For Iranian citizens seeking a marriage-based green card in the United States, proving the legitimacy of the marriage is a crucial step in the application process. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires substantial evidence that the marriage is genuine, or "bona fide," and not entered into solely for immigration purposes. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide detailed information on how Iranian green card applicants can gather and present essential evidence to establish a bona fide marriage.
Understand the Importance of Bona Fide Marriage
First and foremost, it is essential to understand why proving a bona fide marriage is so important. A marriage-based green card allows a foreign spouse to become a lawful permanent resident of the United States, granting them the right to live and work in the country indefinitely. The USCIS is committed to preventing fraud and ensuring that only genuine marriages are granted these benefits. Therefore, applicants must provide convincing evidence that their marriage is legitimate and not solely for immigration purposes.
Documentation to Prove a Bona Fide Marriage
There are several categories of evidence that USCIS considers when determining the legitimacy of a marriage. The more documentation an applicant can provide from each category, the stronger their case will be. Iranian green card applicants should gather as many documents as possible from the following categories:
a. Legal Documents
Legal documents are an essential part of demonstrating a bona fide marriage. These documents help establish the legality of the marriage and can include:
b. Personal Documents
Personal documents provide a glimpse into the couple's life together and can help establish the authenticity of their relationship. These documents may include:
c. Affidavits from Friends and Family
Affidavits are sworn statements from individuals who can attest to the legitimacy of the couple's relationship. Friends and family members can provide written statements describing their personal knowledge of the couple's relationship, detailing events or experiences demonstrating the marriage's authenticity. These affidavits must include the full name, address, and contact information of the person providing the statement and a clear indication of how they know the couple.
If the couple has children together, this can be a strong indicator of a bona fide marriage. Birth certificates and photos of the couple with their children can help establish the relationship's legitimacy.
Preparing for the Green Card Interview
In addition to submitting the required documentation, Iranian green card applicants should also be prepared for the green card interview. A USCIS officer conducts this interview and provides an opportunity for the couple to further demonstrate the legitimacy of their marriage. Here are some tips for preparing for the interview:
Seek Professional Assistance
Navigating the green card application process can be challenging, particularly for Iranian applicants, who may face additional scrutiny due to their nationality. It's essential to seek professional assistance from an experienced immigration attorney who understands Iranian applicants' unique challenges. An attorney can help gather the necessary documentation, prepare for the interview, and guide the applicant through the entire process.
Proving a bona fide marriage for Iranian green card applicants requires substantial evidence demonstrating the couple's commitment to each other and their life together. By gathering documentation from various categories, preparing for the green card interview, and seeking professional assistance, applicants can increase their chances of successfully establishing a bona fide marriage and securing a marriage-based green card. Remember, the key to success is providing consistent, honest, and comprehensive evidence of a genuine, loving relationship.
--Najmeh Mahmoudjafari, Esq.
Najmeh is the Founder and Lead Immigration Attorney at ImmigraTrust Law (www.ImmigraTrust.com), an immigration law practice in Orange County, California, representing individual and corporate clients in all 50 U.S. States and internationally. Najmeh can be reached at Najmeh@ImmigraTrust.com.
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DISCLAIMER: This article is for general information purposes only. It is not intended and does not constitute legal advice. This article does not create an attorney/client relationship and does not provide an attorney/client privilege. For legal advice about your specific case, please contact an attorney.
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