Clashing In-Laws: Green Card at Risk?

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto

When you’re dealing with visa or green card applications, especially those based on family relationships like spousal or fiancé visas, the dynamics within your extended family can be  considered by the immigration officer reviewing your file. If you’re not exactly getting along with your in-laws, you might worry about how this tension could impact your application. Let’s break down whether these fears have any ground and how you can handle the situation.

First off, it’s important to clarify: your relationship with your in-laws will not make or break your chances of getting your visa or green card. What the immigration officers are primarily concerned with is the authenticity of your relationship with your spouse or fiancé  and your adherence to legal requirements. However, your relationship with your in-laws may be considered with the immigration officers evaluating whether you and your partner have a bona fide relationship. 

As part of your immigration process, you will need to prove that your relationship is real. This usually involves providing evidence such as shared finances, cohabitation, joint ownership of property, and possibly testimonies from family and friends. Having letters of support from and photos of you with your in-laws, will go a long way. If your in-laws are unsupportive or unwilling to provide supportive evidence or statements, it could potentially weaken your proof of a genuine relationship.

Here’s what you can do if you find yourself in this sticky situation:

1. Focus on What You Can Control: Gather as much evidence as you can that doesn’t rely on your in-laws’ cooperation. Use bank statements, leases, photos, and more to build a strong case for the authenticity of your relationship.

2. Seek Alternative Testimonies: Look to other relatives, friends, neighbors, or colleagues who can vouch for your relationship.

3. Consult a Professional: When in doubt, a consultation with an immigration lawyer can be incredibly helpful. They can offer specific advice tailored to your situation and help strengthen your application.

Remember, while familial support can be beneficial, it’s not the sole determinant of the outcome of your application. Keep things in perspective, and try not to let familial tension sidetrack you from your goal. Good luck!


Patricia Elizee is the managing partner of the Elizee Law Firm, an immigration law firm located at 1110 Brickell Avenue, Suite 315, Miami, Florida 33131. Phone 305-371-8846. The law firm was established in 2012. Ms. Elizee earned her Juris Doctorate at the University of Miami School of Law and her Masters in Law from the University of Washington School of Law.

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