THE USCIS MARRIAGE INTERVIEW
When you apply for a green card related to your marriage, the routine interview usually occurs after 3 months following your USCIS application. It is not a question of simply filing the application you have prepared, but you will have to attend an interview. On your interview date there is certain information that is required from the USCIS interviewer.
First of all you must turn up for your interview on time but preferably 30 minutes before the allotted time.
Once you are sitting in the interview seat you must listen carefully and respond appropriately to any questions the USCIS officer asks you. In the time frame allowed you have to be brief in your answers and correct too. If you are unable to answer a question don’t just guess, tell the interviewer you are not sure of the answer.
If the officer from the USCIS thinks that your marriage is not genuine at the green card interview you may be asked as a couple to separate throughout the interview procedure. This is so the interviewer can clearly establish the nature of your relationship and that it is really is true and sincere. Marriage in the eyes of the USCIS has to be proven beyond doubt that it is genuine: a “paper marriage” will lead to a number of very nasty consequences, including being permanently barred from any petition (even if it’s from your own children, or an employer) being approved for you for the rest of your life, being placed in removal proceedings, or even being federally charged with the crime of marriage fraud under 8 USC 1325(c).
If your marriage is shaky, special precautions must be taken.
Documents needed at the interview
Apart from asking questions you are expected to bring to your interview any original documents and photocopies which will offer additional evidence that will indicate that your marriage is true. This could include wedding invitations, birth certificates for your children and photographs of you with your children and partner. Relevant photographs of any special occasions you have spent together including vacations and day trips for leisure purposes help to assure the interviewer that your marriage is genuine. Statements of a joint bank account and other joint financial documents are useful pieces of evidence as they gage how close you are.
Mount all original documents in a folder, arranging them by type (residential documents, joint bills, financial documents, pictures.) Make a copy of the documents in your folder and double-hole punch them on top to provide to the immigration officer.
Types of Questions
If there is any doubt about the validity of your relationship expect the questioning to be more thorough and lengthy. There are no set questions but the interviewer will know the value of asking particular questions.
These are some typical questions even though they are not taken from any standard list.
- What do you as a couple have in common?
- When did your relationship become romantic?
- How many people attended your wedding?
- Did all your parents attend the wedding?
- Where did the wedding take place?
- What were the names of the bridesmaids?
- Did you have a honeymoon? Where did you go?
- What do the two of you eat at breakfast?
- Do you and your spouse drink coffee every morning?
- Who pays the bills?
- Do you and your spouse belong to a particular religion?
- Where do you keep the spare toilet paper?
- Who does the shopping for groceries?
- What is your spouse’s preferred food?
- How often do you visit one another’s parents?
- What are the names of the sisters and brothers of your spouse?
- What is your spouse’s phone number?
- What car model does your spouse own?
- What kind of birth control do you use?
- Who is responsible for paying the rent or mortgage?
- What did you do at your spouse’s last birthday?
- What present did your spouse give you at your last birthday?
- Who takes the photographs at important family get-togethers?
Most of these questions you should be able to answer with ease but always be on the ready for unexpected questions. Put yourself in the shoes of the interviewer and try to picture what types of questions you may ask a married couple if one is trying to seek a green card.
Read more about marriage and fiancée visas.
In a same-sex relationship? Learn more here.