As a fiancé visa applicant, you’ll need to prove that you intend to marry a United States citizen whom you’ve met, in person, at least once in the past two years.
The law requires that you provide evidence of your relationship and plans to get married, but doesn’t specify exactly what may qualify as proof.
This leaves room for a variety of forms of evidence.
When you submit your fiancé visa application, you should also provide as much evidence of your marriage plans as possible.
This can range from wedding announcements to receipts for your venue or pictures of your engagement.
Because evidence of your relationship can be provided in a wide variety of forms, it’s best to cast a wide net and provide multiple different types of evidence.
Below, we’ll list some of the most common forms of evidence that the State Department accepts.
Photographs are some of the most important pieces of evidence you can provide since they guarantee that you’ve at least met your partner within the last two years, as required by law.
These photos should show both of your faces in good lighting, and providing context for the photo can only help your case.
For example, “we took this photo on our cruise vacation last spring.”
In this way, adding a time stamp with the date the photo was taken can significantly help your case.
Correspondence between you and your potential spouse is also a valid and important way to prove the validity of your relationship.
Communication happens in many ways, most of which can act as evidence for your fiancé visa application.
Emails and instant message conversations should be gathered and saved, including the dates and times of communication.
Telephone records can also be helpful as long as the phone service is able to provide an itemized bill or receipt showing the phone numbers that calls were made to and received from.
Proof of communication between you and your fiancé isn’t limited to just traditional communication methods.
Correspondence via Facebook and other social media sites may also serve as evidence of your relationship.
To use Facebook posts or other non-traditional online communication methods, you can take screenshots of specific conversations and interactions.
Proof that you have made, or are in the process of making, wedding plans are also an excellent addition to your application.
If you have a wedding date and you are in the process of arranging the ceremony, a wedding announcement and other documents associated with the ceremony would be great additions to your application package.
Whatever stage of the wedding planning process you find yourself at – whether it’s little more than casual conversation or full-blown reservations and announcements – it’s a good idea to include some kind of evidence with your application.
Essentially, the State Department sees the act of “putting your money on the line” as significant proof of a valid marriage.
For this reason, things like receipts for venue bookings or flower orders are strong pieces of evidence.
The State Department allows for a certain amount of flexibility when you’re trying to prove that your relationship is valid.
For this reason, there are many other ways to prove the validity of your relationship, such as written statements or travel documents.
You should provide a written statement which includes the dates you’ve met in person and a description of other evidence of your relationship.
This statement can be written by you or your fiancé regardless of who is applying for a visa.
If you’re not sure what to write in your fiancé visa statement, an immigration attorney can help you.
If you’ve traveled with your fiancé in the past, you could include a flight itinerary, hotel receipts, and copies of passports with identical stamps.
If you or your future spouse has been married before, then you’ll need to include proof that the previous marriage has been terminated.
Evidence for this could include a divorce decree, an annulment, or a death certificate.
If you’ve gone shopping or dined together, but paid with different cards, providing credit card statements or receipts which show expenses incurred at the same times and places will be helpful.
Essentially, anything that proves you’ve gone on dates together will also help your case.
Phone records, emails, letters, and other proof of correspondence are especially useful, but there are few limits on what kind of proof you may provide with your visa application.
Essentially, anything that proves you’ve been in contact will help your case.
Holiday cards, pictures of birthday presents, join loans or utility bills, driver’s licenses that have the same addresses, medical records, and many other types of evidence are all valid and should be included in your application.
Before applying for your visa, it’s important that you securely save all of the photos and documents you plan to include with your application.
It’s a good idea to make extra copies and back up files to an external hard drive or save them to cloud.
It’s not unheard of for computer files and memory cards to fail or go missing and this would be terribly unfortunate if evidence of your relationship is only in digital form.
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
When deciding what to use as evidence of your relationship you don’t need to provide every communication or correspondence you’ve had as a couple – that would be ridiculous.
The most important thing is being able to show patterns of contact using a variety of forms of evidence.
The State Department will want to see evidence of consistent and ongoing conversation, so choosing emails that show you regularly communicated with each other will be important.
If you’ve used several ways to communicate then proof of each of these forms of communication will be helpful in obtaining your visa.
Essentially, any documented proof of communication, interaction, or plans to get married will be helpful as part of an application for a fiancé visa.
When deciding what to include with your application, simply think of what evidence you have that shows how you and your fiancé communicate, spend time together, and plan to get married.
Finally, if you have any questions about the types of evidence you should provide, you should speak with an experienced immigration attorney before submitting your packet.