USCIS MARRIAGE INTERVIEW

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If you’re applying for a marriage-based green card, you will need to attend an interview, where USCIS will determine the legitimacy of your marriage.

USCIS Marriage Interview

After submitting your application for a marriage-based green card to USCIS, you will be invited for a routine interview. You must attend and complete the marriage interview satisfactorily. Only then will USCIS approve your application. Naturally, the interviewer will ask you questions relating to your marriage.

The USCIS officer may ask the couple to separate and interview them individually. In so doing, the interviewer will be able to clearly establish the nature of your relationship and find evidence that the marriage is really true and sincere. In fact, that’s the legal standard.

Did you intend to “establish a life together” with your spouse on the day you married? It’s perfectly legal to also want a green card, but obtaining a green card cannot be the only reason, or even the main reason for getting married.

Marriage must be genuine in the eyes of USCIS. A “paper marriage” will lead to very nasty consequences. Following this, the consequences of a ‘’fake marriage’’ include:

  • You may be permanently barred from having any petition approved for you (even from your own children or an employer) under INA section 204(c).
  • Staging a marriage will have you subjected to removal proceedings
  • You may be federally charged with marriage fraud under 8 USC 1325(c).

Documents Needed at the Marriage Interview

If you’re wondering whether you need to carry along anything when going for your marriage interview, the answer is yes. Besides coming to answer questions at the marriage interview, you need to bring any original documents and photocopies as additional evidence to prove that your marriage is true.

Everybody has their own story of how they met, how their relationship progressed, how they decided to marry, and what their plans for the future are. Do not be afraid to tell your story! Indeed, this is what will ultimately convince the officer. Many clients believe they should simply bring a “checklist” of documents, as if there is a magic formula for passing an interview. This is wrong. Of course you should bring the documents asked for – but once you compile it, the documents should tell your story.

So – include wedding invitations, birth certificates for your children, and photographs of you with your children and spouse, or out with friends, tickets to shows or movies you’ve gone to, screenshots of social media profiles showing number of mutual friends you have, cell phone bills with calls to each other highlighted, health, car, or life insurance policies, joint credit cards – anything that shows your lives together. These collectively help to assure the interviewer that your marriage is genuine.

The USCIS officer will find statements of a joint bank account and other joint financial documents as useful pieces of evidence that will enable him or her to gauge your level of closeness to your spouse.

Put all original documents together in a folder and arrange them by type (residential documents, joint bills, financial documents, pictures). You should make copies of the documents in your folder and double-hole punch them on top before submitting them to the immigration officer.

Types of Marriage Interview Questions

If the USCIS interviewer has any doubt about the validity of your relationship, you should expect the questioning to be much harsher and scrutinizing. There are no set questions, but the interviewer will know the value of asking particular questions.

We give examples of questions that you may be asked – but do not simply memorize their answers. They are only meant to give you an idea of the types of questions. If you focus only on those questions, you’ll be surprised (and not in a good way) when the interviewer asks you an unexpected question.

While the possibilities are endless, the range is not. The questions will most likely be from the following categories:

  1. Questions about your spouse
  2. Relationship and life together
  3. Your wedding
  4. Your daily life

Possible Questions

Although they’re not taken from any standard list, the following questions are the kind you may be asked at your marriage interview. Again, we caution: do not simply memorize the answers! However, the following questions are a possibility

  • How did you meet?
  • 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?
  • What food does your spouse prefer?
  • How often do you visit one another’s parents?
  • What are the names of the sisters and brothers of your spouse?
  • Who is responsible for paying the rent or mortgage?
  • What is your spouse’s phone number?
  • Who does the shopping for groceries?
  • What car model does your spouse own?
  • What kind of birth control do you use?
  • Who takes the photographs at important family get-togethers?
  • What did you do on your spouse’s last birthday?
  • What present did your spouse give you on your last birthday?

Scale Through With Professional Help!

The marriage interview questions are easy, and you’ll have no trouble answering them. If your marriage is shaky, or if USCIS suspects foul play, you will find it draining to convince USCIS that your marriage is not a sham. And once they doubt you, your case will not proceed smoothly.

We’ve fought many such cases, and though ultimately we are usually able to convince USCIS that the marriage was genuine, it’s best to get it right the first time.

The questions may become tougher, so you should be prepared to answer some tough ones. Wondering what constitutes a ‘tough question?’ That’s why it’s helpful to have a lawyer with you.

Our job is to take your story and reduce it to cold, hard documents that any immigration officer can look through and say, “This is a legitimate case and I have nothing to worry about.”

What do you do? You can take certain precautions that will help you convince the immigration officer of the authenticity of your marriage.

The best of such precautions is procuring the services of an attorney. So, contact The HMA Law Firm! Our experienced attorneys will help you gather all the necessary evidence to prove your marriage is real, and even hold a mock interview for you, while suggesting techniques to help you pass.

Reach out to us by jumping on a call, or filling our contact form!

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