Marriage Green Card Interview: Things to Consider

While it might seem like a straightforward process, couples need to remain calm and objective during their interview in order to be one step closer to securing a green card.

The marriage green card interview is a critical step in the I-485 application, the adjustment of status. Green card interviews are designed, according to immigration experts, to seek out fraudulent marriages. Because there are a limited number of green cards that can be given out on an annual basis, and also because of a United States security component to authorizing green cards, officers need to make sure that those who have them, have them rightfully and according to USCIS protocol.

As such, the marriage interview depends heavily on both partners to show up to the interview and be prepared to answer a range of questions that pertain to their marriage, how they met, and how their life is going. These questions might come off as obscure to the interviewees if they are not ready for the interview. Many who have been through this process comment on some of the questions that are asked by officers, such as:

  • Where did you meet?
  • How long were you dating before you decided to get married?
  • Have you both met each other's families, and if so when and can you describe the experience?
  • When did you get married and what was the venue like?
  • Do you have a joint bank account? Why or why not?

These questions are fairly basic, but also couples should be prepared to answer other more immediate questions that require quick thinking and less of a narrative approach, such as: 

  • What did you do last night?
  • Do you live in an apartment or a home? Which door do you enter?
  • What subway does your spouse take to work in the morning?
  • What did you have for dinner last night?

Concerning applying for the green card as an alien spouse, the green card interview mainly focuses on how your relationship and marriage are developed and formed. We thus list some most asked questions regarding marriage purpose green card application. There are months of waiting before you receive the interview receipt notice, and you can well leverage such period of time and get yourself ready for the crucial interview with Visa2us!

How you begin (your relationship history)

  • How did you meet?
  • Where did you usually have your dates?
  • When did your relationship turn romantic?
  • How long have you been dating before deciding to get married?
  • Where did your marriage proposal take place?
  • What is the story of your marriage proposal?
  • Do your parents approve of the match? Why or why not?

Your Wedding Day

  • How was your wedding? What was it like?
  • Where was the wedding held?
  • Who attended your wedding?
  • What preparations did you make for the wedding? (E.g., served food/dishes, decoration, etc.)
  • Were there any special activities/rituals performed? If so, what kind?
  • Who were the bridesmaids/groomsmen?
  • How late did the guests stay?
  • Where did you go for your honeymoon? How was it?

Your Life/Lives After Getting Married

  • What is daily life like for you and your spouse after getting married?
  • What is your daily routine? How do you start your day?
  • How do you spend your weekends?
  • What do each of you eat for breakfast?
  • Does your spouse drink coffee in the morning?
  • How often do you and your spouse text or talk (through mobile devices) when you’re apart?
  • How do you and your spouse deal with the house chores? 
  • What is the location of your spouse’s workplace? What is the name of your spouse’s boss?
  • What time does your spouse arrive home from work?
  • Who takes care of paying the bills?
  • How much does your spouse earn every month or year? How often is your spouse paid?
  • Do you have a joint bank account? Where?
  • Do you have a cat, dog, or other pet? Who feeds it? Who walks it (or cleans its kitty litter box, cage, etc.)?
  • Does your spouse take any regular medications?
  • Do you and/or your spouse attend regular religious services? Where?
  • What did you do...[this morning, yesterday, last weekend, etc.] 

Your Kids (If Any)

  • How many kids do you have?
  • How do your kids go to school? Who takes them to school?
  • Who prepares lunches for the kids?
  • What are their favorite foods? 
  • What are your kids’ hobbies? 
  • Do they play any sports? If so, what are they?
  • Which children (if any) still use a car seat?
  • Do you hire babysitters for them? What is your usual babysitter’s name?
  • What do you usually do during the weekends?

Other Family Members (If Any)

  • Have you met each other’s parents? How often do you see each others’ parents? Where do they live?
  • On important holidays, do you buy gifts for your parents-in-law? Do you receive gifts from them too?
  • How many brothers and sisters does your spouse have? What are their names? How often do they visit you? 
  • Which other members of your spouse’s family do you see frequently? What are their names? 
  • What did you do during your last visits to your spouse’s family members? When was the last time you saw them?

Your Personal Habits and Needs

  • What side of the bed do you sleep on?
  • What medications does your spouse take? 
  • What color are your spouse’s pajamas?
  • Where do you keep your toothbrushes? What kind of soap, shampoo, and conditioner does each of you use?
  • Have you ever had an argument resulting in you sleeping separately? 
  • What form of contraception (birth control) do you use?

Big Events/Rituals, or Celebrations

  • When are your birthdays? How do you celebrate them?
  • Do you buy gifts for wedding anniversaries? What did you buy last time?
  • What is the most important holiday of the year in your home? Any special ritual for celebrations?
  • Have you and your spouse gone to see a movie or other form of entertainment lately? When, and what did you see?
  • How do you celebrate New Year’s Eve this year?
  • Do you take pictures on special occasions? Who takes pictures?

Housing/Home Technology

  • Do you live in a home or apartment? Who pays the mortgage or rent? How much is it?
  • Do you have a garage? Who parks in it?
  • Have you ever had houseguests sleep there?
  • What type of mobile phone does your spouse have? What's the phone number?
  • Do you record any television shows?
  • What company provides your cable service? Internet service?
  • How many computers, laptops, or tablets are in the house? What are the brands? 
  • What kind of car does your spouse drive?

Staying calm during an interview

Another aspect of the marriage green card interview to be especially aware of is the fact that officers tend to judge applicants harshly on their financial success or lack thereof. Receiving a green card means that one is eligible to work as a lawful permanent resident in the United States, and officers want to make sure that applicants are going to pay their taxes—an important civic duty especially when it comes to immigration. In light of this, officers can be skeptical of applicants who do not have a “good” work history or seem to be floating by waiting to receive benefits in lieu of a green card.

Making a strong case for one's academic background, degrees received, or the willingness or professional interests one has in the city or location they are residing are beneficial ways to ace your green card interview. It’s also a way during the interview to stay focused and calm; objective.

But one of the problems that invite skepticism from an officer's point of view is when couples seem to get nervous and talk about their careers in ways they haven’t up until this point that might even catch their partner off guard during the interview. The same goes for showing officer photographs of times couples spent together. As showing photographs is not required unless asked explicitly to do so, an officer can easily think that this is not normal, that the couple is hiding something, or simply that they are “overcompensating”.

While easier said than done, the best thing a couple can do is to stay calm during the interview and try not to overcompensate. Spending time with a couple for a few weeks, an officer might be able to tell that marriage is clearly real, unique, and genuine, but when couples get nervous and tend to overcompensate during an interview, it’s a red flag warning to the interviewing officer and might be grounds for denying a case. These are definitely some things to be aware of, and just like a job interview, one of the best pieces of advice for a couple is to simply get a good night's sleep before the interview, show up prepared, and don’t psych oneself out when asked tricky questions.

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