Would living together help our green card application? 15 Answers as of September 06, 2011

I am a US citizen and my fiance is on a student visa. We plan to get married soon and for her to apply for a green card and immigrate to the United States, right after marriage. We are together on weekends, holidays, and we have a joint bank account, credit card account, we are also paying jointly the lease on my apartment. The problem is, since my apartment is 70 mi away from her work at the university, she finds it much easier to rent a room close to her work/school and sleep at a nearby room for rent 4 days a week, and just live with me in our apartment during the weekends. Would this be a cause of concern for proving that we are living together, and would renting out an apartment close to her workplace and jointly signing the lease, help out?

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Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC
Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Reza Athari
Living together is obviously very important for the CIS officers. But in real life, for different reasons, just like yourself, it makes sense. As long as it makes sense, CIS officer may approve the case. Be aware that this might also be considered as a red flag and initiate investigations.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 9/6/2011
All American Immigration
All American Immigration | Tom Youngjohn
Play it safe, this is your future life together you are gambling with after all. Split the difference and get an apartment halfway in between. I'm sure you'll have some immigration attorneys say, okay. In a different day, I'd say the same. But we are talking today aren't we? But of course it's sometimes smart to get a second opinion.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/29/2011
Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal
Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal | Alexander Segal
Typically, when a petitioner and his spouse do not live together, it triggers increased scrutiny of the case. This does not mean the case will be denied, it just means that you must be able to submit additional evidence to demonstrate your marriage is bona fide. It also means that you may have a more thorough interview with USCIS. In New York, they hold what is known as a Stokes interview, where the couple is separated and each asked a series of questions. You do not necessarily need to move unless it would overall be better for the two of you. You will just need proof that your wife spends the weekends with you. The best piece of advice I can give you is to be upfront about the situation with USCIS. It is in your best interests to disclose that you live separately and show other evidence than try to claim you live together all the time. You may want to consult an immigration lawyer with experience handling these types of cases to discuss the evidence you will need for this process.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/26/2011
The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu
The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu | Mengjun Qiu
It might, especially since she didn't come here with a immigrant visa, the presumption of fraud automatically arises. If you have known her for years, have been dating for years, and have friends, family, pictures, communications (phone bills, emails, text messages, etc.), and other type of evidence to substantiate the good faith of the marriage, then it will be much easier. It's also very important that you obtain records after the marriage, at times they scrutinize that more than evidence before marriage.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 8/25/2011
Christian Schmidt, Attorney at Law
Christian Schmidt, Attorney at Law | Christian Schmidt
It should not be a problem if she stays at a different apartment during the week as long as you can provide a reasonable explanation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/25/2011
    The Law Office of Koichi M. Yanagizawa | Koichi Moseley Yanagizawa
    Once you are married then you can file a petition for her to become a U.S. permanent resident.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Hugo Florido ESQ.
    Hugo Florido ESQ. | Hugo Florido
    You don't need to cohabitate 7 days per week. As long at the marriage was entered into in good faith that will generally be enough.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    GK Law Firm
    GK Law Firm | Galorah Keshavarz
    Yes, a joint lease would be one of the factors considered in proving that you have a bona fide relationship.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Kazmi & Sakata
    Kazmi & Sakata | Harun Kazmi
    Hello, this will not be an issue until you marry. Cohabitation is a requirement for processing marriage Adjustments/green cards.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Verdin Law Firm, LLC
    Verdin Law Firm, LLC | Isaul Verdin
    A joint lease would be helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    The Law Offices of Wesley R. Sklark | Wesley R. Sklark
    Thanks for you question. What the immigration authorities are looking for is compelling evidence of a shared life together. Thus, joint accounts and living together as a couple is a step in this direction. In the past, I have even succeeded in getting a green card for a spouse where the couple was having a bi-coastal relationship because I was able to prove that it was a legitimate good-faith relationship. If this has been of help, and you would like more help, feel free to set up a consultation with me at my law firm. Our initial in person consultation costs only $50. Proudly serving the legal needs of the community since 1994...
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Montefalcon Law Offices
    Montefalcon Law Offices | Alberto G. Montefalcon, Jr.
    In the case of an Adjustment of Status from an F1 (student visa) to that of a Permanent Residence by reason of marriage, USCIS will require that the applicant (your fiance) and the spouse will prove the bona fides of marriage. This means you have to convince USCIS that both of you had the genuine intent to be together as husband and wife at the time the marriage was entered into. USCIS will look into, signs of legitimacy of marriage, such as living together, commingling (joining together) of funds like joint bank accounts, common children if any, joint liabilities like car loans, electric and other utility bills under both your names, etc. However, in doing so, USCIS Officers, cannot impose their own standards of what an ideal marriage should look like. They have to look into the applicants situation. If living separately, because of work and school conditions, is something reasonable for couples to do, USCIS should not take it against you. They have to see the overall picture and then form their opinion whether or not a legitimate marriage exist. They cannot use a checklist of must haves or must dos that if you cannot satisfy one, your petition must be denied. I hope this helps.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Law Office of Eric Fisher | Eric Fisher
    If it is truly a bona fide marriage, the immigrant visa petition should be approved. Living in separate apartments will raise red flags at the immigration interview, but can be overcome. Joint leases and bank accounts make the case stronger.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Immigration Law Offices of Misiti Global, PLLC.
    Immigration Law Offices of Misiti Global, PLLC. | Nicklaus Misiti
    Each case is unique and depends upon the individuals interaction with the interviewer but I would recommend living together to avoid any potential problems. It raised red flags when the couple resides at separate locations. You also will want to hire an immigration attorney to make sure your case is approved. For a free consultation give my office a call or email.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/24/2011
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