How You Prove Your Marriage Is Bona Fide

couple smiling for a picture

Becoming a permanent resident of the United States can be difficult but being married to a U.S citizen can make the process easier and faster. Unfortunately, many people use marriage as a tool to enter the United States and often have no intention of staying married. When you consult with an immigration lawyer in Dallas, he will tell you that this has happened (and is still happening) so often that the government is highly skeptical of alien marriages to U.S. citizens. For that reason, you and your spouse will be asked to prove that your marriage is legitimate and that your intention is to stay together for the rest of your lives. How will you have to do that?

Make sure that your lives are joined together in as many ways as possible. You will have to prove that you live together and that you trust each other with financial and personal matters.

This means that you should:

  • Make sure to add your alien spouse to your mortgage, deed or rental agreement.
  • Add your spouse’s name to utility, cable and other accounts.
  • Make your spouse your beneficiary for life insurance and retirement accounts.
  • Add your spouse to your medical insurance if he or she doesn’t have their own.
  • Buy a car or make another major purchase together.
  • Open a joint bank account and take out a joint credit card.
  • File a joint tax return.

Keep records of your relationship. Including the above items, your immigration lawyer in Dallas will tell you that you may be asked to prove that your personal relationship isn’t a fraud by producing, among other things, letters or copies of emails you’ve exchanged, receipts for gifts like engagement rings and flowers, copies of wedding or vacation photos, copies of phone bills showing calls you’ve made to each other and birth certificates for children you’ve had or adopted together.

Observe each other and remember details about the other person in preparation for a test of your knowledge of that person and your lives together. The last step in the process of getting a green card through marriage is an interview of the alien spouse or both spouses conducted by a consular officer or an officer of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The interview will seek to determine how much each of you knows about your shared lives. You may be asked questions about the decor in your home, how you spent a holiday, who feeds your dog, where and how you met, etc.

If your marriage is less than two years old, your alien spouse may be given a conditional U.S. residence, which means that you’ll have to apply to remove the conditions on the green card in approximately two more years. At that time, you’ll be required to supply more evidence that your marriage is real. When you need help seeking permanent residency for your spouse, call the immigration lawyer in Dallas who has the experience needed to guide you through the process. That lawyer is Nathan Christensen of The Christensen Law Firm. Call (972) 497-1017 to make an appointment to discuss your case. And visit to find out more about permanent residency in the United States.

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