i-130 Visa: Evidence of a Bonafide Marriage.

Last Updated on September 21, 2023

One of the strangest things about the visa process, is that you have to PROVE you are in a real relationship.  Even though you know it’s real, when you send the package off to USCIS, you can’t help but wonder ‘what if they think it’s fake?’.  How can you prove that you love someone when it’s how you feel in your heart?  You have to get that feeling onto paper and in an official way.  

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Evidence of a Bonafide Marriage

The i130 visa application requires you to provide ‘Evidence of a Bonafide Marriage’.  Our pack has since been accepted, so what I included was obviously satisfactory and I also share with you a copy of my i-130 affidavit sample!  I’m not an immigration specialist, I’m just sharing my experience, please check against official websites in case of changes.

This (taken from the USCIS i-130 instruction form):

“Documentation showing joint ownership or property; or

A lease showing joint tenancy of a common residence; or

Documentation showing co-mingling of financial resources; or

Birth certificate(s) of child(ren) born to you, the petitioner, and your spouse together; or

Affidavits sworn to or affirmed by third parties having personal knowledge of the bona fides of the marital relationship. (Each affidavit must contain the full name and address, date and place of birth of the person making the affidavit, his or her relationship to the petitioner of beneficiary, if any, and complete information and details explaining how the person acquired his or her knowledge of your marriage); or

Any other relevant documentation to establish that there is an ongoing marital union.”

…scared me.  I thought it was going to be over before we’d even began.  We live in 2 separate countries…we’re after the visa so we can legally live together so we had no documents showing joint ownership of property, no joint tenancy, we don’t have joint bank accounts, we have no children together, we had to hope that the bottom 2 would be enough to carry us through.

Affidavits of Support

I drafted a template myself and got THREE people to fill it in (I repeat THREE, that seems to be the magic number).  We used 1) Jesse’s Sister…who was there when we met 2) My Mum…who I tell everything to and 3) Jesse’s best friend…who flew over to be Best Man at the wedding.  That way we hoped that by showing that a friend had flown 4000 miles to be at the wedding, it had to be real!

i-130 Affidavit Sample Letter Template

Here’s an exact sample affiidavit of a bona fide marriage letter for immigration.  Simply just fill in the upper case ‘brackets’ with your own details!



Date of Birth:

Place of Birth: 


To whom it may concern,

I, {NAME}, residing at {ADDRESS} solemnly state and affirm as hereunder:

•That I am a citizen of the {COUNTRY}, and hold a current {COUNTRY} passport.

•That I was born on {BIRTH DATE} in {PLACE OF BIRTH}

•That I am {AGE} years of age, continue to reside in {COUNTRY}, and am lawfully employed as {JOB TITLE}, by {COMPANY AND ADDRESS}

•That this affidavit is being submitted on behalf of the following persons in support of their respective I-130 Petition for Alien Relative:




•That this affidavit is being made by me for the purpose of assuring the US Government that the persons named in item IV have an ongoing true and loving relationship that was entered in good faith, and is not for the purpose of circumventing immigration laws.  They continue to demonstrate an ongoing sound, felicitous relationship and I have full confidence that their marriage will remain a lifetime commitment.

•That I acquired my knowledge of the relationship between the persons named in item IV in the following manner.


I swear under the pains and penalties of perjury that all of the information in this document is true and correct to the best of my own personal knowledge.

If you have any further questions or concerns, I am more than happy to be contacted on the details provided below.

Signed _________________________________ {FULL NAME}            Date ________________




We aimed to make it fit on just one standard page so it wasn’t a whole load of waffle.

“Affidavits sworn to or affirmed by third parties having personal knowledge of the bona fides of the marital relationship” …sounds VERY official, almost like you need to go and have it checked by some high up person or a judge or something.  I wrote the letter on my computer and then had our chosen people fill it in for me and sign it.  We didn’t do anything special and this was excepted in our case!

Downloadable PDF i-30 Affidavit sample:

Affidavit of Bona Fide Marriage Sample PDF

Other Relevant Documentation

This one took a while and ideally needs to be started as early as possible in the relationship.  I created a timeline that pretty much documented our relationship from day one.  Below are 2 sample pages of what our timeline looks like.

