Green Card Interview Questions
The specific questions you are asked in your green card interview will depend on the type of green card you are applying for, along with your personal situation and the discretion of the USCIS officer. While it is impossible to know exactly what you will be asked, you can prepare for common questions posed in a green card interview.
How Many Questions Will The Officer Ask About The Marriage
If everything appears to be in order and the officials are treating yours as a regular adjustment of status or visa interview, you can expect only a few questions. Basic ones about where you met, how many people attended your wedding, and what you did for your last birthday or holiday are common.
If the immigration authorities become suspicious, however, believing that your marriage could be a fraud to get a green card, you can expect a greater number of questions to be asked of you and your U.S. petitioner.
In fact, they may separate the two of you and do what’s called a “Stokes interview,” in which they ask both of you the same question, then compare your answers later.
If You’re Given Conditional Not Permanent Residence
If your marriage is less than two years old at the time you are approved to get a green card, you will be given what’s known as conditional rather than permanent residence. The conditional status is good for only two years.
Within the 90 days before those two years are up, the foreign-born and U.S. spouse are expected to jointly submit a USCIS Form I-751 showing that your marriage has continued through this period and asking to convert the immigrant’s conditional residence to permanent residence.
Along with the Form I-751, you’ll need to provide documents showing that you continue to live together and share financial and other aspects of your life. These are similar to the documents you provided in order to get the green card, but will need to cover the most recent two years of your marriage.
After reviewing this application, USCIS may require the couple to attend another personal interview to discuss your marriage and other matters.
Once the immigration officials determine that the marriage is valid , the green card will be reissued as permanent legal status without any conditions.
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Development Of Your Relationship
- What day is your garbage picked up?
- Who takes care of paying the bills?
- Do you have a joint bank account? Where?
- Do you have a cat, dog, or other pet? Who feeds it? Who walks it ?
- Do you and/or your spouse attend regular religious services? Where?
- Where do you keep the spare toilet paper? Who scrubs the toilet?
- Does your spouse take any regular medications?
- What did you do…
Green Card Marriage Interview Tips On How To Prepare
If you entered the United States with a visa and got married after 90 days to a U.S. citizen, you are probably eligible to submit an application to adjust your status to lawful permanent resident without having to leave the U.S. Approximately one year after you submit your application, you and your spouse will need to appear for a green card marriage interview with the USCIS.
In the present environment, there are so many things that can go wrong at your interview. However, if you and your spouse take the time to prepare for your interview, most of these negative outcomes can be avoided.
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What Is A Marriage
A spouse can obtain a green card for an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen. A green card for your immigrant spouse is more commonly known as a and has special immigration priority.
This green card grants the immigrant spouse permanent residency in the U.S., which allows them to live, work, and study in the U.S. legally. Additional green card benefits include being able to:
- Travel in and out of the U.S.
- Obtain a drivers license
- Apply for social security
This marriage-based green card, which immigrant spouses should carry at all times, is valid for ten years. However, it can be renewed no less than six months before expiration for the immigrant spouse to maintain their legal residency.
What To Expect In Your Marriage
The interview is one of the final and some would argue the most important stage of your marriage-based green card application. The purpose of this interview is to assess whether or not you are in a bona fide marriage.
The interviewer will be a consular officer or another immigration officer who is in charge of the case. This officer will also be watching how you interact with each other before, during and after the interview to judge if you are a genuine couple so think of yourselves as being judged as soon as you enter the building.
Furthermore, the interviewer will be looking to see if you are indeed eligible for a marriage-based green card or if you fall into any category of inadmissibility. For example, if you have violated any immigration laws related to past visas, have ever been associated with any terrorist organization or have a lengthy criminal past, you could be ineligible for a green card.
Again, it is best to consult with an immigration attorney who can best ascertain if you are eligible for a marriage-based green card, how to apply and prepare for the process as well as give you any legal advice relevant to your case.
