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California Green Card: How To Prove Your Relationship Is Real

Updated: Oct 7

Showing Poof Of Bona Fide Marriage For Getting A Green Card


One of the biggest concerns about getting a green card in California is the possibility of fraud. The most common way people defraud the process is by marrying someone solely to obtain citizenship or a green card.


Unfortunately, this means well-meaning couples need to prove their relationship is legitimate. So, what does it take to get a green card through marriage? What proof do you need to show?


Here's what our top immigration lawyers in Los Angeles have to say:


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Proving A Bona Fide Marriage In California

The U.S. government must be convinced of the validity of your marriage to proceed with the green card application procedure.


To do this, the spouse who is a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident must submit Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) along with proof of your relationship's validity.


The following documentation is needed by the authorities to demonstrate your relationship is genuine:

1. Proof of American Citizenship Or Legal Permanent Residency

First, the sponsoring spouse should prove that they are a permanent resident or a citizen of the U.S. This can be done through legal documents.

Examples of this include:

  • A birth certificate

  • A passport

  • A certificate of naturalization or citizenship

  • A Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)

  • A U.S. Permanent Resident Card (Aka Green Card)

2. Proof Of A Legally-Binding Union With A Foreign Spouse


Next, you need to show that you have married and that it was legally recognized. These are the documents you'll need as proof of such:

  • A copy of the marriage license

  • Evidence that both partners have legally ended any previous unions

To help you compile all the necessary documents for a marriage visa, consult with your prescreened Los Angeles immigration attorney.


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3. Proof Of Bona Fide Marriage


Remember, marriages aren't just sentimental milestones. They have financial, legal, and tax implications for both parties. Here are some ways to show proof of bona fide marriage:

  • Such as proof of joint ownership of property in writing

  • A lease indicating joint tenure of a shared home

  • Proof that your financial resources have been pooled with your spouse's

  • Birth records for any children you and your spouse have together

  • Affidavits from relatives and friends who have firsthand knowledge of your relationship's sincerity

  • Additional evidence to support the existence of a continuing marriage

In short, a marriage contract isn't always proof of a sincere union. Instead, you must show that you're committing to the marriage through finances, property, and relatives. Think of the abovementioned as a list of proof of relationship documents that will show you have no intent to defraud the system.

If you're having trouble looking for documents and affidavits as proof of bona fide marriage, consult a prescreened immigration attorney in Los Angeles. Experienced California immigration lawyers know that marriage-based green cards entail complicated processes and can help you through every step.

Will I Need To Prove My Bona Fide Marriage In An Immigration Interview?


One of the last steps to proving your marriage is through a USCIS marriage interview.

When USCIS mails the applicant a notification of the interview appointment, you will know when it is time for your interview. The appointment notice will be referred to as the I-797C Notice of Action, just like many other USCIS letters.


A few months into the I-485 time frame, they mail you the notice for your marriage-based adjustment of status interview. You'll have a few weeks to plan and book your journey (if necessary). Even though you sent your application to a USCIS lockbox location, an interview will be scheduled at the office closest to you. This can necessitate a lengthy trip and an overnight stay.


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Need the best immigration attorney in Los Angeles? 1000Attorneys can refer you to a prescreened Los Angeles immigration attorney who can handle your unique claim. Contact us through our 24/7 live chat (or complete our case details submission form) for a free initial consultation.

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