Would photos from our wedding night help prove that our marriage is real?

Hold off on the embarrassing pix.


I’m a U.S. citizen married to a woman from Russia. She is 18 years my junior. We met online and held the wedding in Moscow. Now I’m trying to get her an immigrant visa to come to the United States and live with me. But I’m worried that because of our age difference and the fact that she doesn’t speak much English (and I speak only a few words of Russian), we are going to have trouble getting approved. On our wedding night, she took some pictures of the two of us. I was embarrassed at the time, but I’m now thinking, maybe these will help prove that our marriage is real. What do you think? Should she submit these at her visa interview?


Absolutely not. U.S. immigration officials do make an effort to observe privacy limits. If you find the photos to be embarrassing, then the consular officer reviewing the case is likely to feel the same way. In fact, the U.S. immigration authorities have made it quite clear that they’re not interested in intimate photos.

An even worse result of bringing such photos to your wife’s visa interview might be to make the consular official wonder whether the two of you are overcompensating in your efforts to prove that the marriage is the real thing. That might actually add to their suspicion that your marriage is just a sham to get her a green card. (And you are, unfortunately, likely to face suspicion due to the age and language differences.)

Besides, photos like this can be staged just as easily as wedding pictures. Yes, people submit their wedding photos, but these never serve as definitive evidence in an otherwise iffy case.

Your best bet, in preparing for your wife’s immigrant visa interview, is to focus on collecting documentary proof of other aspects of your relationship – such as your having named her a beneficiary on your health insurance policy, your joint bank accounts, copies of emails or letters back and forth, receipts from your visits to Russia or her visits here to spend time with you, evidence that your families know about and respect your marriage, and so on.

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