Do You Need an Affidavit of Bona Fide Marriage? - Frear Law

THE AFFIDAVIT OF BONA FIDE MARRIAGE

The Affidavit of bona fide marriage is a helpful piece of evidence that can be submitted with your marriage based green card application. Although they not required, the affidavits can add life to your application and demonstrate that your marriage is not a sham.

Do You Need an Affidavit of Bona Fide Marriage?

No. But, I have submitted these  with every application I have filed.

Here is why…

bona fide marriage affidavits make the adjudicator's life easier

Reason #1: Affidavits make the adjudicator’s life better.

Put yourself in the shoes of a USCIS adjudicator. Imagine sifting through hundreds of immigration applications every week. Most of these applications will be fairly boring. For this reason, it is helpful to add a bit of color(figuratively speaking) to your application package. It just makes the adjudicator’s job more pleasant, which(hopefully) will result in good will being returned to you.

Reason #2: They show that your marriage is not a sham.

Here is a sad reality… Immigration fraud happens regularly. 
 
As a result of these unfortunate shenanigans, USCIS officers are on high alert for phony marriages.
 
This isn’t a bad thing.
 
However, it does mean that you benefit from evidence that shows the true nature of your marriage. To prove that you and your spouse intend to spend your lives together, it is helpful to present statements that offer a glimpse into your day to day life.
 
Who should write such statements?
 
 I do not ask my clients to write a bona fide marriage affidavit for themselves. They tend to come across as cheesy and self-serving.
 
It is much better to let someone else brag about your relationship. When details about your relationship are offered by other people, the USCIS officer is much less likely to roll their eyes—and more likely to be touched by the content.
affidavits of bona fide marriage...who really needs them?

OK…who really needs to submit affidavits of a bona fide marriage?

Some immigration lawyers will not submit affidavits for many of their clients.

Although I like to submit the affidavits, I am not saying that they are wrong.

Indeed, in some situations, affidavits could negatively affect the application. 

For example, if you do not have strong evidence showing that your relationship is legit—and you cannot round up a few people who have nice things to say about it—you are better off omitting bona fide marriage affidavits. Instead, focus on gathering other persuasive evidence.

On the other hand, if you don’t have other strong evidence(such as shared financials, photos, etc.), then the affidavits give you the opportunity to strengthen your application.

How many should you submit?

As with almost everything in life—you want to focus on quality over quantity.

Could you ask every person who knows you and your spouse to write an affidavit— even if they don’t have anything insightful to say?

Sure, but you should not do this.

Overloading the adjudicator with average affidavits could cause them to overlook the ones that truly shine. For this reason you should ask only people who know a lot about your relationship.  These people can offer a glimpse into the special bond that you and your spouse share. 

Conclusion

In my view, most marriage based green card applicants will benefit from insightful affidavits of bona fide marriage. Submitting such affidavits are especially important for those who do not have other positive evidence that proves that the marriage is not a sham.

Determining the strength of your case is best accomplished by reaching out to one of the many knowledgable and passionate US immigration lawyers.

If you have any questions or comments, you can contact me at ben@frearlaw.com.

Thanks for your time and good luck on your immigration journey!

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Benjamin Frear, Esq.

Immigration Lawyer For Married Couples | Practicing US Immigration Law Across The Globe