How to Prove a “Bona Fide” Relationship

17 Apr 2015

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services believes that a large portion of marriage-based visa applications are fraudulent, and applied for only to circumvent the immigration process. Because of this, it’s a top priority of theirs to uncover these bogus relationships. One of the main requirements of the K1 visa is to prove that you have a bona fide relationship with your alien fiance. Not proving this is one of the leading causes of getting a fiance visa denial.

What is a “bona fide” relationship?

Merriam-Webster defines it as such:

bona fide

adjective bo·na fide \ˈbō-nə-ˌfīd, ˈbä-; ˌbō-nə-ˈfī-dē, -ˈfī-də\
: real or genuine

law : made or done in an honest and sincere way

The general meaning is not a strange concept. Let’s change the terminology to something less Latin… Your relationship must be genuine, and you need to prove it.

Couple Playing - prove bona fide relationship

CC license, courtesy: Pedro Ribeiro Simões on Flickr.

How is authenticity determined?

Where it gets unclear is just what exactly constitutes a genuine relationship. Human relationships are hard to categorize via a simple checklist that can be measured in finite terms. Who decides my relationship is “genuine enough”? How do i prove this?

We’re talking about a government process, and it really comes down to you and the consular officer, and your interactions from across a cubicle desktop. The determination is fairly arbitrary. When it comes down to it, the officer has to take all the information about your case and make a judgement call based on:

1. The evidence included in your petition.

2. The embassy interview.


Examples of Evidence to Prove Relationship is “Bona Fide”

Anything that shows that you have a legitimate relationship will help in your case. Just think if you were on the outside looking in, would you believe that your relationship was real? Here are a few examples of things that can help build your case:

Photos of you together (With date stamps is even better)

Photos of you with each other’s family (With date stamps is even better)

Joint bank accounts

Passport stamps proving visits

Airline tickets proving visits

Hotel receipts proving visits

Misc. receipts proving visits

Skype, Facetime & chat records

Phone & text records

Engagement ring receipt

Statements from friends and family

The key thing to take away is to truly begin joining your lives together, get to know each other well, and have a successful embassy interview. These few things will help you easily prove your relationship is absolutely, 100% genuine.

Disclaimer: The contents of this post were accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of publishing. Immigration is constantly changing, and old information often becomes outdated, including procedures, timelines, prices, and more. Take note of the publish date. For archival purposes, these posts will remain published, even if new information renders them obsolete. Do not make important life decisions based on this content. No part of this post should be considered legal advice, as RapidVisa is not a law firm. This content is provided free of charge for informational purposes only. If anything herein conflicts with an official government website, the official government website shall prevail.

23 Thoughts on “How to Prove a “Bona Fide” Relationship

  1. Brad says:


    I am a quadriplegic and can’t travel to the Philippines to meet the woman i’d like to propose marriage to. Who can be exempt from having to meet their fiance before being able to apply for and receive a K-1? If I am eligible, can you help with the travel exemption/?

    Thank you In advance for your time.



    • RapidVisa Staff says:

      Brad unfortunately RapidVisa is streamlined to handle straight forward cases that meet the meeting requirement (which is how we have low prices). You would probably need to talk to an attorney. To be sure, give our sales staff a call and see if they have any information for you.

  2. Timothy says:

    When do I need all the proof of my relationship with my lady and I. And will you notify me and how to get the pics, etc….

    • RapidVisa Staff says:

      Timothy, when you pay and enable your account for printing, it will include a detailed list of these instructions. If you get the premium review service, our agents will go through your case manually, and make sure everything is there before we send it off to the USCIS.

  3. Yusuf says:

    I can’t travel to USA to see my girlfriend, and she can’t come to my country. we met through a friend.. we’ve never met face to face before

  4. alisha says:

    i have known my boyfriend for 8 years and have visited his country 6 times and in the last year 3 times and stayed for 6 months. I have plenty of pictures of us going out traveling with his sister and friends I just don’t have photo s with his mother or father due to his father was in the hospital at the time and didn’t think it be right to take pictures at a bad time.. do you think that I would have a problem or should it be ok

  5. David says:

    I am not sure what and how much to put into the letter describing our relationship. Can you give some advice or a sample letter that shows what the examiners look for to prove that we have a real relationship?

  6. Keyrie says:

    Hi good day!

    I just Want to ask some advice . My fiancé is a U.S. Citizen and he want me to come with him in the USA. Now he is confuse .Which visa he will going to apply for me. It is fiancé visa or he need me to marry me and petition me as his wife? My another question is which visa is hard to diend in the immigration it is fiancé visa or petition as a wife? Thank you for taking time to ready and reply my question.


  7. Andrea says:

    I have many pictures f me and my fiance since we were 16 because I was in the Alien country the whole time… (so i just have pictures) and the engagement ring… will that be enough?

  8. Paige says:

    Hey, my fiance was here on a work visa when we met and he proposed and I’m pregnant. Right now I’m 2 1/2 months pregnant and I really want him to be here in time for the baby to be born in April. (I was hoping before so he could help me with the nursery but beggars can’t be choosers.) Is there anything that I can do to make sure everything gets done so he’s here for her birth?

  9. Razel says:

    Hi Im Razel and I just wanted to ask if me and my boyfriend are qualify to apply for the Fiancee visa. We’ve met online in one of the dating sites. We’ve been talking over Skype and yahoo messenger for 2 years already and finally we just met personally last September 30 to October 9, 2015. We have some Skype photos and religiously talking 3-4 times a day over Skype. He also gave me a ring.
    Thank you, I hope you guys can assist us to be with each other.

    God Bless,


  10. lorena says:

    We never meet face to face with my boyfriend b what visa type we need to apply?

    • RapidVisa Staff says:

      You don’t qualify for any RapidVisa visas if you haven’t met face to face. You will need to meet then you can qualify for a K1 visa.

  11. Assem says:

    Hi, you also work with same-sex couples correct?

  12. Keith says:

    I Married my Wife on September 13 2014 , we have lived together for 13 months in Metro Manila. I have returned to USA to secure permanent housing. I went back 3 months and now came back for one month to Manila at the same time got Notarised Proof of Residency from the Barangay in Muntinlupa and Muntinlupa City Attorney as Proof we have lived together for 13 Months from December 2014 to January 2916, We also have over 1,000 photos together and a certified Marriage certificate. M wife is 33 and I am 58, She has never been married or filed to get a USA visa before. Does this seem like enough proof. Photos are with her family and us on holidays etc. Also visa renewal stickers from migration every few months that shows I was in Manila for over 1 year with my wife. IS this enough proof?

  13. Nadia Ghafari says:

    My fiance and I are Muslims. We’ve been engaged since December 2017 and plan on marrying next month. We will be having our marriage in India, but we will be the only one present because our families cant travel for our wedding..I’m and American citizen and he is Afghani citizen. Since we will be the only ones present at our wedding how can we prove our marriage is “bona fide”?

  14. I’m Joseph from Ghana and my wife is US citizen, our petition have been approved but we are having challenges of filing for the affidavit of support because my wife does not meet the income requirements. 1) Can I use my land and my retirement investment in my country? 2) she only spent 10 days with me when got married because that’s the only time her work could give her at time and there is no one look after the kids for long can that be red flag? 3) can she child support for the affidavit of support? I’m really afraid to be denial. Please I need help because our love real and don’t wanna loose her!!

  15. We are in 9yrs relationship we have a son that obtained CRBa from us embassy can i use his crba as a proof of our relationship? says:

    Can i use my son’s CRBA as a proof of our bonafide relationship in k1 visa

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