Knowing what to expect at the marriage-based green card interview may relieve anxiety, make this procedure more comfortable for spouses to go through, and successfully finish the application process.
When the spouses get to the USCIS local field office where their interview is scheduled, they will generally have to show their photo identification and initial appointment notice. The security procedure is similar to those at the airport, and the couple will have to pass the metal detector. Once they give the security checking, they will get a number in a waiting area, and lastly, they will be called by an immigration officer to access the interview office. If the couple has an immigration attorney, he or she will also be allowed to enter the interview.
The immigration interview usually lasts around 25 minutes. In the beginning, the couple has to stand to take the oath by raising their right hand and declaring that they will say only the truth and nothing but the truth. The interview can be held in different ways, so it can be conducted jointly or individually with each spouse, after which answers will be compared. If the couple is interviewed separately, questioning can be done with one spouse at the time, or two different officers can conduct it. Questioning can also be videotaped. Every immigration officer has its style of questioning, which sometimes can be more or less unpleasant. It is essential to stay calm and not give attitude to it.
The immigration officer will address administrative and authentication questions by reviewing filled documents. He or she will check the necessary information, such as an address, telephone number, etc. If something significant has changed, it is essential for spouses to inform the officer and to bring additional proof for the current situation. Identification documents will be verified, and it is needed to show original documents so that they can be compared with the filled ones in the application.
After the formalities are done, the immigration officer will start questioning spouses about relationship timeline, marriage life, daily activities, and future plans. It is expected and preferable that the couple provides extra material as evidence and a testimonial of their relationship and marriage life. They can include photos of important moments during relationship and marriage, with location and description where and when they have been taken. It can also include rental agreements, joint utility bills, joint bank accounts, evidence of everyday personal communication through messages, email, letters, etc. It is essential to understand the immigration interview as the most crucial step to prove that the marriage presented in the application is bona fides, i.e., for real.
If the interview goes well, the green card applicant will get a green card approval immediately. This will be conducted by putting a stamp in the immigrant passport with the validation as a green card for 30 days. You can expect the green card to arrive at the address within the next four weeks. Not all immigrant officers are authorized to approve so that the decision can be made afterward. At any rate, it is necessary to solve all the problems before it is possible to get a marriage-based green card. These issues may be why the immigration officer scheduled the second interview, which is called the Stokes interview.
In conclusion, with the excellent preparation and profound approach for the immigrant interview, it is possible to enhance the green card applicants’ chances of getting a marriage-based green card.