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What is a Bona Fide Marriage in Immigration?

what is a bona fide marriage in immigration

An adjustment of status application because of marriage requires that you prove your marriage is real and not for the purposes of getting a green card. This is the requirement to prove a bona fide marriage in immigration.

USCIS wants proof that you’re not just married to get a green card – that you’re actually married. This can require a lot of documents and is generally one of the most difficult parts about an adjustment of status application.

If you have been married for more than two years, you may not need as much evidence.

What Evidence Do I Need to Show Bona Fide Marriage in Immigration?

With your adjustment of status application, you should send proof of your bona fide marriage. USCIS is generally looking for proof that you live together and commingle funds.

This can include some of the following documents:

  • Apartment Lease with Both Spouses Listed
  • Bank Statement with Both Spouses Listed
  • Affidavits from People Familiar with Your Relationship
  • Health Insurance, Life Insurance, or Car Insurance with Both Spouses Listed
  • Pictures of You Together Over a Period of Time

This isn’t an exhaustive list, and you should consult with an immigration attorney before trying to do your own immigration paperwork.

At your adjustment of status interview, USCIS officers could separate you and your spouse and ask you about details of your relationship as well.  This includes details of where you met and other details of your relationship.

What Happens if I Do Not Prove a Bona Fide Marriage in Immigration?

If you do not demonstrate that your marriage is bona fide, your immigration petition could be denied.  You could also be put in removal proceedings and be barred from entering the United States.  This is why it is critical to submit the proper paperwork the first time.


If you’re applying for adjustment of status, proving a bona fide marriage is one of the most important aspects. I handle immigration cases, including adjustment of status, in Massachusetts. Call me today at (617) 295-7500, and let’s get started.


Although I am an attorney, I am not your attorney.  Please do not rely on anything on this page as legal advice because any specific advice would depend on your situation.  Any results posted on this page are not guarantees of outcomes in your case.

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