When you marry a U.S. citizen, you will become eligible for what’s known as a marriage green card. Lawful permanent residence status, however, is not automatic: there are specific steps you and your spouse need to take. One of them is the filing of I-485- Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, with USCIS. Another is a formal interview intended to confirm the validity of the marriage.
USCIS representatives are always on the lookout for marriages that take place solely for immigration purposes. Unfortunately, their vigilance can sometimes result in negative outcomes for legitimate couples, such as a denial, a waiver for something that doesn’t even apply in your case, or even an invitation to a Stokes interview. By preparing for your interview, you and your spouse can avoid many of these problems, if not all.
In this blog, the immigration lawyers at the Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, PC, share some of the marriage green card interview questions you may be asked, along with tips for helping the process go as smoothly as possible.
Preparing for Your Marriage Green Card Interview
About 4-6 weeks prior to the interview, USCIS will mail you a notice with the date, time, and location. Before you leave for the interview, collect documentation that proves the legitimacy of your marriage. Depending on your circumstances, this may include the following:
- An official copy of your marriage certificate
- Proof of divorce or death of the previous spouse if either of you have been married before
- Proof of lawful entry into the U.S.
- Tax returns filed jointly with your spouse
- Joint savings and checking accounts
- Wedding photos
Green card marriage interviews are conducted in government buildings that require you to pass through metal detectors. Be warned that it may take up to 30 minutes just to enter the building. For this reason, try to arrive 45 minutes to an hour early.
Green Card Marriage Interview Questions
The USCIS representative will ask you both questions that cover all aspects of your relationship, from courtship to marriage to your present lives together.
Green Card Marriage Interview Questions About Your Courtship
- How did you meet your spouse?
- What was your first meeting like?
- Where and when did you meet for the first time?
- At the time, where were you living? Where was your spouse living?
- When did you meet again?
- When did you decide to get married?
- Who proposed to whom?
- Before you got married, did you live together?
You will need to reflect on the history of your relationship. You should be prepared to recount the events that led up to your marriage, from the first date to sharing the engagement news with friends and family.
Green Card Marriage Interview Questions About the Wedding
- What was the date of your wedding?
- Where was the wedding held?
- Who attended the ceremony?
- Can you tell me who the bridesmaids and groomsmen were?
- Was any liquor served at the reception?
- What date did you and your spouse leave for your honeymoon?
- How many days did you spend on your honeymoon?
- Where did you live after the wedding?
Be prepared to answer questions about when and where the wedding took place, who attended, what the ceremony and reception were like, and where you went on your honeymoon.
Green Card Marriage Interview Questions About Where You Now Live
- Where do you live now?
- When did you move to your current address?
- How much is the mortgage or rent?
- What is your landlord’s name?
- When does the lease expire?
- How many people are living with you and your spouse?
- Who are your neighbors?
The USCIS officer will be asking you questions about your present living situation. This includes how much it costs to live there, who your neighbors are, and even what furniture is inside. If you and your spouse give different answers to the same question, it may be taken as a sign that you don’t share a residence.
Green Card Marriage Interview Questions About Your Lifestyle
- Who gets up first? At what time?
- Who does most of the cooking?
- Do you have any pets?
- What are your working hours?
- What is a typical weekend for you and your spouse?
- How many times a week on average do you eat out?
- What is your spouse’s favorite movie?
- What is your spouse’s favorite color?
- What did you give each other for your last birthdays?
Be prepared to provide details about one another’s likes, dislikes, routines, shopping habits, and other personal information that one would be expected to know about their husband or wife.
Green Card Marriage Interview Questions About Your Spouse And Their Family
- What is your spouse’s date of birth?
- What is your spouse’s religion?
- Does your spouse have a criminal record?
- Does your spouse have any children?
- Where do your spouse’s parents reside?
- Have you met each other’s parents?
- How many brothers and sisters does your spouse have?
- Do you know your spouse’s friends?
Unless there is an estrangement in either family, you and your spouse will be expected to know important details about one another’s parents, children, siblings, and other relatives. You may also be asked about anniversaries and other important dates.
Questions About Preparing For Your Marriage Green Card Interview?
The interview process can be anxiety-inducing, but if you prepare well and work closely with your lawyer beforehand, you have nothing to worry about. At the Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, PC, we have guided many U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and their foreign-born spouses through the marriage-based immigration process. We can help you file the necessary petitions and prepare for your marriage green card interview. It has been our privilege to help couples like yourself prepare for a happy future here in the United States, and you can expect personalized attention until your case reaches a successful conclusion. If you are looking for help from an experienced lawyer to get your marriage green card, please call our office at (213) 375-4084 or contact us online.