When you apply for a green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, the last step is to participate in an in-person interview. Both spouses must attend the interview. The interview is extremely important. Even if you have already provided a lot of evidence concerning your relationship, if you perform poorly at the interview, your application might be denied. The marriage interview can cause stress and anxiety, but here are some answers to frequently asked questions that should help you prepare.
Is an interview required for a marriage green card?
All applicants for a green card through marriage have to participate in an in-person interview. Marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident is one of the fastest and easiest ways to obtain a green card. As a result, many people enter into sham marriages in an attempt to apply for a green card. As one way of combating fraud, USCIS requires the applicants to appear for an in-person interview. The purpose of the interview is to make sure that the marriage is genuine and not a sham marriage. The interview is also a way to confirm the accuracy of information that the applicants provided.
How long will the interview take?
Interviews can last from 20 minutes to over an hour.
What happens during the interview?
At the interview, the USCIS official confirms your identity, reviews your original documents, reviews the information from your application, and asks you questions. The USCIS official will make you take an oath to tell the truth. The interview will be recorded. You bring all of your application documents, including originals of documents such as your birth certificate, marriage certificate, and passport.
Where does the interview take place?
The interview will be scheduled at the USCIS office closest to your home. The interviews are not conducted in a courtroom or in the presence of an immigration judge.
Who is present during the interview?
The immigration officer and the two spouses will attend the interview. Your attorney can attend the interview in person or by phone. If you need an interpreter, USCIS will provide an interpreter by phone. Generally, friends and other family members cannot attend.
Do we interview together?
Most commonly, the spouses participate in the interview together. But, sometimes the spouses are interviewed separately.
What kind of questions will the USCIS officer ask us?
The immigration officer is looking for evidence that your marriage is fake or a sham. In a genuine marriage, the spouses know a lot about each other. The officer will ask questions to make sure you actually know each other and live together as a married couple. The officer can ask about your spouse’s family members, your dating history, the wedding ceremony, daily routines, health status/medications, layout of an apartment or living arrangements, hobbies, employment, and travels.
What if I get a question wrong or do not know the answer?
The USCIS officer will not deny your application just because you answer one or two questions incorrectly. But if your answers and documents make the USCIS officer doubt whether you and your spouse really know each other, the officer may require you to return for a second interview later.
What happens at the end of the interview?
At the end of the interview, the immigration officer usually will not tell you the result. The officer will tell you that you will receive a notice in the mail. This is normal, so do not be concerned. Occasionally, the official will tell you in the interview that your application has been approved.
ImmiFree.Law is The Harrison Law Firm P.C.’s online platform to make the family immigration and naturalization process more efficient, accurate, and affordable. Baya Harrison, Esq. is an attorney licensed in New York, Florida, and California. Attorney Harrison has helped numerous individuals and families navigate the U.S. immigration process, specifically family-based petitions and naturalization.