Proving a Bona Fide Marriage in Michigan on an I-751 Petition
May 5, 2023
In Michigan, a marriage must be in good faith and without the intention of evading immigration rules or gaining benefits from immigration. It must not be a marriage of convenience or deceit, but one founded on love, mutual commitment, and a shared life.
For couples seeking immigration advantages based on their marriage, it is critical to demonstrate a real wedding in Michigan. The marriage must be honest and not a forgery or fake for U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to sponsor their foreign spouses for a green card or other immigration benefits. Couples must show that their union is genuine and was not formed primarily for immigration-related reasons.
More than a marriage certificate, it is required to establish the validity of their marriage. They will have a stronger case to make to the immigration officers if they can demonstrate the continuity of their relationship.
Some documents are more persuasive than others in the eyes of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Here are the pieces of evidence that need to prepare to prove marriage:
Evidence That You Are Married
Married couples must reside together, according to USCIS. Cohabitation is the term for living together. These are some documents that include the names of both spouses that can attest to their cohabitation:
Lease agreements or mortgage documents attesting to joint ownership of your community residence and joint occupancy.
Electricity bills or other statements featuring the names of both spouses.
Copy of the following documents that list both spouses' addresses as the same.
Statements for credit cards
These documents' original copies with the same address for both spouses are:
Letters from acquaintances, relatives, or employers
The USCIS inspector may be suspicious of your marriage if you and your spouse do not live together, which may raise a red flag. You'll need to provide a convincing justification for why you live apart. You ought to be able to complete the green card application procedure if you are honest about your living arrangement and offer substitute documentation of a legal marriage. You can also ask an immigration lawyer for legal counsel regarding your circumstance.
Use a license, certificate, or record with a certified copy as proof. The record of any license to marry, or marriage certificate, in any county clerk's office, or a certified copy thereof, shall be prima facie evidence in any court or proceedings in this state, with the same force and effect as if the original were produced, both concerning the facts therein contained and as to the Michigan Compiled Laws Complete Through PA 10 of 2023. (551.2)
Evidence That You Are Parents Together
Evidence that you and your spouse are raising children together is among the most compelling. These kids may be the result of your most recent or previous marriage. You can submit the following documents:
Children's birth certificates, if they are from a prior marriage, must include the names of both parents.
Certificates of Adoption
Records from the stepparent's children's schools or doctors indicating that they are the stepchildren's emergency contact.
Copies of the original note from a doctor stating that you are currently undergoing fertility treatments or pregnancy.
Photos of the family taken on vacation or at other times show spouses with their biological or stepchildren.
Evidence of Your Combined Finances
Papers demonstrating that you and your spouse have pooled your financial assets and responsibilities are an excellent approach to proving that you are not committing marriage fraud. You can submit copies of the following papers to USCIS:
Statements of joint accounts in the names of both partners
Co-owned property titles or deeds, such as those for real estate or cars
Mortgage or loan paperwork demonstrating shared financial responsibility.
Statements from joint credit cards that list both spouses as account holders or authorized users
Common insurance policies that demonstrate coverage for both couples under one plan or policy, such as a house or health insurance
Each of your life insurance plans names the other as the principal beneficiary.
Joint tax returns for income
Other Supportive Evidence
Also, USCIS officials want to establish that your marriage is sincere. Documents like these might be of use to demonstrate that you and your spouse spend a lot of time conversing and engaging in activities together:
Travel plans for family trips you've taken, especially to the spouse's country of origin if they're foreign citizens.
Recorded conversations between you and your spouse on your phone or in texts.
Photos of weddings
Pictures from occasions throughout your relationship and significant life events
Correspondence, including letters, emails, and cards.
Receipts that list one spouse as the payer and the other as the recipient
Comparing stronger and weaker evidence
Some documents are more convincing than others in USCIS' eyes as evidence of a genuine relationship. For guidance, consider the following instances of more potent and weaker evidence, ranked:
Solid proof includes shared bank accounts, life insurance policies, wills, joint leases, and utility bills.
Medium evidence: shared trip plans, divided utilities, texts, and phone logs
Weaker proof includes cards, affidavits from friends and relatives, schedules for single trips, and show tickets.
Assistance is available to prove a "bona fide" marriage. If you want to know more about this, follow @atlawgroup for more help on immigration and anything law. Remember, if it's law, it's ATLAW.