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Long Island Immigration Law
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I-130, Petition for Alien Relative (Green Card Through Marriage)

A common way people receive permanent residency status is by way of marriage to a U.S citizen. In order to obtain this status the citizen spouse must file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, along with evidence of the marriage to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The couple must prove that their marriage is real and that they intend to stay together forever. While the marriage certificate is one document that proves you are married, it does not prove that you are actually living together and acting as a married couple. For this reason, it is important to provide further documentation that would prove you are living together and plan to remain together. Some documents that may help substantiate the existence of a marriage include: 

Joint Ownership
• Lease agreements or mortgages in both spouses’ names
• Copies of gas, electric, and other utility bills 
• Vehicle registrations that show joint ownership or addresses
• Letters from friends and family speaking to your relationship or that were addressed to both spouses at one address

Combined Finances
• Statements that show joint checking, savings, or investment accounts
• Evidence that one spouse is the beneficiary on the other’s retirement account
• Joint income tax returns
• Wills or trusts that name both spouses

Proving Relationship
• Evidence of wedding such as invitations, wedding sign-in book, religious certificate
• Birth certificates of children born into relationship
• Photographs from before, during, and after the wedding

It can be difficult to provide evidence of a functional and loving marriage, and the process can place a couple under great scrutiny by the U.S. government. It is important to have an experienced immigration attorney by your side to guide you through the filing process and protect you and your spouse’s rights throughout it. The Long Island lawyers at Larry McCord and Associates are knowledgeable in immigration law and have helped clients receive Green Cards. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, please call (631) 643-3084.

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