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When conditional residents file together with their US Citizen or Permanent Resident spouses to remove the conditions on their permanent residence, they must not only file the appropriate form but also enclose supporting documentation. This supporting documentation is also known as the “bona fides” of the marriage-in other words, proof that the couple has entered into the marriage in good faith and have a genuine relationship, and not just one formed to obtain an immigration benefit. One integral piece of this package is an affidavit executed by someone in support of the couple.

Who Can Write the Affidavit?

Any individual who has personal knowledge of the couple filing the I-751 may write an affidavit. Because the individual who writes the affidavit must include personal information in the affidavit, ie., name, address, immigration status, the affiant should normally be a US Citizen, Lawful Permanent Resident, or someone in lawful status. The affidavit should preferably notarized with a form of Identification attached.

What Should Be In the Affidavit?

The purpose of the affidavit is to support the I-751 petition to remove the conditions on a person’s green card. Many individuals make the mistake of merely writing and confirming that they know the couple was married. They might even go so far as to say that they were present at the ceremony. However, this type of affidavit does not hold much probative weight. If the couple wasn’t married, the person who received the green card would not even be eligible to receive it because the marriage is the underlying basis of the green card. The legality of the marriage act is not the issue at this juncture. Rather, the writer needs to discuss the genuine nature of the couple’s marital relationship-that to the best of his/her knowledge, the couple married out of genuine intentions and have a real marital relationship. The writer should be detailed as possible and be prepared to support the declaration with specific instances or examples of his/her personal knowledge.

How Long Should the Affidavit Be?

There is no required length to the affidavit. A typical affidavit may be from one to two pages. Something too short will obviously not be very compelling but an overly long statement that gets off track might dilute the focus and strength of the statement.

An Affidavit Is Not A Magic Cure

It is important to understand that even the best affidavit, in and of itself, will not necessarily lead to an approval of the I-751. When officers evaluate an I-751, they are looking at all the evidence cumulatively. An affidavit may tip the balance but won’t necessarily compensate for a lack of joint documents, such as tax returns or bank statements. Moreover, because affidavits are individual in nature, they should not mimic each other as if the individuals are just filling their names into a template. Applicants need to objectively assess their case and try to submit an I-751 package that, in its totality, demonstrates a bona-fide relationship.

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