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Using Affidavits to Prove Bona Fide Relationship in K1 Visa Petitions

Originally published 02/15/2010.

As I have stated time and time again, K1 fiance visa cases are won and lost based on the strength of the supporting documentation. One of the things that a K1 applicant has to establish to obtain a K1 visa is that the applicant's fiance'/fiancee relationship with the U.S. citizen petitioner is legitimate or bona fide. A large percentage of the K1 denial cases I see are the result of the applicant not adequately proving the legitimacy of the relationship.

Proving something intangible like love is difficult and something most of us are not accustomed to doing. For this reason, many K1 applicants struggle with how to prove the legitimacy of relationship. If you've spent some time looking around online you've probably found a lot of information on this subject. I previously wrote an article about K1 supporting documentation. While I think my previous article is a good overview of what needs to be established and how to establish it I did not talk in much detail about the mechanics of producing the necessary documentation. Many of the other articles, forums and Facebook groups provide some recommendations about K1 supporting documentation. But most of these resources mention a lot of the same things such as chat logs, emails, phone call histories and pictures. There is nothing wrong with this kind of evidence and it's valuable and important. However, some times this type of evidence isn't enough and I never rely on it alone in my practice.

What Other Types of Evidence Can I Submit to Prove My Relationship is Legitimate?

One area of evidence that consular officials adjudicating K1 applications often look at is the relationship between the applicant, the petitioner and their respective families. Because most couples who are planning to be married have met or at least have some relationship with their partner's family and friends it is very important to submit evidence of this with your K1 petition.

The way I do this is by submitting affidavits from friends or family members of my clients who have knowledge of the couple's relationship and can attest to specific facts supporting the legitimacy of the relationship. Such facts can include:

  • Statements and evidence of personal meetings between the friend/family member and the K1 applicant or petitioner
  • Statements or evidence that the friend or family member has communicated and has a relationship with the fiance' or fiancee'
  • Statements that the friend or family member has witnessed regular communication between the petitioner and K1 applicant or other facts that would indicate a serious fiance'/fiancee relationship
  • Statements or evidence that the friend or family member attended the engagement ceremony or celebration.
  • Statements from friends or family members who may be involved in planning the wedding

These are just some examples and there are many other statements one can make in an affidavit that would support the legitimacy of the relationship.

What is An Affidavit and How Do I Prepare one?

An affidavit is a formal sworn statement of facts which is signed by the author (or affiant) and witnessed by a notary public or similar official who can administer oaths and legally verify the identify of the affiant and confirm the identity of his or her signature. Affidavits are more persuasive and credible than simple letters because the person making an affidavit is swearing to the truthfullness of the documents contents under oath.

There isn't any particular form a document must take to be considered an affidavit but it should  be signed, dated, contain a statement of facts and include the following statement above the signature:

I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the foregoing is true and correct.