Tips For A Marriage Based Green Card Interview
We know how stressful the interview process can be, so take a look at these top tips to make the best of your situation.
Ultimately, having a legitimate case and an experienced attorney should be your most valuable assets during this interview. These questions are designed to determine if your marriage is fraudulent. If that is not the case, then simply follow the above tips and be confident.
What To Expect In The Marriage Green Card Interview
During the interview, the officer will review the paperwork and ask basic questions to know the applicant and confirm each individual of the couple lives and works. They will also want to know whether the couple is financially stable to avoid approving an immigrant who will become a public charge. By public charge, we mean that the person will require government welfare or assistance in the United States.
Before the interview, you will want to review your application and come prepared with documents proving that you share a life with your spouse. These include:
- Phone bills, plane tickets, and letters showing your regular communications and visits if you live apart.
- Your wedding day photos, family events, and shared vacations
- Children birth certificates
- Sworn statements from close friends who know you and can claim you are married
The consular or the U.S. immigrant official will also ask personal questions to test whether your marriage is authentic. None of these questions should be difficult to answer if your union is legitimate and you deeply know your spouse. Be sure that both of you remember the minor details about your relationship, like how you met and things that happened during your wedding. Each interview usually takes 15 to 20 minutes, so you must be straight to the point when answering the questions.
How Long Will The Green Card Take To Process
Once you send in your I-130 petition, you can expect to receive a notice of receipt from the USCIS within two weeks. After that, it will usually take an average of 11 months to receive an answer on whether or not it was approved. However, it could take substantially longer or shorter depending on the caseload, the service center that is processing your petition, and your cases complexity. In addition, this step can be significantly delayed if the USCIS issues a Request for Evidence .
If your petition is approved and you are outside of the U.S. under no visa status, you can schedule a consular interview at the U.S. consulate or embassy in your home country. This can be scheduled out a few weeks to a few months before the appointment.
If you are currently under a U.S. visa status, you can choose to adjust your status through the I-485 form, which takes six months to process. However, after your I-485 is approved or your consular interview is concluded favorably, you will immediately be granted lawful permanent resident status. Your green card should arrive in the mail within six months.
All told, your can take as little as seven months or as long as two years depending on your route and situation. A marriage visa attorney will help you determine more accurately what you can expect as a processing time.
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The Immigration Interview Notice
Congratulations on receiving your green card interview notice. It is time to put your best foot forward. The foremost thing is to read the notice carefully and find the location, date, and time of the interview. Next, check the general list of documents you sent with your green card application and prepare those copies to take to the interview.
Items To Take To Interview
The appointment notice will include a list of items to take to your consular interview. You should expect to take the following items:
- Interview appointment letter from the National Visa Center .
- Unexpired passport valid for six months beyond your intended date of entry into the United States and a photocopy of the biographic page .
- Two color passport photographs measuring 2 inches by 2 inches with a white background.
- Required civil documents , even if you submitted a photocopy to NVC. You may need to get an updated police certificate.
- Medical exam results if the physician gives you these results. In that case, bring them to your interview in the envelope sealed by the medical office. Do not open this envelope.
- Confirmation page from Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application, that you submitted on ceac.state.gov.
- A signed Form I-864 Affidavit of Support and supporting documents from your petitioner and any additional financial sponsors who submitted a Form I-864 on behalf of your visa application. Applicants may bring photocopies and scanned versions of signed Forms I-864 and associated documents.
- Proof of the U.S. petitioners status and domicile in the United States .
- Translations of any document not written in either English or the official language of the country in which the interview will take place. Translations must be certified by a competent translator.
Changes to your Application
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What Questions Do They Ask In A Green Card Marriage Interview
If you are seeking a Marriage-based green card, you might be asked the following questions by an Immigration officer to determine if your marriage is bona fide. Often you and your spouse will be separated for part of the interview to see if your answers match.
There are several things that you must keep in mind about these interviews.
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After The Marriage Green Card Interview
Once youve completed your marriage-based green card interview, youll have to wait for the USCIS to approve your petition. Unfortunately, there isnt a defined time for marriage green card approvals, making the waiting process even more stressful.
A few weeks from the interview date, you may receive the news that USCIS either granted or denied your green card. It can take longer if your file is undergoing an additional security review. If your petition is approved, USCIS will return your passport to you with the conditional green card printed inside, allowing you and your spouse to enter the U.S. as legal permanent residents.
You and your spouse can check the status of your green card case by entering your case number into the USCIS Case Status Search.
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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.
Common Stokes Interview Questions
So what happens if a couple fails to convince the USCIS official that their marriage is real?
