How can I pass my marriage-based green card interview?

We congratulate you and your spouse on getting married, first, but also on getting this far on your way to become a lawful permanent resident and get ab immigrant visa!

Attending the green card interview is the last step in the marriage-based green card process.

Now when you finally get to the last phase, it’s time to prepare for the immigrant visa interview with U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services USCIS officers and avoid mistakes that people usually make. Let’s look at our most common green card interview questions.

We at Herman Legal Group law firm are ready to answer any of your questions if you find some information vague or just want to make sure you comprehended it the right way, or if you think that you would want a lawyer to accompany you to the interview. Yes, our immigration lawyers can do that for you, as well! Keep reading and help your spouse get a green card and adjust their status.

What is the Marriage Green Card Interview?

Once you or your spouse submitted Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and Form I-485, Application for Adjustment of Status, you now have to attend an interview at the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services USCIS office.

If you are a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident and in the United States at an adjustment of status interview, the interview will take place at the local field office. If you are abroad, you will have to visit the U.S. State Department or U.S consulate.

When you receive the notice stating the date and time of your marriage interview, you will usually get about three months to prepare yourself.

What Happens at the Marriage interview?

At the marriage-based green card interview, the USCIS officer will first look for evidence showing whether your marriage is authentic. Your responses to the green card interview questions will be assessed thoroughly, so it’s up to you to act confidently as a married couple. Also, to compare any inconsistencies, you and your spouse can respond to the questions separately.

If you doubt that you will not give satisfactory answers for some reason, the best time to consult an immigration attorney is before attending the marriage interview.

Ten Tips To Help You Get Prepared For Your Marriage-Based Green Card Interview

  1. Recall memories: Talk to your spouse about your relationship, how and where you have met, and any other small details about you two.
  2. Collect required documents: Prepare the originals of documents you submitted in your green card application package (birth certificates, passport-style photos, Form I-130, Affidavit of Support, evidence of being together, joint bank accounts, …)
  3. If you have new evidence for your visa application, prepare it: Prepare documents of any other evidence you got after or forgot to submit with your visa application. You will have a chance to present it at the interview.
  4. Get organized: Your documents should be neat, put in a folder, in chronological order, including your photos.
  5. Wear formal: Since you enter the U.S. government’s building, you should put on conventional business attire, or at least avoid jeans, t-shirts, and revealing clothing.
  6. Give honest responses: You don’t have to make everything look perfect, but real—no need to avoid talking about difficulties you experienced as a couple.
  7. Get on time: Get to the interview a little bit earlier, at least 30 minutes. You will pass specific procedures such as going through a metal detector to enter a U.S. government building.
  8. Speak up: you can be asked very personal questions. So if you find some questions too offensive, you have a right to let them know politely. Moreover, you can decline to answer.
  9. Practice with your spouse: You two can simulate your interview. This will help you remember things you forgot and put you on the same line. Stress can make even people in long-term marriages forget some usual facts. So, practice!
  10. Don’t forget to enjoy the process: This shouldn’t be a stressful process, although many people deem that. Open up and relax! The natural you are, the process will go smoother, and interviewing officer will trust you.

Now, according to these tips, you should pay attention to the essential segments at the visa interview:

  1. Your communication with the interviewing officer
  2. Your psychical appearance
  3. Evidence you presented
  4. Your responses to the green card interview questions

Communication with USCIS Officer

Watch out for your verbal and non-verbal communication. You may be asked some questions that can surprise you and make you feel uncomfortable. We already told you that you could speak up and politely decline to answer a question you find offensive, but it is imperative to appear calm until the very end.

Physical Appearance

As mentioned above, since marriage green card interviews take place in the U.S. government buildings, you should get dressed more formally. Wear professional clothing, so the officer does not question your lifestyle and morals.

Evidence

Make sure you brought with you all required documents: appointment notice and identification documents in the form of a government-issued photo ID. Organize documents chronologically in such a way the officer can quickly examine them. Provide copies but bring originals so the officer can compare them with the information stated in your green card application form.

Answers the Green Card Interview Questions

While going through your application and the evidence you provided, the interviewing officer may ask you specific questions to clarify the stated facts.

This is the most important and most challenging part of the marriage-based green card. To successfully pass it, do the proper preparation we talked about within this article: remember how and where you met, your first date, details about proposing wedding day, any travel memories you made together, and similar events. There will be questions about daily activities, family, your living space, and other parts of your relationship.

Life is not perfect, so there is no need to memorize every detail and present yourself as an ideal couple. If your answers sound artificial, the interviewing officers can suspect that the marriage is fraudulent or not a bona fide. Moreover, you will be able to look at the documents to recall some information about some details.

Now, when you learned the essential parts of the interview, let’s look up to the list of possible questions that the officers can ask you.

This list of questions is only an insight into what you can expect, and it is not exhausted. The U.S. government officials can ask you any other question that will depend on your specific situation and, of course, the evidence you provided.

Questions About Your Relationship

  • Did your relationship turn romantic right away or later on?
  • Where did your spouse work when you first met?
  • Did you live together before getting married?
  • What do you both like to do as a married couple?
  • When and where was the proposal?
  • How long were you in a romantic relationship before you decided to get married?
  • When did you first see each other’s parents? Do they approve of your relationship?
  • How many brothers and sisters does your spouse have?

