US citizens and green card holders can bring a foreign spouse to the United States to live as permanent residents. During the application process, the applicants must go through an interview conducted by an immigration official to confirm their eligibility for the visa.
Keep reading to discover how to prepare for a marriage green card interview.
How to Prepare for a Marriage Green Card Interview – Preparing the Documentation
The first step is to prepare for a marriage green card interview is to organize the required document package. Once the applicant’s petition is approved, an appointment will be scheduled for the interview.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires couples applying for marriage-based green cards to prepare a specific list of documents and bring them to the interview process.
The date and location of the interview depend on the applicant’s circumstances. If the applicant is applying on behalf of a foreign spouse already living in the United States, the interview is conducted at a USCIS office.
If the applicant’s foreign spouse is living abroad, the interview is conducted at a US Embassy or Consulate. The “sponsor” of the visa must submit proof of US Citizenship or permanent resident status, such as a certified copy of a US birth certificate or a copy of Form I-551 (Green Card).
Other required documents include:
- A copy of the petitioner’s civil marriage certificate
- A copy of all divorce decrees, death certificates, or annulment decrees that demonstrate that all previous marriage entered into by the petitioner and his or her spouse was terminated
- Passport style photos of both spouses (pursuant to Form I-130 instructions)
- Evidence of all legal name changes for the petitioner and his or her spouse (e.g., marriage certificates, divorce decrees, court judgment of name change, adoption decrees, etc.)
Depending on the case, it may be necessary to include other documents, such as jointly filed income tax returns, joint lease agreements, joint bank accounts, joint insurance policies, and wedding photos.
How to Prepare for a Marriage Green Card Interview – Attending the Interview
Green card marriage interviews are conducted in government buildings. Accordingly, applicants must wear conservative business attire, avoiding casual and revealing clothing. It is crucial to arrive at least 30-60 minutes before the time stated on the interview notice
An immigration official is responsible for conducting the interview process. Applicants must not guess any question or try to memorize fixed answers.
The official may conduct the interview with the couple answering the questions together or each spouse answering questions in a separate room. The interview process involves several questions regarding the couple’s relationship, family, and routines, such as:
- Where did you meet?
- Where did you go for dates?
- How long was it before you decided to get married?
- Where was your wedding held?
- Who gets up first? Who makes breakfast?
- Who is your spouse’s employer?
- What is the location of your spouse’s workplace?
- Do you live in a home or apartment?
- Who pays the mortgage or rent?
- Have you met each other’s families?
- How often do you see each other’s families?
- Do you have mutual friends?
Before submitting the required paperwork to USCIS, consulting with an experienced immigration attorney is fundamental to ensure a successful outcome in the interview process.