Once you have gone through all the other steps in the marriage green card process, the final stage is an interview. The goal is to assess if the marriage is authentic and not done only to obtain a green card. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will conduct the interview.
In order to prepare for the interview, you will want to do several things. Firstly, have a conversation with your spouse where you go over any important dates or events in your relationship since you will be asked questions about your history together. You will also want to gather any necessary documents, such as passports and birth and marriage certificates. Anything that goes to the authenticity of the marriage will also be helpful, such as pictures together, joint tax returns, or birth certificates of any children you have together.
What Are Six Tips for a Marriage Green Card Interview?
A marriage interview can bring on a lot of stress. You will want to follow these tips to give yourself the best chance of the interview going well. First, you will want to arrive early. This provides the interviewer with a favorable impression of you right off the bat and saves you from being late if an unexpected delay arises. Next, dress as you would for a job interview. You want the interviewer to focus on your answers, not on what you are wearing.
Make sure you listen to the interviewer and take your time answering their questions. It is natural to feel nervous, so take a breath when you have to and answer the question asked in the simplest terms possible; there is no need to volunteer extra information. Make sure you are organized. It is a good idea to gather all your documentation into a chronological folder so you can quickly access anything you need without delaying the interview.
Before the interview, look up common questions and have an answer prepared in advance. This will cut down on stress when the interview is underway. And lastly, be friendly and be yourself. You want to avoid the impression that you are attempting to hide anything, so a calm, open demeanor is what you should aim for.
What Happens at the Marriage Interview Itself?
Interview questions will focus on the history of your marriage, how you interact in the day-to-day, and what your plans for the future are as a couple. Be prepared for some personal questions, and answer as openly and honestly as possible. It is important to note that “I don’t know” is a valid answer and a much better option than guessing or making something up on the spot.
While it is most common for a couple to be interviewed together, there are circumstances where you will instead have separate interviews (Often referred to as a Stokes interview). The three main reasons this may happen are that USCIS identified some red flags that may suggest a fraudulent marriage, such as a very short marriage, a significant age gap, or having different addresses. They may have uncovered evidence that could point towards fraud or may decide during a regular interview that the Stokes format is needed to explore a piece of evidence that comes up within the interview.
What Happens After the Marriage Interview?
After the interview, you may either be approved or denied. If more information is needed, however, you may be called in to give a second interview or sent a request for more evidence (RFE). Whether you are going into an interview for the first time or have received an RFE, consulting a seasoned marriage-based green card advocate can give you the best chance of success.
For all your immigration questions and needs, call (408) 645-6395 now.