Example i-130 evidence

Things I included:

  • Scans of passport stamps – hopefully they are clear and show the date of entry and the airport code.  A passport is obviously a legal document.
  • Screen grabs of FaceTime chat logs – to show how often we’d actually video call each other.  I used the date list and included a few showing the length of some of the calls.
  • Photos of us together from EACH time we visited – normal ‘selfies’ that clearly showed our faces, it’s good to show backgrounds that could show different times through a year, such as: pictures where it could be winter (snow and jackets on), summer (shorts and t-shirt), worldwide destinations that obviously aren’t where you live, in front of flags/signs etc (we had visited the Tower of London during the temporary ceramic poppy display)
  • Anything that shows you have similar interests.  We included Go-Karting results, photos of us snorkelling etc.
  • Photos with each others family and friends. 10 of Jesse’s friends and family came over to the UK a week before the wedding and me and my family took them round to see the sights.  Everywhere we went we had a giant group shot in front of a land mark.  I believe this is something that gets looked at…they like both people in the relationship to have met each others family.
  • Facebook is your friend…every time you change a relationship status and people like/comment on it, take a screenshot, it showed that the people around you, support your relationship and are happy for you!  Included random status updates and evidence of the public messages you sent to each other.  Even better if they have the date on them too!
  • Photos of gifts that you sent/received from each other

I explained everything I included with a short sentence and organised it all in date order.  I am keeping this timeline update even after the i-130 has been accepted, I’ll take it with me when I have my interview at the London embassy just in case they ask for evidence.

Want to get all my visa tips and advice in one place?

Between England & Iowa: My Guide To The USA CR1 Spouse Visa Process & The Journey To A 10yr Green Card” guide book is available worldwide on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats!

I then had to include ANOTHER timeline when I applied to remove the 2 year conditions of my Green Card, but it wasn’t in as much detail as this.  It’s still worth keeping ‘evidence’ in your mind, even after you’ve moved to America!

Please remember, I am not an immigration professional, the advise is based on my experience.  This book was my lifeline…Fiancé and Marriage Visas: A Couple’s Guide to U.S. Immigration (Fiance and Marriage Visas)

You can find all of my USA Green Card application resources here: Our CR1 Spouse Visa Journey.  I tried to document as much of the process as possible and answer all the questions that I had while going through the application, so hopefully you’ll find them useful!

Kylie Signature

30 thoughts on “i-130 Visa: Evidence of a Bonafide Marriage.

  1. Hi Kylie,

    My name is Nisa and I came across your blog post when I was doing my research for evidence of bonafide relationship. I am from Singapore and just got married about 2 weeks ago. My husband and I will be submitting our application very soon and I have a couple of questions to ask.

    a. For the passport stamps, do you only include the stamps from your passport or from both you and your husband?
    b. Is it compulsory to include the letter for affidavit of bonafide marriage?
    c. Lastly, am I allowed to travel to US while waiting for I-130 to be processed?

    Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Nisa! Congratulations!
      a) I included both sets of passport stamps where I could…you don’t HAVE to do this but I scanned them as they are solid evidence of the dates we entered countries.
      b) It depends, if I remember correctly you needed to pick 3 things to submit for evidence off the list they give. As we had never lived together we had no evidence for things like home bills with both of our names on so we had no choice but to use the letters as one of our 3. I just found a template online and asked 3 people to fill it in for me.
      c) I read online that it can be touch and go as to whether or not you get problems at the USA border. I know people that DID visit the US while their I-130 was being processed but I decided not to take the risk so we met up in Mexico instead.
      Hope this helps!

      1. Hey Kylie, thank you so much for your respond.

        a) We decided not to include the passport stamps as my husband’s old passport is back in US. We figured it would be strange to include just mine. But we do have alot of photos (28 pages in total!) and evidence of traveling together such as boarding pass, receipts, etc.

        b) Just like you, we do not have bills to both our names, shared property etc since we both lived in a different country and we did not include any letters either. If required, we will get our relatives to help us fill up the form that you have kindly shared on your blog.

        c) I planned to visit him in March (hopefully) since he’s leaving back to US on the 19th Dec. It’s really hard coz we’ve been married for last than a month and we have to endure not seeing each other.

        Thank you so much for your help once again!

