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What Is an Affidavit Of Relationship?

A sworn friendship via affadavit is often a factor in immigration applications.
An affidavit of relationship is a legally bound document relaying the nature of a relationship.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 15 August 2014
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An affidavit of relationship is a legal document including a sworn statement testifying to the nature of a relationship. These documents are commonly used for immigration purposes as people apply for a change in immigration status. Blank forms are provided by many embassies and immigration authorities and people can also write this type of affidavit from scratch, as long as they include legal details required by the government. An attorney can help people fill out or draft such forms if they are concerned about meeting legal standards.

Such statements can take a number of forms. Some may pertain to people in romantic relationships where one partner is applying for citizenship or refugee status. Others may involve descriptions of family relationships, testifying to the relationship between two individuals. An affidavit of relationship can also discuss a business relationship. In all cases, the people in the relationship must be named and described, contact information must be provided, and the nature of the relationship must be defined.

People can file such documents about themselves and they can also file them on behalf of others. In immigration applications, third party filings are often used to support claims that the application involves people who have an actual relationship to each other. Third party affidavits testifying that people are in a romantic relationship, for example, are used to support a visa application for the foreign spouse, showing that the partners love each other and the foreign spouse has a sponsor.

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Governments can follow up on affidavits of relationship, interviewing the people named in the documents and investigating the claimed connections. If the documents contradict each other or appear to contain conflicting information, it can be grounds for rejection of an application. People requesting friends and family to file affidavits should make sure the information is uniform; friends, for example, should be reminded to keep the declarations about the length of the friendship consistent on affidavit of relationship declarations.

When filing an affidavit of relationship with the government or another authority, it is advisable to retain a copy. The copy should include notes about when it was submitted and what paperwork was submitted with it. In the event of claims that paperwork was lost or never turned in, people can use their copies to track down the errant paperwork. This can be especially important when lost or missing documents interfere with a deadline or threaten to force people to start an application all over again.

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Discuss this Article

anon341252
Post 8

Do you have to have the people filling out the Affidavit of Relationship put their SS number on it?

manykitties2
Post 7

Does anyone know if you need to provide an affidavit of relationship for a romantic partner and their children when you are making a will up? Something along the lines of this person is considered to be my spouse and these are my children, even if it isn't on the books as so?

My friends parents have been together forever but they were never legally married. They are currently working on getting their affairs in order and are concerned about how the lack of a marriage certificate will impact the division of their estate and the rights of their children. Some of the children are from a previous relationship which is complicating matters.

wander
Post 6

If you want to travel to another country and secure a visa there is a good chance you will have to fill in an affidavit of relationship for anyone accompanying you. The most common reason you would have to supply an affidavit of relationship is if one spouse has a working visa and intends to support his or her partner while the entire immediate family is in the country.

For those thinking of making a big move abroad for work it is a good idea to have a visa specialist help you with your visa forms and any affidavits you may need to fill in. Mistakes can be very expensive when filling in visa forms so it is best to get it right the first time.

allenJo
Post 5

@Mammmood - I know someone who married for a green card. It was a mutually agreed upon relationship.

They broke up years later, not so much for that, but for other reasons. Marrying for a green card is certainly against the law and not something I’d recommend. A deportation stamp does not look good on your passport.

hamje32
Post 4

@Mammmood - Well, you did well then. I know real life stories of people being busted up because INS did conduct the sneak visits, like you said, and found out that the married people were not so married after all.

I’m glad it turned out well for you. Perhaps the INS officer picked up on the sincerity of your relationship, in his initial interview, and figured out that you guys were the real deal.

Mammmood
Post 3

@julies - I married an Asian woman and I had to fill out this paperwork on her behalf, as well as meet with the immigration officer.

I was warned by my friends that Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) would conduct all sorts of surprise interviews and unwanted visits in off hours, to check up on us and see that we were living together.

I heard all sorts of horror stories about this kind of thing happening. Obviously they know a lot of people marry to get a green card. That was certainly not the case with us, and we’ve been married for twenty years.

Anyway, to my amazement, the officer only wanted to see some basic paperwork as proof that we were living together, things like phone records, mail and things like that. I got no surprise visits and no further inquiries. That just happened to be my experience.

julies
Post 2

My daughter and her husband had to fill out an affidavit of relationship and have it notarized. She married a man from another country and lived in his country for several years.

They ended up moving to the states, but she moved back almost a year before he came over. They lived with us for awhile before they found an apartment of their own.

When he was applying for citizenship and papers to get his social security number, completing an affidavit of relationship was one of his requirements. We had to state the we attended their wedding and had seen them together on several occasions in the years since their wedding.

This affidavit helped confirm that he was legally married to a citizen of the US and supported his reasons to apply for citizenship.

StarJo
Post 1

I had never heard of this before. I often wondered how family other than spouses got the okay to come into the country. That is good that brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles can fill out some paperwork to prove that they actually have family in the country.

I know a Mexican man who left his sister and brother back home and came here to make money to send them. He misses them, and he does not know about the affidavit of relationship. I am going to tell him so that he can be reunited with his family without problems from immigration.

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