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Tip of the Week #7

For our Tip of the Week, we’re going to share several ways to show the USCIS that you have a bonafide relationship. This is so that when you apply for a fiancee visa or some type of marriage-based immigration benefit, your evidence will be enough to get you the approval you want.

Let’s say you are applying for a fiancé visa. Your fiancé is not in the US. You have physically met, within the last two years (remember that is one of the requirements even with COVID), and you are planning on getting married.

You file an I-129F so that they can get permission to come to the US and within 90 days of their arrival, you get married. That means they can stay here, as your spouse, while they get their green card.

On the other hand, maybe you and your spouse already got married and now they want to get a green card.

What is the primary reason these applications are denied?

The applicant didn’t prove they had a bonafide relationship.

Don’t forget, USCIS workers operate with the assumption that the relationship you say you have is not a valid relationship. They start with the premise that every relationship was entered into only to get legal status in the US.

Your job (or your attorney’s if you hire one) is to prove that it is a real relationship. So, you must make sure you have as much proof as possible.

What kind of evidence can you show?

One way to do that is to take lots of photos together. 

You probably think that this is a given. However, we have seen people who met several times, but were so excited to be together that they didn’t take many pictures. In one instance, they had taken none. Therefore, they were told that immigration didn’t believe they had a bonafide relationship.

You might think, that would be easy to fix. But with COVID, travel restrictions, and the cost of travel, it isn’t always easy. So don’t forget to take pictures together. Take it in several places, and have other people take them for you so you can take pictures together where you and your partner look like you are enjoying being together and you want to be together.

In addition, please don’t photoshop them. We have seen people do this, and USCIS rejected their application after finding out.

You should also keep a record of all your interactions. You can provide records of your Zoom or WhatsApp conversations to USCIS, along with records of your phone calls. When you travel to see each other, keep receipts and notes about that in addition to the photos. 

You should also have people who provide affidavits about your relationship. If you are living together, have a bank account and bills together, and provide copies showing that to USCIS.

All of that can be proof of a bonafide relationship.

If you have any public social media channels, try your best to be seen together and talk about each other. Make sure that everyone knows you are in a relationship and they can see you have a strong, solid relationship. 

As always, don’t hesitate to contact us at Andres Mejer Law if you have any questions or concerns regarding your immigration journey.