      2. No problem! Sounds good, that should be fine, they just like to see that you’ve made the effort to meet in person a few times! I completely understand, we only had 1 week together after we got married before he had to go back to the US! There’s a feeling slow feeling part of the visa and then suddenly once it gets accepted time just seems to fly by SO quickly!

      3. Thanks Kylie! You’ve been so helpful and kind to share your experiences. I feel so much better knowing that I’m not in this alone. I am so anxious but I agree that time will fly by quickly. Thank you!

  2. Thank you so much for your blog! My husband (USA) and I (HK) are getting our application ready and got stuck on the same issue! Your blog entry is such a lifesaver!

    Btw, have you gotten your visa yet?

    1. No problem! Glad I could help! Yes, I actually moved to the States in August (and today I arrived back in the uk for a visit)! It took around 10 months in total. If you have any questions free feel to ask and I’ll try and help if you get stuck 🙂

  3. Hi Kylie! Quick question: How many of the montage-relationship pages did you provide? (3, 5, 10?)

    I’m putting together my wife’s petition now. (We got married in the Bahamas) She’s AUS and I’m US. Her parents flew FROM AUS to the Bahamas for our tiny/quick wedding. CRAZY (But awesome).

    Anyway, thanks for the info on your page. Very helpful! Hopefully you can help more people struggling through this agonizing process!! 🙂


    1. Hi Shaun! Congratulations! It was about 7 pages altogether! As you can see from my example, a lot of the page was mainly taken up with photos but with a short description! They like to know that your 2 families have met, each time you’ve seen each other etc etc! Good luck!

  4. Kylie,

    Thanks for the informative post.

    I am from Iowa, United States (U.S Citizen Petitioner), and currently awaiting approval notice form USCIS. It has been more than 5 months now; and my petition has been sent to Nebraska as well. Would you kindly help list out the things to send NVC when the USCIS approval notice comes in? I also realize that I have to wait till the NVC letter to come in before I send any documents. I want to be prepared and start working on the documents so that I can send them in ASAP and minimize the wait time away from my wife.

    Based on your guidance, I am hoping to work on my NVC packet and avoid rookie mistakes as well as the Request for Evidence or missing documents scenario; which can eat away time.

    Any and every bit helps.

    Thank You.

    1. Hi! I’ll have to look back at my records to double check what I had sent off, please bare in mind that every case is different so there may be different things needed! I know for sure it was 6 months of pay slips and 3 years worth of US tax returns! I will be back in contact at some point before the weekend!

    2. Hi again! I looked back and I included: a cover letter, we used the i864EZ form so included a printed version of that, a photocopy of the most recent W2 and tax return, the last 3 tax transcripts ordered from the IRS, proof of sponsors employment in the form of a letter stating how long worked for the company…hourly rate, weekly hours, what the job involves and copies of the last 6 months of pay slips! I believe there was also a ‘cover sheet’ that was sent from the NVC that we had to include too…this would all be mentioned in the next letter you receive though! I will write a full blog post about it in the next week or so but this will give you an idea!

      1. The list of items to include helps assure me that I am not going to send an underwhelming packet. Thanks a Ton Kylie.

      2. The NVC part seems so much easier than the original i130 pack! It literally just wants proof of the sponsors earnings and that you’re actually in employment! No problem at all, happy to help!

    3. Hi Sharmelan – did you hear back from the USCIS? If so, how long did it take to get your I-130 approved? I am hearing that it’s nowadays taking longer than 6 months, so I just wanted to get your opinion.

      Kylie – do you have a sense for recent timelines for I-130 approval? I have the same situation, US petitioner, UK spouse.

      1. Hey, unfortunately I don’t know the recently timelines…thankfully I only had to go through it the once! I heard that the K1 visas were slowing down/becoming harder but I’ve not heard anything about the I-130. How long have you waited at the moment?

      2. Newbie,

        No. I still have not heard back from USCIS and my case is one of the very few unfortunate to be stuck on “Case is Received” Status.

        What is your Priority Date?

        6 months seems lucky at this point(?). I am already pushing 8 months now. But don’t be discouraged by this. (90-95% of i130 cases around my timeline has been approved already / based on USCIS App (Unofficial). Some countries are getting express attention. Philippines is one that I can see getting approved in a matter of 1-3 months. Some Aussies are getting the fast track too. Not sure what qualifies them to be expedited as i am not well versed in these topics.