Do you need help applying for a Family Based Visa? Our lawyers can assist you. Get in touch
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What Is A Green Card Through Marriage
A is one of the most common types of permanent resident cards. This type of green card is one of the quickest and easiest to obtain as long as you entered into a legitimate marriage. The legitimacy of your marriage will be highly scrutinized when applying for a green card in this manner, as many people get married in an attempt to cheat the system.
Even though a marriage-based green card is one of the quickest types to acquire, it can still be several months to well over a year before you finally have the green card in your possession. Exactly how long it will take and the process depends on the specifics of your case.
We reduce your chance of application rejection & denial. Check your eligibility to obtain a marriage green card.
What Problems Can Arise During Or After The Interview For The American Residence
The questions for the marriage Green Card interview are a single step in the overall process. If immigration believes they are dealing with a sham marriage, there will be serious consequences. However, if an American concludes that they have married solely for convenience, they have two options:
Divorce can have important migratory effects when the residence is obtained by marriage. Also, this can apply even if the divorce occurs after the conditionality of the Green Card has been lifted.
We invite you to learn more about this topic in our article What happens if you get divorced before Green Card interview.
In the event that the aliens are victims of abuse or find it very difficult to live with their US citizen spouse, they may be eligible for a VAWA visa.
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No Escape From Green Card Interview
If you are seeking a marriage-based green card, you have to attend the interview. This allows immigration officials to ascertain if the marriage is real and the couple intends to establish a life together. It is mandatory for both spouses to appear before the officials, who may interview them together or separately subject to their consideration.
The primary purpose of such an interview is to find out whether the couple is really married, the marriage is legal, valid, and in good faith, and the aim of marriage is not to get immigration benefits. It is also checked if the non-citizen spouse is suitable to get a green card and become a permanent US resident.
Your local USCIS office conducts the interview for a marriage-based green card. Failure by any of the spouse to attend the interview may lead to the rejection of your application. However, in case of separation or divorce, you may seek a waiver excluding your spouse from the entire process. Talk to an expert Texas immigration lawyer to know grounds for seeking the waiver.
When Will You Have A Green Card Interview
Your green card interview is one of the final steps in the process of becoming a permanent resident. How long you will have to wait after submitting your application to adjust your status depends on many factors. When your application has been processed, USCIS will contact you to notify you of your interview date and time.
If you are unable to attend your interview at this time, contact USCIS as soon as possible to reschedule your interview. However, it is vital to note that rescheduling your interview can lead to long delays in obtaining your green card.
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Immigrant Visa For A Spouse Of A Us Citizen
A spouse is a legally wedded husband or wife.
- Merely living together does not qualify a marriage for immigration.
- Common-law spouses may qualify as spouses for immigration purposes depending on the laws of the country where the common-law marriage occurs.
- In cases of polygamy, only the first spouse may qualify as a spouse for immigration.
Documents To Bring To Your Green Card Interview
Before your marriage green card interview, make sure you have the following documents in your possession:
- proof of citizenship or permanent residency for the petitioning spouse this could be in the form of a birth certificate, green card, or certificate of naturalization
- a certified copy of your marriage certificate
- proof of termination of prior marriages this could be in the form of a divorce or death certificate
- jointly filed income tax returns
- proof of joint bank accounts
- wedding photos, and
- proof of joint insurance policies, credit cards, etc.
Other than the green card interview checklist discussed above, here are some additional tips to help you prepare for the interview.
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Are You Prepared For Your Interview
Remember that the primary purpose of this interview is to confirm the validity of your relationship. Therefore, take the time to review your relationship in its entirety with your spouse. Its normal for you to forget things about your marriage, but you can work together to jog each others memory before the interview.
They are also looking to see if the U.S. citizen in the relationship can support the immigrant spouse. Your spouse will need to submit an affidavit of support to show that they have adequate means of financial support and are not likely to rely on the U.S. government financially.
Going through a process as tedious as a green card interview is not something you should do alone. If you have any questions or concerns before the interview, consult your immigration attorney.
The Importance Of Obtaining A Green Card
A green card gives an immigrant the right to live and work in the United States indefinitely. As a permanent resident, you retain your citizenship of your home country.
This card is a form of identification that proves your legal status and must be carried at all times. Your permanent resident card needs to be renewed every ten years. You can also convert your status to U.S. citizenship through naturalization.
