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In order to find success in love you have to get out of your comfort zone. It turns out, sometimes this means getting outside of your time zone too. Our society today has many long distance relationships (LDR) whether it is because:

  1.   Your spouse is in the Military Service (ex. Navy, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Air Force)
  2.   Different state because of better employment for their field of work
  3.   Employment Contract or other job commitments
  4.   Educational Purposes (ex. University acceptance, college dorming, etc.)
  5.   Different Country because you both met online & still have commitments in that country.

The study, published in the Journal of Communication, found that men and women in long distance relationships were more likely to share meaningful thoughts and feelings than those who were not. They also tended to idealize their partners’ behaviors, leading to a greater sense of intimacy.

So with the support of researchers and statistics in support of long distance relationships, what is the problem with immigration?

Well technically there is no problem. If you apply for a spouse via Immigration Services (USCIS), you only have to provide a few documents to show your marriage is legitimize including:

    • A certified copy of your Marriage Document issued by the appropriate civil authority;
    • Your spouse’s birth certificate and the other spouse’s evidence of Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Resident Status;
    • If either you or your spouse were ever married before, all divorce decrees/death certificate for each prior marriage/ former spouse
    • Birth Certificates for all children of this marriage and custody papers for your children and for your spouse’s children not living with you;


  • Supporting evidence of your relationship, such as copies of any documentation regarding joint assets or liabilities you and your spouse may have together. (Ex. Tax transcripts, utility bills, credit cards, contracts, leases, photos, correspondence, etc.)


  • If you have ever been arrested, police reports and the original or certified final court disposition for each arrest- if not court record, a letter from the court with jurisdiction indication;

If you have all of the evidence listed above or more, you should be fine but what if you don’t have any joint bills or supporting evidence to show you live together. Or you live in a room together and no sublease?

Immigration Services will require you to provide additional documentation to prove that you have a bonafide relationship. But when the relationship is long distance, we are able to provide the government with supporting documentation to support the fact that you are committed to your marriage despite the distance.

In our efforts to show such a bonafide relationship we have to gather phone and text message history; sworn affidavits of people that have personally observed the couple, a will, life insurance, and the couple’s future plans together, like searches for employment in one of the spouse’s state, school search in an attempt to find similar options for the student spouse, if that is the case.

But regardless of the above, the word that will keep being asked during the interviews with Immigration is COHABITATION.

Remember the word because you will be hearing it during your entire immigration process especially when it comes to the interview process. Cohabitation is about future plans and what are you doing as a couple to make those plans become a reality. Without the proper documentation, your petition will be denied simply because you did not provide enough documentation or testimony the day of the interview.  

Not physically living together, not having any joint bills or bank accounts will need a serious and logical explanation as to why everything is not joint- dual on why you have yet to cohabitate. You will be hard press to show future plans to cohabitate.

Remember, a married couple residing in a different state or country, while a petition is under consideration, may become complicated enough for the government to deny it.  The issue of separate cohabitation is relevant, in determining the intent of the spouses at the time of the marriage.

Due to our current number of clients living separate, we have become really good at sorting this type of problems, tackling them at submission and preparing the couple for the interview.  Please contact us for your case.

At Mercedes Cano we are here to help you. To have your case reviewed by our office, please contact us at 718-505-8506 or please fill out our Contact Form.

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