        I do not want to be the bearer of the bad news, but the next step known as NVC / Department of State is now facing delays as well. At the time I started it was 2 months or so, and now it is pushing close to 3 months for you to get looked at. Again, there maybe certain unknown factors that can change your timeline. Once USCIS approves you, expect another 3-4 months for NVC and +1 for Interview.

        To summarize: Priority Date isn’t everything. Your spouse/relative’s location and certain other unknown factors determine how fast or slow you get picked up and processed.

      3. Oh dear! I was following the timeline during my process and mine came through quicker than what the expectation was! It really does seem to be completely random!

  5. Kylie,

    Did your husband had to file tax returns in the USA with your information, using ITIN while you still didn’t have a Status in the United States? Another logistical nightmare to battle. I am reading forums that says that one married, regardless of where in the world there spouse is, and should file for them as “Married and Filing Jointly” with the use of a ITIN (Tax ID number). If else, at the time of case review / Nvc / Interview this may prove to be a trouble leading the reviewer to suspect the marriage. How true is this; or whats your take on this?

    Please hep with any info you may have.

    1. Hi Sam! This was actually going to be another post that I never got round to writing! I was still living in the UK and married when he needed to file his tax return. He filed as married filing SEPARATELY and then in the section about his partner (me), under the ITIN number you write in NRA (which stands for Non Resident Alien)…this shows that you aren’t living in the US and therefore don’t need to file taxes. The tax return went through fine. We were also able to then use this for the NVC pack…it showed that he filed as married but we were living apart. We had no problem 🙂 Filing separately just meant that he didn’t get the marriage tax relief but it saved the headache of needing an ITIN! Any other questions, I’m happy to help!

  6. Hey Kylie! Did your affidavits go through an attorney, or were they notarized? So many sites online say it can be an issue if they’re not done by an attorney (but of course it’s attorney’s saying that…..). Your format definitely reflects the others that I’ve seen, I’m just hoping a signature is sufficient!

    1. Hi Rebecca! Nope, I done them on my home computer and everyone just typed it up, signed it and I stuck it in the pack to send off! This worked in my case! I had all the contact details of the affidavits on there and they wrote please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions…just so they knew they were willing to give further evidence! Good luck!

      1. Great. thanks for the response! it’s such a stressful process, it’s great to have feedback from someone who’s been through it! 🙂

  7. Hi Kylie!!! Your blog has so much great information! My fiancée is from Nottingham and I’m from Boston. We are planning to get married in Notts in the spring and will start the US spousal visa process thereafter which I know is lengthy. I understand I need a UK marriage visitor visa. Did your husband enter the UK after you’d been married to visit you while you waited for the US spousal visa to be approved? Did he have any issues since I’m assuming the UK border control knew he’d last come into the country to marry you.

    1. Hi Melissa! Thanks! He entered in on a marriage visitor visa when we got married but didn’t while the visa was going through (we ended up meeting in Mexico. As far as I know it’s better for you to go visit the UK rather than him entering the US during the process. My husband has been back to England since I came here though and he’s never had a problem getting back into the UK even with the visa in his passport!

  8. Hi Kylie,

    Can I know if you submitted copy or the original signed Affidavit of Bona Fide Marriage to USCIS? Thanks!
    Also the timeline you did was excellent. May I know if you use actual photographs pinned/glued to paper, or you printed the pics on paper with color?

    1. Hi! All of the Affidavits were original and signed, I got them to write them on my home computer and got them printed and signed there and then so just sent the originals off! So for that reason I’m not sure if copies would be accepted as I don’t know from experience! And thank you! Again the timeline I made on the computer and printed. I would image that glue or even just sending the photo with something written on the back would be fine in that case!

      1. Thanks Kylie, that was useful. When you submitted the i-130 paperwork, did you staple or paper clip each individual i-130 sheets (12 of them)? What about the timeline? You used binder clips? I’m trying to ascertain the correct way…

      2. I believe the only thing I ‘attached’ was the photo (in a little bag) to the correct application form with a paperclip. The rest I just had loose. I did write on the covering letter the order that the forms were in though!

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