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Questions About How You Met
The main goal of this category is to let the interviewer know how your relationship started and progressed before you got married. It is crucial to show that you and your partner built a strong relationship and fell in love before tying the knot.
- Do you have children from previous marriages/relationships?
- Do you live together or do you plan on living together?
Why Is A Personal Marriage Interview Necessary
Such an interview serves various purposes. The U.S. immigration authorities interview many people who apply for green cards, not just married couples. This gives them an opportunity to make sure that the relationship is the real thing, that all your paperwork checks out against what you say in person, and to examine your original documents .
However, in the case of married couples, the interview serves an additional purpose: to make sure the marriage is real, not just a sham to get the immigrant a green card. Due to the ease and speed with which aliens become citizens through marriage, many aliens marry for immigration benefits rather than for love.
The U.S. government is aware of this, and will ask a number of personal questions, of one or both spouses, in order to test whether they’re telling the truth.
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Refugee Green Card Interview
In a refugee green card interview, the USCIS officer will review your case to ensure that you still qualify to be in the country as a refugee.
You will not have to prove your case like when you first applied to come to the country as a refugee. However, if new evidence is uncovered that shows that you obtained your refugee status fraudulently, your application will be denied and deportation proceedings will begin.
Alternatively, if conditions change in your home country and it is determined that it is safe for you to return, your green card application will be denied.
See complete information about Refugee Green Card & its benefits.
What Are The Common Questions The Interviewer Ask
The officer will ask questions about how the couple met and how the relationship progressed before the marriage. The spouses should establish a romantic relationship and detail how they fell in love prior to being engaged then married.
Common questions about how the couple met include:
- How did you meet?
- Why did you have a short or long engagement?
- Has each of your parents met each other?
Another common set of questions is about the wedding day. You and your spouse must remember as many details of that day as possible.
The following are common wedding-related interview questions:
- Where was your wedding held?
- How many people attended the wedding?
- Did each of your parents attend?
- Who were the groomsmen/bridesmaids?
- Where did you go for your honeymoon?
There will also be questions about the details of the relationship as a married couple. Most married couples discuss several topics at least at some point during the first year.
Common questions regarding the relationship aspect of marriage include:
- When is your anniversary?
- When is your spouses birthday?
- Do you live together or plan to live together?
- How much time do you spend together?
- Have you been on vacation together?
- Do you plan to have children?
- Do you have any children from prior marriages?
- Do you attend church?
The couple must also know about each others education and employment backgrounds, so that the interviewer can confirm both spouses know details about each others lives.
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When You Have Your Immigrant Visa
If you are issued an immigrant visa, the consular officer will give you your passport containing the immigrant visa and a sealed packet containing the documents which you provided. It is important that you do not open the sealed packet. Only the U.S. immigration official should open this packet when you enter the United States. You are required to enter the United States before the expiration date printed on your visa. When traveling, the primary applicant must enter the United States before or at the same time as family members holding visas.
If you receive your immigrant visa on or after February 1, 2013, you must pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services after you receive your immigrant visa and before you travel to the United States. Only children who enter the United States under the Orphan or Hague adoption programs, Iraqi and Afghan special immigrants, returning residents , and those issued K visas are exempt from this fee. Select USCIS Immigrant Fee on the USCIS website for more information.
Important Notice: USCIS will not issue a Permanent Resident Card until you have paid the fee.
Where Does The Interview Take Place And Who Must Be There
Attending an interview is the very last stage in the process for those applying for an IR1/CR1 Visa . If both spouses are living together in the United States, the interview will take place at a local USCIS field office that is closest to where you live and both spouses must attend. If the spouses are living abroad, the interview will take place at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where they currently reside and only the foreign spouse will need to attend.
Normally, most couples are interviewed together, but in some cases, they can be separated and interviewed individually. The location and interview date will be scheduled ahead of time by the USCIS or by the National Visa Center if you or your spouse are living abroad.
In addition, any eligible children who are included on an IR2 or CR2 visa must attend the interview as well.
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