Written by attorney Joshoa Emmanuel Sutton

How to Prove Your Marriage Is Real

When a citizen of another country marries a U.S. citizen, they immediately become eligible for a two-year “Conditional Green Card." The condition the government places on the green card is that the card can be revoked if the government believes that the marriage was not real.

At the end of the two years, the couple will have to provide evidence that their marriage was real in order for the spouse to keep their permanent resident status. Below is a list of evidence that the government typically relies on to determine that a marriage is real:

  • A copy of your marriage license;
  • Joint ownership of property;
  • A lease with both spouses’ names on it;
  • Joint bank account statements;
  • Birth certificates of your children;
  • Sworn statements from other people who can confirm that you two have been living as a married couple;
  • Copies of utility bills with both spouses’ names, or other documents that prove both spouses lived at the same address;
  • Copies of all health, life, dental, vision, and car insurance policies listing both spouses as beneficiaries;
  • Copies of any documents proving you have a marital, or romantic relationship (pictures, letters, e-mails, text messages, etc.).

Remember, you do not have to provide every item on this list, and you might possess other evidence that helps prove that your marriage is real. But you should submit multiple pieces of evidence to have the best chance of success.

As I tell all my newly married clients, the government will be looking to see if you do the things that newly married people typically do: live together, take pictures together, talk or text on the phone daily, and share your marital expenses. Therefore, throughout the two-year period of your conditional residency, make a copy of everything you think will help prove that your marriage is real; keep all the evidence in a folder so that it’s easy to access at the end of the two-year period.

Do You Need to Hire An Immigration Attorney?

While it is not mandatory for you to hire an immigration attorney to help you with your green card applications, it might be the best option for you. Proving your marriage is real can be a complex process with lasting consequences for your family. The immigration attorneys at Sutton & Associates are trained to examine the type, quality, and totality of your marriage evidence to make a reasonable judgment about whether your petition will be approved. If your evidence is lacking in a particular area, or you are just unable to provide certain documents, we will help you identify other evidence you can submit. Call us at (786) 908-8612, or e-mail us at [email protected] so that we can help you submit the best application possible.

Additional resources provided by the author

To hire an immigration attorney, click: For a copy of form I-751 "Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence," click:

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