What is the legal basis for good faith marriage?

By Atty. Crispin Caday Lozano


When you filed a petition for a spouse to immigrate to the United States, the first question that you must answer is whether your marriage is in good faith and not for immigration purposes only.  The USCIS uses many verification methods to verify if the marriage is in good faith.  Foremost among these methods is a field visit to your residence if you are living together.  The second most common is the made during the interview.  You and your spouse must be interviewed together and separately about your marriage.  They require proof of commingling of assets such as joint bank accounts, joint lease in residence, joint insurance for health, property and life.  Numerous photographs may be submitted to show that you are living together and having other people witnessed your relationship.


What is the legal standard in determining good faith marriage?


The central inquiry in determining whether a bona fide marriage exists is the intent of the parties at the time they entered into the marriage; the parties must have had the intent to establish a life together. This is the ruling in the case of Bark v. INS. In determining intent of the parties, the conduct of the parties after the marriage is relevant to their intent at the time of their marriage. This is supported by the case in Matter of Laureano, 19 I & N Dec. 1 (BIA 1983).


What is the burden of proof to prove good faith marriage?


The burden of proof in marriage cases is preponderance of evidence.  Preponderance of evidence is defined as more likely than not or greater than 50 percent that the evidence presented support good faith marriage.


Why are there so many cases involving immigrant petition based on marriage denied?


The main reason for the denial is that the petitioner did not meet his or her burden of proof.  This means he or she was not able to convince the USCIS officer that the marriage was in good faith.  There could be inconsistencies in their response during the interview.  The documents that they submitted may not be sufficient or convincing to the officer.


What should Petitioners do to avoid being denied in their petition?


As early as possible before filing the petition, they should consult with an immigration lawyer to prepare their case and walk them through the immigration process.


Note:  This is not a legal advice.  They should consult with an immigration lawyer about their specific situation.



  1. For the month of December 2019, we received two approvals of naturalization applications, three approvals of Adjustment of Status applications, two approvals of Petition to remove condition on residence, one renewal of green card approval and one green card application at the U.S. Embassy.
  2. For the month of November 2019, we received approvals of one naturalization application, one renewal of green card, one Petition to remove condition on residence and one adjustment of status.
  3. For the month of October 2019, we received five naturalization application approvals and two renewal of green card and one DACA approval.
  4. For the month of September 2019, we received approval of two naturalization applications, one adjustment of status and one application to remove condition on residence.
  5. For the month of August, 2019, we received approval from Immigration Court for a waiver of misrepresentation for a client who has committed marriage fraud. We also received approval from USCIS of two naturalization applications and two fiancé visa petition.
  6. For the month of July 2019, we received approvals of three N-400 application for Naturalization, one I-751 Petition to remove condition of residence with interview and two I-90 renewal of green card.
  7. For June 2019, we received approvals of four adjustment of status, six naturalization applications and two certificate of citizenship applications, and one Removal of condition on resident.
  8. On May 6, 2019, we received approvals of three adjustment of status applications and two Naturalization applications.
  9. On April 24, 2019, we received approval from USCIS for three naturalization applications and one adjustment of status.
  10. On March 29, 2019, we received an approval of adjustment of status for a client whose petitioner and primary beneficiary has died under INA 204(l)
  11. On March 28, 2019, we received an approval of renewal of green card for a client who was in the Philippines under medical treatment for one and a half years.
  12. From March 4 to 26, 2019, we received six adjustment of status approvals.
  13. For the month of February, 2019, we received tow approvals of renewal of green card and one approval of removal of condition on residence.
  14. On January 16, 2019, we received an approval of naturalization for a client who received a waiver of misrepresentation in Immigration Court.

If you have immigration problems the Law Offices of Crispin C. Lozano can help you find a solution before your problem gets worse which could lead to deportation and family separation.

Crispin Caday Lozano, Esq. is an active member of the State Bar of California, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and San Francisco Trial Lawyers.  He practices immigration law, bankruptcy and personal injury law since June 1999.  His contact phone is 1-877-456-9266, email: info@CCLlaw.net

Toll Free 1-877-4LOZANO for free consultation or Schedule an Appointment