i-130 Visa: Evidence of a Bonafide Marriage.

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.  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.  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!


AFFIDAVIT OF BONA FIDE MARRIAGE

Name:

Date of Birth:

Place of Birth: 

Citizenship:

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:

PETITIONER: {AMERICAN CITIZEN NAME} {ADDRESS}

BENEFICIARY: {ALIEN SPOUSE} {ADDRESS}

•{RELATIONSHIP TO EITHER OF THE COUPLE, HOW LONG THEY HAVE KNOW THEM, DATE OF WHEN THEY MET ‘THE OTHER HALF’ IF APPLICABLE}

•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.

{PARAGRAPH ABOUT THEIR VIEW ON THE RELATIONSHIP}

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 ________________

Email:

Cell:

Address:


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

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.
  • 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.

To be honest, I can’t wait until I can relax and not have to be constantly proving that my marriage is real!

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)

Kylie Signature

USA i-130 Evidence of a Bonafide Marriage

*Please note* The above link is an affiliate link, which means I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking.  It comes at no extra cost to you but it helps me with the running of this site!  As always, opinions are my own.

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18 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!

    Like

    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!

      Like

      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!

        Like

      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!

        Like

      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!

        Like

  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?

    Like

    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 🙂

      Like

  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!! 🙂

    ~Shaun

    Like

    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!

      Like

  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.

    Like

    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!

      Like

    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!

      Like

      1. 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!

        Like

  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.

    Like

    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!

      Like

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