If you submit Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of a spouse, you must prove that you have a genuine, trusted marriage. This can be a challenge for a couple who did not have time to join a financial account or have no children. This model of Affidavit I-130 may serve as evidence in lieu of other documents.
I-130 Spouse's request
US citizens or legitimate permanent residents wishing to apply for a green card with a spouse have an additional burden. They have to prove that they have a "real" marriage. A mock marriage is when at least one of the parties to a marriage has entered into a marriage to circumvent the immigration laws and mistakenly receive a green card (or other immigration benefits). These "wrong" marriages can result in harsh penalties, including heavy fines and jail sentences. As a result, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is taking additional measures to ensure that these marriages are genuine, genuine marriages. The burden of proof lies with the couple to provide the true proof of the marriage.
Proof of a good marriage
Your evidence of proof of a good marriage to the I-130 petition should ideally include documents proving that you have combined your life, especially financially. It is not easy to present a marriage certificate. USCIS instructions for Form I-130 require you to submit one or more of the following types of records to prove a true marriage:
- Documentation of co-ownership of property;
- A lease that shows that you have a common residence, ie you live together at the same address.
- Documentation showing that you and your spouse have combined your financial resources; or
- Birth certificates of children born to you and your spouse.
But what if you just got married? Or have you not lived together in the same country yet? It can be very difficult to provide the documentation described above.
RECOMMENDED: The best evidence of a good faith marriage in support of a spouse's I-130 petition
Purpose of Affidavit I-130
For many new couples, they had no time to fold bank accounts or have children. In addition, many couples are separated by the distance. They can live together only if the spouse can immigrate to the USA. So you do not even have a common residence. In these cases, it would be beneficial to have a secondary form of evidence called an affidavit. The affidavit of I-130 is merely a legal statement from a third party describing your relationship.
Affidavit I-130 is an opportunity for third parties to witness the fidelity of marriage. In this way, people who know your relationship first-hand can share their stories.
Who can write an Affidavit I-130?
Affidavit I-130 may be written by any third party familiar with your marriage. The person who writes an Affidavit I-130 is an affective person. The Affiant can be a friend, a family member, or a religious leader.
It is not necessary for the author to be a US citizen or live in the USA. But remember, he or she should be a close confidant familiar with the couple's coexistence. The writer should be very familiar with the couple.
How do I write an Affidavit I-130
Affidavit I-130 is the writer's opportunity to witness his / her personal experiences with the couple and to share observations that have led to the conclusion that the couple has a true marriage.
USCIS seeks a factual testimony that explains the details of the observed relationship. They want to know how the witness knows the couple and what the witness has seen, confirming the claim to a good marriage.
The Affiant swears by the truth of the affidavit. If you send affidavits to USCIS, we recommend that you enter the letter. Each affidavit of I-130 should cover the following basic points:
- Full name and address of trust
- date and place of birth
- Relatives with I-130 petitioner and spouse
- A report on your relationship that explains:
- How you met the couple
- Timeframe You knew the couple
- Give a sense of frequency (ie often socialize)
- Details explaining how the person gained this knowledge (ie friends)
- Date and signature
Remember, the affidavit of I-130 supports evidence that the couple has a good marriage. Therefore, ideally, the affiant should provide a brief account of why he or she believes that this is true. The Affiant can use a story that shows the couple's mutual engagement, the hard work the couple put into the immigration process, or how the couple interacts.
Affidavit I-130 does not have to be notarised but should contain a sworn statement. For example, you can add: "I swear under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief."
CitizenPath has prepared an affidavit example of I-130 that you may be forwarding to friends or family members who are ready to write a support letter. The downloadable PDF file contains a list of basic points that the author should address in the letter and the I-130 example of an affidavit.
For example, use Affidavit I-130. Remember that each letter is unique and should contain elements that are personal to your story. The affiant should be honest and use anecdotes to prove why he or she has come to the conclusion that the couple has a real marriage.
Although this is not required in most cases, the affiant should understand that he may need to tell an immigration officer what information is contained in the affidavit. Download the affidavit example for I-130 >>
After the immigration
If your marriage is younger than two years, the foreign spouse will most likely receive a conditional green card. After a period of two years as a conditionally resident couple, the couple must submit Form I-751 to cancel the conditions of stay. Following the approval of I-751 petition, the spouse with a migration background will receive a 10-year green card.
When filing Form I-751, USCIS again demands that the couple prove a good faith marriage. It becomes even more important to present combined bank accounts, insurance, tax returns and other documents. Plan now.
RECOMMENDED: 33 great documents proving a good marriage on an I-751 petition
CitizenPath provides a simple, inexpensive and step-by-step guide to USCIS immigration applications. Individuals, lawyers, and nonprofits use the service on desktop or mobile devices to accurately create immigration forms and avoid costly delays. With CitizenPath, users can test the service for free and receive a 100% money-back guarantee that USCIS accepts the application or petition. We support the Petition for Foreign Relatives (Form I-130), the Petition for Cancellation of Residence Conditions (Form I-751), the Citizenship Application (Form N-400), and various other popular USCIS forms.
Note to reader: This post was originally published on July 11, 2017 and has been modified with improvements.
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