Evidence of Good Faith Marriage

For both the marriage adjustment interview and the I-751 petition to remove the conditions on your permanent residence, you need to show that you have a bona fide marriage, that is, that  you married in good faith. In both cases, USCIS wants to see that you and your spouse reside together, share finances, and spend time together.

Specifically, you want to provide:

  • Birth certificates of any children born from the relationship
  • Federal taxes and W-2s*
  • Insurance policies together (health, auto, life, etc.)
  • Retirement account summaries naming your spouse as a beneficiary
  • Bank and credit accounts in common
  • Lease or mortgage together
  • Titles to joint property
  • Joint loan statements
  • Boarding passes and itineraries from trips taken together
  • Utility bills
  • Other correspondence to both of you
  • Photos together, especially with friends and family
  • Affidavits from people with first-hand knowledge of the relationship

For bank and other statements, you don’t need to provide one for every month since you met, but it is good to have a range of dates that show how long you have been together.

When you first get married, you may not have a lot of these items. USCIS understands that. When you get to the I-751 petition, however, the standard for evidence goes up.

Hint: If you don’t keep records as a matter of habit, it is a good idea to make a folder just for the bona fides. Every few months, throw in some old bills and letters to show you are living together. At the end of two years, you should have more than enough to prove that you have a real marriage to USCIS.

* preferably with status as “married”!

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