How Do I Prove Domicile?

In the marriage Green Card application process, proving domicile within the United States is essential especially when filing Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA). Form I-864 is a form to show that the main sponsor spouse has financial ability and the marriage Green Card applicant would not rely on the U.S. government financial support. In this article, let’s review how to establish a domicile and what can be the proof of domicile.


I. What is a domicile?

A domicile is referred to the country of residence. When filling out the Form I-864(Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA), the main sponsor spouse will need to have an established domicile within the United States, indicating a permanent residence within the United States. Form I-864 is used to show that the main sponsor spouse has adequate means of financial support hence the marriage Green Card applicant is not likely to rely on the U.S. government for financial support.


II. What is establishing a domicile?

It is important for USCIS to understand that the marriage Green Card main sponsor spouse has established a domicile within the United States. In order to be eligible as a marriage Green Card main sponsor, the sponsor spouse must have residency within the United States, or in a U.S. territory. If the main sponsor spouse is currently residing outside of the United States, the main sponsor must still possess significant ties back to the United States. Alternatively, while living abroad, the main sponsor spouse may provide evidence of the intent to re-establish domicile within the U.S.


III. Why must domicile be proved?

The USCIS indicates that all main sponsors for marriage Green Card applications must have established domicile within the United States. If the main sponsor has lived abroad within the past two (2) years, the main sponsor spouse will need to prove the following:

  • The domicile outside of the United States is temporary
  • The main sponsor has plans to return to the United States
  • The main sponsor must show plans to re-establish domicile within the United States before or during the time the marriage Green Card applicant arrives into the United States

IV. How can I prove my domicile? What can be the proof of domicile?

The following are examples of proof of domicile that the marriage Green Card main sponsor spouse could do:

  • Maintain voting records in the United States
  • Maintain federal, state or local tax filings and records
  • Maintain real estate property in the United States
  • Maintain financial accounts in the United States
  • Maintain a permanent mailing address within the United States
  • Show proof that being overseas is temporary, and have an intent to return definitely back to the United States

Although there are no specified guidelines or time limits relating to the domicile, it is still important that the main sponsor spouse establishes ties to the United States. If a main sponsor spouse has been residing outside of the United States for some time, it must be proven to the USCIS that the main sponsor has the intent to return or will re-establish domicile within the United States. The following are examples of what the main sponsor spouse could do to re-establish domicile in the United States:

  • Open financial accounts within the United States
  • Transfer of funds and monies into a United States account
  • Provide evidence of employment searches and job offers in the United States
  • Provide evidence of renting or purchasing of real estate property in the United States
  • Register children to attend schools within the United States
  • Apply for a Social Security Number Register to vote in elections