The Hurdles to a Spousal or Marriage-Based Visa

Applying for a visa can be stressful. It is a complex process and one that has a lot on the line as motivation to get everything right. It can be stressful even if you are applying for a marriage-based visa, which historically has a pretty high approval rate. Despite this, the looming possibility of a denial can be a great weight on your shoulders. To help you increase your chance of getting your marriage-based visa approved, we will detail some of the more common hurdles confronted during the marriage-based visa application process in the hopes that it will increase your chances of overcoming them.

The Hurdles to a Spousal or Marriage-Based Visa

One of the most prominent, often discussed hurdles to a spousal visa is establishing your marriage as valid and authentic. As your marriage is forming the basis for your visa application, it is essential that it be proven as both valid and authentic. Oftentimes, proving that a marriage is valid is pretty straightforward. It may only require providing USCIS with a copy of your marriage certificate. Your marriage has to be valid and legally recognized in the location where you were married. Furthermore, you must be able to provide proof that any previous marriages had been legally terminated prior to the start of your current marriage. This may be supported by providing a divorce decree or death certificate for any previous spouses.

In addition to providing evidence that your marriage is legally valid, you must also establish your marriage as authentic. What this actually means is that your marriage is real and was not entered into for the sole purpose of obtaining a marriage-based visa. In order to prove that your marriage is authentic, you need to provide supporting evidence which demonstrates that you (and your spouse) have established a life together and plan to continue to develop that life. Proof of said life together can come from things such as financial documents detailing how your finances are intertwined and how you provide for one another in supporting your life together. It may also be supported by photos together of both everyday life happenings and vacations together. Children resulting from the marriage is a solid supporting factor in establishing an authentic marriage and you will want to submit your children’s birth certificates as evidence of such.

In addition to getting over the hurdles of establishing a valid and authentic marriage, another prominent hurdle to overcome is making sure your application is complete, accurate, and provides the requested supporting evidence. Before submitting your application to USCIS, go over your application with a fine-toothed comb. Check for errors. Check to make sure you are answering questions asked and providing the information requested. Make sure it is completed in full. Missing information from the application is a common reason for issuance of a request for evidence (RFE). Missing signatures and insufficient fee payment may result in a denial or rejection of the filing.

You will also want to make sure that you have provided the necessary translations of any documents in a non-English language. If things such as your birth certificate or marriage certificate are in a language other than English, you must have these documents translated word for word. Include the other non-English document as well as the translated document with your application. The translations must be certified.

Immigration Law Attorneys

If you should have any questions or need more information about the ways in which the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Laws may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please contact the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mailing us at or by cal