Questions to Expect in Your Marriage Interview for U.S. Immigration
As technology and travel allows U.S. citizens to study, work, and live in more places around the world, more Americans are building relationships and families with people that are not American citizens. However, in order for those partners to live, work, and gain a higher education in the United States, that person must apply for a marriage-based green card.
Going through U.S. immigration is notoriously overwhelming and confusing. In this article, we’ll cover common immigration marriage interview questions, how to prepare for immigration marriage interview, and what to expect from the immigration marriage interview experience.
How To Prepare for Immigration Marriage Interview
If you’re reading this article, you may already know what a marriage-based green card is but if not, this green card gives the immigrant spouse permanent residency in the U.S. This allows a foreign national to work, live, and study in the U.S. legally. Additional green card benefits include being about to obtain a driver’s license, apply for social security, and travel in and out of America if each trip is less than a year. A marriage-based green card is valid for ten years and must be carried on the immigrant spouse at all times.
Many citizens and their partners wonder how they prepare for the immigration marriage interview. In order to feel as confident as possible for your interview, you should understand the process you can expect to go through. Marriage-based green card interviews are usually held at a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office. Your interview will typically happen between three to four months after your petition is filed with USCIS. The main purpose of your interview is to confirm that your relationship with your partner is true and genuine. Especially if you’ve been together for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to review your relationship with your spouse to make sure you both are clear about major events or dates.
Below we have listed some other tips for reducing your stress when preparing for your interview:
- Be on time and look professional – Give yourself extra time on the day of your interview and try to arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment.
- Bring documentation with you – Your attorney can advise you on any specific forms, but anything that proves the authenticity of your marriage is beneficial such as wedding photos, bank statements, or rental agreements.
- Don’t panic if you and your spouse are separated – If the USCIS separate you for any reason try not to panic. Stay calm and answer any of their questions honestly.
- Talk to your attorney – If you are unsure about anything, you can always speak to your attorney. They should know your case backwards and forwards and will be able to make your feel more prepared.
Immigration Marriage Interview Questions
Immigration marriage interview questions generally fall into six main categories, but USCIS officers can ask you a wide range of questions to determine the legitimacy of your marriage. The interview will last between fifteen and twenty minutes and will cover topics such as how you met, your wedding, employment history, and education.
Below we’ve listed some of the most common immigration marriage interview questions, but the list below is not comprehensive and immigration officers can ask questions that may not be included below.
- Wedding – Questions like “Where was the wedding held?”, “How many people attended your wedding?”, and “Where did you go for the honeymoon?” are common.
- Relationship – Questions that deal with intimate details are common such as, “When is your spouse’s birthday?” and “When is your anniversary?”
- How You Met – Questions like, “Who proposed to whom?” and “Where was your first date?” are common.
- Friends and Family – Questions such as, “Have you met each other’s families?” and “When was the last time you saw each other’s families?” are common.
- Education – Questions such as, “Where did your spouse go to school?” and “What did your spouse major in?” are common.
- Employment – Questions such as “Who is your spouse’s employer?” and “How long has your spouse been working there?” are common.
It is normal to feel nervous or anxious about the immigration marriage interview experience. That’s why it’s best to work with an experienced immigration firm that can reassure you about immigration marriage interview questions or any other concerns you may have. Leiva Law Firm is a boutique firm based in San Francisco specializing in U.S. immigration and nationality laws, for both local and international clients. Contact us today to discuss your specific immigration case.