FAQs About The Marriage-Based Green Card Interview

One of the paths to legal status for immigrants is to marry a United States citizen. In addition to completing an application and background check, an interview has to be conducted with the immigrant and his or her spouse. The interview has a large impact on whether or not an application for citizenship is approved. If you and your spouse have an interview with a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer, here is what you need to know.  

Why Is the Interview Conducted?

There are various reasons that an interview is part of the application process for the marriage-based green card. One of the main reasons is that officials want to ensure that there is a real relationship between you and your spouse.  

Green cards are prioritized so that family members are able to get processed faster. They are considered to be priority and as such, many people apply for green cards under the family-sponsored category. As a result, some people might believe it easier to marry someone just to get the green card rather than wait for an approval through another category, such as employer-sponsored.  

USCIS officials use the interview to weed out those who are in sham marriages just for the green card from those that are actually based on love.  

How Can You Prepare for the Interview?

Due to the importance of the interview with USCIS, you and your spouse need to prepare ahead of time. Part of your preparation should include reviewing all of the documents you have submitted to USCIS to that point. You also need to ensure that you have evidence to support the documents in case the official asks for it during the interview.  

During the interview, you and your spouse will be asked to confirm information included in your documentation. It is important that you are honest in your answers. If you cannot remember the answers to any questions, explain to the official that you cannot recall the answer. If the official believes that you are lying to him or her at anytime, he or she might doubt any other testimony you have to offer.  

Be prepared to answer personal or intimate questions about your living situation and spouse. The agent has relatively free range to determine the truth about your marriage. If you feel that the questions you are being asked are too personal, you can decline to answer them. To safeguard against an accusation that you were unable to answer the question, ask to speak with a supervisor. Explain to him or her why you are uncomfortable answering the question.  

Work with an immigration attorney from a firm like Tesoroni & Leroy to learn further about the immigration interview.