In that case, the couple is usually given a second chance to prove the legitimacy of their marriage. This second chance interview is known as the Stokes Interview or the Marriage Fraud Interview.
Here are some common questions to expect at a Stokes interview with the USCIS.
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Cordial Style Marriage Green Card Interview
A cordial style interview is usually a friendlier and quicker interview process. Typically, ranging anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
Generally, youll both be in the same room at the same time, and each of you will be asked similar green card interview questions including: state your name, your address, and how you met, information about your wedding, employment, etc., then the foreign spouse will be asked some criminal background questions listed on the I-485, and then youll both be done.
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.
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I 485 Interview Questions Sample
- How, when and where did you meet your spouse?
- When did you get married?
- In what city did you get married?
- Are both spouses salaries deposited into the same bank account?
- Have you met each others parents?
- What are each of your parents names?
- Who pays the rent/mortgage? How is it paid?
- What size of bed do you and your spouse have?
- If you had a celebration, what food/beverages were served?
- When did you and your spouse move in together?
- What is your spouses work schedule?
- What does your spouse do for a living?
- What are the names of your pets?
- What are the names of your siblings?
- What are the names of your best friends?
- Where did your spouse go to school/college?
As you can see, some questions are broad and general, while others are very specific. It is USCIS normal practice to test you and your spouses knowledge about each other and your life together.
What To Expect After The Marriage Green Card Interview
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The Marriage Based Green Card Interview
Jacob Sapochnick, Esq.We filed our Application, now what?
As you may know, all applications must be filed with the Chicago Benefits Center. USCIS made this center in hopes of speeding up the handling of applications. Make sure to make a complete copy of every form, document, and checks that you send to the USCIS. NEVER SEND ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS AS YOU WILL NEVER SEE THOSE PAPERS EVER AGAIN!!!
Once USCIS has received and accepted your adjustment of status packet for processing, they will put you on in the big line for your interview. They will also send you receipts for all the forms that you paid for. The receipts are very important documents and you must treat them as official government paperwork. Among other things, the receipts will contain your A-number, which youll need if you have to correspond with USCIS about your case or find the status of your case. You should be getting receipts 2-3 weeks after filing.
You work permit will come in the mail in 90 days or so after filing.In some states the interview may be scheduled before the work permit arrives.If this is the case and you are approved on the day of the interview, the work permit will no longer be required as you will receive the Green Card.If for some reason your case is not approved or they may need more evidence, the officer will approve the work permit at the time of the interview.
Traveling while the application is pendingFingerprints and Biometrics appointmentThe Interview
Other Documents To Submit At The Interview
The USCIS officer may ask you for additional documents showing whether the marriage is real. Some requested documents are:
You must bring some photographs of the wedding day and honeymoon with you so that the USCIS officer can determine that the wedding was indeed carried out in good faith.
You can also display other celebration photos, such as:
You will need to submit documents that show tax returns, such as shared property, bank account, mortgage, vehicle and others.
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What To Expect From Your Marriage
Immigration green card interview questions depend on many variables: USCIS officer, the clarity of your case, the amount and quality of submitted evidence, your answers, and much more. Every case is different, and while it would be impossible to predict a complete list of marriage based green card USCIS interview questions and answers, we can help you understand what to expect from the interview.
We encourage you not to get overwhelmed because we will provide you with general instructions and helpful tips on addressing interview questions for a green card through marriage.
First and foremost, we recommend you review the USCIS interview notice letter carefully and carefully follow its instructions.
Technology In Your Home
- How many telephones do you have at your house? Where are they placed?
- How many televisions are in your home? In which rooms are they? Name the last show or movie you watched together.
- Do you have a subscription to any streaming video service?
- What company provides your cable service and internet service?
- Does your spouse listen to the radio? What station?
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Marriage Green Card Interview Questions And Tips
There are two important parts to the marriage green card interview process.
First, you want to make sure to prepare for the marriage green card interview questions.
Second, you want to make sure to bring the proper supporting documents.
When attending the interview make sure to dress well, but do not overdress, answer every question truthfully and honestly and answer only what the officer is asking of you. Bring lots of photos, be positive, and also stay calm and collected.
Heres a list of 101 marriage green card interview questions and tips, for you to review. Get your FREE marriage green card checklist here.
How To Answer Interview Questions
- The simplest way to pass the Green Card interview is to be honest. The interview is an opportunity that gives a new perspective into your life as a couple.
- Speak your mind although some interview officers will ask very personal questions. If the questions are too personal, you can decline to answer them. Typically the interviewer will understand and move ahead to the next question.
- It is important to practice before the interview, especially if you tend to be forgetful.
- Just enjoy the interview. Its very important to be honest and straightforward when answering and recalling details about your love and married life.
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