.  Call the health insurance company.  Ask for a supervisor.   

During open enrollment it would not let me add him with out it. I just found out about the ITIN. I'm looking into that Monday. I normally file head of household because I claim my child. Will filing HOH be problem when turning in my tax returns? I have never filled married. My tax preparer said since he wasn't in the USA that it would be fine but once he is here then weneed to file together.

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, MrsHarris16 said:

Will filing HOH be problem when turning in my tax returns? I have never filled married. My tax preparer said since he wasn't in the USA that it would be fine but once he is here then weneed to file together.

Your tax preparer is correct.....One of the requirements when filing as HOH when married is that you and your spouse have not lived together for the last 6 months of the tax year.......

 

  • File your taxes separately from your spouse
  • Pay more than half of the household expenses
  • Not have lived with your spouse for the last 6 months of the year
  • Provide the principle home of a qualifying dependent
  • Claim an exemption for your dependent

 

Edited by missileman

                               :idea:MSC (National Benefits Center) I-751 filers- Please add your data :idea:                          https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Id1duRRByZHJmhEzl9N25GqwzcnUyLCR4e4N9W6zGLg/edit#gid=0

 

Retired 20 year US Air Force Missileer

Retired Registered Nurse with practice in Labor/Delivery, Home Health, Adolescent Psych, Adult Psych

Retired IT Professional, Software Developer, Database Manager

 

Immigration Journey:

  • Texas Service Center after transfer from Nebraska
  • Consulate :Taipei, Taiwan
  • Marriage: 7/30/2015
  • I-130 NOA1 : 4/27/2016
  • I-130 Approved :9/8/2016
  • Case received at NVC: 10/11/2016                               
  • Case # and IIN#: 10/24/2016
  • AOS Fee Invoiced:10/24/2016  
  • AOS Fee Paid:10/25/2016
  • IV Fee Invoiced:10/24/2016  
  • IV Fee Paid:10/25/2016
  • DS-260 Completed: 10/28/16
  • Scan Date:11/9/2016
  • Supervisor review: 12/21/16 
  • Checklist: 1/13/17 
  • Case Complete: 4/10/17
  • Interview Date: 5/8/17 
  • Visa  "ISSUED": 5/10/17
  • Visa and Passport in hand/Flight to USA Booked!!!: 5/12/17  
  • POE Dallas DFW on June 22, 2017
  • SS Card received : 7/3/2017
  • 2-year Green Card received in mail: 7/15/17
  • I751 mailed to Dallas PO Box: 3/28/2019
  • I-797 extension letter  for ROC dated 4/2/2019  MSCxxxxxxxxxx received: 4/6/2019
  • Biometrics apt received for 4/25/2019: on 4/12/2019
 

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The fact that you've been married for 3 years helps. What do you do as a married couple? Send evidence of you visiting and spending time with his family and friends including the children and evidence of communication for the 3 years. They know that it's hard to have joint financial responsibilities in your situation. You can also write a short letter talking about your relationship and how his mom being sick was the reason you lived apart etc. Affidavits from third parties are also an option. Lots of people will say they aren't helpful but we don't actually know and since they are listed by USCIS as evidence it doesn't hurt at all to send. Just ensure they are not templates but actually genuinely written by people in your lives. 


Cateogory: CR1

  • NOA1/Notice of receipt: Sept. 15, 2015
  • NOA2/I130 Approved: February 8, 2016 (NO RFE) :)
  • Process slowed down by us
  • Sent documents to NVC: April 11, 2016
  • Scan date: April 14/ May 7th (NVC said both I dont know why)
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August 17, 2016: Visa Approved!!!! :dancing:

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1 hour ago, nguoivietnam2019 said:

We did not have any financial ties: no joint bank account, her name was not under my 401k, investments, life insurance, authorized user on my credit cards ~~~> My wife still got her visa approved. Of course, I will do these for my wife's ROC.

Since this post. I have added him as beneficiary to my 401k, life insurance and made him authorized user on my credit card. I hope thats enough in the financial department.

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