When filing an application for a marriage-based green card, K1 visa, or other immigration benefits requiring a bonafide relationship, it’s better that the spouses have documents showing their married status. Immigration is going to look at joint bank accounts, the marriage certificate, contracts of sale entered into by both spouses, and of course, tax records.

There are a number of ways to file taxes, whether jointly as a married couple or individually. It’s important to know what is required, if any, in a marriage-based green card application.

Joint Taxes

Married couples are able to file their U.S. income taxes in one of two ways: married filing jointly or married filing separately. Depending on the spouses’ financial situation, they can choose to file in the manner that they prefer and that which helps them get the best tax benefits.

What To Be Careful With When Filing Taxes

It does not matter to immigration whether married couples file jointly or separately, as long as they indicate in their IRS applications that they are, in fact, married. Problems only arise when spouses choose a different method of filing taxes other than marriage filing.

If they file head of household or single, for example, they can get into trouble with immigration as these are filing methods for unmarried individuals.

What If Your Spouse is Overseas?

Spouses who live and earn their income overseas will typically not have an ITIN and Social Security Number (SSS). Hence, they cannot file their taxes in the U.S. through married filing jointly or married filing separately.

If this is the case, it’s important to speak to an immigration attorney who can provide solutions on the best way to file taxes to satisfy immigration requirements.