Questions About The Wedding Day

  • When do you decide to get married?
  • How many guests you had at your wedding? Was your family there?
  • Have the parents of both of you attended your wedding? What bout other family members?
  • When have you met each other’s parents? When was the last time you saw them?
  • What music was on your wedding day, and who decided about it?
  • Where did you go on a honeymoon and who chose the destination?

Questions About Your Daily Routines

  • What time do you and your spouse go to sleep, and when do you both get up?
  • Who makes breakfast in the morning? What do you usually eat, and what about your spouse’s favorite food in the morning?
  • What is your morning routine? Does your spouse drink coffee in the morning? (before leaving for work, before or after breakfast, etc.)
  • Does your spouse have a job? What is his or her career, and when he or she started working there? What is your spouse’s salary?
  • Do you know what the monthly salary of your spouse is?
  • Are you and your spouse religious? Do you attend religious services together, and where?
  • What did you do this morning, before coming to the interview, etc.?
  • Does your spouse take any regular medications or have any allergies?

Questions About Preparing breakfast, lunch, and dinner

  • Who does most of the cooking?
  • What does your spouse usually eat for breakfast?
  • What is your favorite restaurant? And what about your spouse?
  • Do you have any particular place you like to visit on important occasions, such as a spouse’s birthday?
  • What does your spouse like to eat the most? What food is his or her least favorite?
  • Do you have a barbecue grill? How often do you use it?
  • Do you use a gas stove or an electric?

Questions About Your Home

  • What size is your bed?
  • On what side of the bed do your spouse sleeps?
  • How many TVs do you have?
  • Do you have a carpet in the living room?
  • How many beds do you have in your home?
  • What kind of toothbrushes and toothpaste does each of you use? What about the shampoo, and soap, or any other product?
  • Do you have any routine before going to bed? Do you watch TV or read, and what your souse does before sleep?
  • Do you have a night table in your room? How does it look like?
  • What about the color of the curtains in your bedroom?
  • Do you have any carpets? What color or patterns are they?

Questions About Celebrations

  • What is your spouse’s date of birth? What did you give as a present for your spouse’s last birthday? How do you typically celebrate it?
  • Are you religious, and do you honor any religious holidays? Describe what you do during those events.
  • How you celebrated last New Year’s Eve?

This list is only exemplary. The green card questions can be diverse and mostly depend on your situation and how the U.S. government official sees you. So, compare what you will provide and imagine what a person could ask you to check whether you are telling the truth.

However, the most essential for you and your spouse is to talk to each other and go through all the documents you put into your application package. Try to remember what brought you together in the first place, what memories you created, and what you went through. Keep being relaxed and honest, and you will see how the process is a pleasant experience. What Happens After the Marriage Interview?

What Happens After the Marriage Interview?

If the USCIS officers firmly determine that your immigration case is not strong enough to approve the immigrant visa or permanent residence or that your marriage may be fraudulent, you will probably receive the denial on the spot. However, before the officer brings such a decision, you will usually get the opportunity to submit more proof or clarify noticed issues.

If the interviewing officer didn’t declare the denial right at the visa interview, you could expect one of the following scenarios:

  1. Approval of your U.S. immigrant visa application
  2. Issuing the Request for Evidence
  3. Notification about the additional review
  4. The invitation for the second interview

Approval of your U.S. immigrant visa application

Your application or permanent residence will be approved at the spot if the interviewing officers are satisfied with the documents you provided and the responses you gave. Generally, the officers will assess how you and your spouses handled the interview.

Issuing the Request for Evidence (RFE):

The U.S. immigration services officers would issue a Request for Evidence if your responses were vague. This means that the USCIS officers need more time and evidence to decide upon your application.

Notification about the additional review

When the immigration officer is uncertain about your documentation but does think that you provided anything you could, but that your immigration case needs further assessment anyway, you will be notified that you don’t have to submit any additional documentation, but you do need to wait for the final decision.

The invitation for the second interview

The interviewing officer will ask you to come again if there is a need to discuss your immigration case further. If you noticed that a particular area of your marriage or some of your responses looked vague, probably they will go through it again. However, this is your chance to prepare better for the second interview, but also to work on improving your confidence.

Do An Immigration Attorney Can Help You?

The marriage-based green card process may last for a long time. Going through phases can be exhaustive and overwhelming, and attending the in-person interview is one of the most challenging parts of the process. There is a number of reasons why hiring a lawyer starting from the first phase can be conducive and can save you lots of time and money.

Richard Herman is our immigration attorney who can help you achieve your goals and get a green card. By contacting us, you will make sure the best approach will be applied to your immigration case. Besides helping you prepare your green card application and fulfill all required immigration forms, your immigration lawyer can go through your background search, review the evidence you intend to provide and suggest how to act or what to say at the green card interview.

While the information on our site is not legal advice, there are plenty of articles you will find useful on our blog. However, if you have questions about this process or want to be represented by a team from a law firm Herman Legal Group, wait no more to contact us! You can book your consultations using an online form on our site.

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