Tips for Immigration Marriage Interview
If you are a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) with a green card and you have married a foreign national who wishes to achieve LPR status, then an interview will be scheduled by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
If the foreign national is living abroad, then the interview will be conducted in the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consular Office in what is known as “consular processing.” If both of you are in the U.S., then the interview will be held in a USCIS office.
The purpose of the interview is to verify the information and documentation submitted with your application. When it comes to marriages, immigration officials also want to determine if the marriage is legitimate or if it is only a ruse, so to speak, so the foreign national can get a green card.
Given the gravity of the process, it’s only natural for one or both spouses to be nervous. It’s also easy to overlook or misunderstand what immigration officials are looking for. You should be prepared to bring supporting documents to the interview, even if you’ve already submitted them with your application. You may even want to bring additional documentation to verify the sincerity of your relationship.
Most of all, you should prepare by seeking the advice and guidance of an experienced immigration attorney. If you are scheduled for a marriage interview in or around Dallas, Texas, contact me at M Mathew Law Firm, PLLC. I am an immigrant myself who has gone through the official process to become a naturalized U.S. citizen. I have been helping others navigate the immigration system for the past decade. I also proudly serve clients in the neighboring communities of Richardson, Lewisville, Irving, Farmers Branch, Grand Prairie, and more.
What to Expect at the Immigration Marriage Interview
Whether you’re alone during consular processing or together at a stateside office, the official conducting the interview will ask questions to verify the legitimacy of your relationship. They may start with simple questions such as:
Where did the two of you meet?
When did you fall in love?
How many people attended your wedding and where was it?
If they suspect there may be fraud involved (i.e., the marriage is a sham just so the foreign national can get a green card), the questions can get much more detailed, for instance:
What kind of cake or food did you serve at the wedding?
How late did the guests stay?
Did you serve liquor? What kind?
Did you go on a honeymoon? Where? How did you get there?
If both spouses are in the interview and the foreign national is already in the U.S., questions may involve your relationship, such as:
Who gets up first in the morning? At what time?
Who makes breakfast?
What day is the garbage picked up?
When does your spouse get home from work?
Who does the cooking?
What is your spouse’s favorite meal?
If officials are really skeptical, they may separate both spouses and ask each one the same set of questions and then compare the answers. You should prepare, with the assistance of your attorney, for any possible question that may be asked.
Tips for Success
Preparation is obviously the key. Be sure to bring every possible type of verification possible with you, including joint bank account statements, lease or rental agreements, mortgage statements, photos of your wedding and/or honeymoon, statements by friends and relatives verifying your relationship—whatever you have to show the legitimacy of your marriage. Don’t leave anything behind. Better to bring something that might help than not have it during the interview.
In short, provide as much evidence as possible to convince officials that yours is a legitimate relationship. Realize that immigration has a job to do and they see a lot of fraud, so do your part and gather as much information as you can to present to them.
As noted earlier, you need to practice answering questions with your attorney. When answering questions, always be honest. If you are concerned about any particular facts of your relationship, discuss them with your attorney prior to the interview, so you can understand the best way to address matters.
Your body language can also be key to how immigration officials treat you. If you appear nervous, they may conclude you’re not being honest, and this can raise a red flag leading to a more in-depth level of questioning. Practicing with your attorney and with your spouse at home can help you approach the interview in a calm, composed manner.
Seek Trusted Legal Guidance
The best approach to an upcoming immigration marriage interview is to seek out an experienced and knowledgeable immigration attorney to make sure that, in advance, you have assembled all supporting documents as well as practiced answering any questions officials may throw at you.
In the Dallas, Texas, area and in surrounding communities, contact M Mathew Law Firm, PLLC. I will meet personally with you and provide guided assistance for you in preparing for the upcoming interview.