USA and the UK
- Overview of the Marriage-Based Green Card Interview Process
- What to Expect During the Marriage-Based Green Card Interview
- Important Documents to Bring to the Marriage-Based Green Card Interview
- How to Answer Marriage Green Card Interview Questions Effectively
- Marriage Green Card Interview Questions About Your Relationship
- Marriage Green Card Interview Questions About Your Daily Life
- Marriage Green Card Interview Questions About Your Family
- What to Do If You Answer Marriage Green Card Interview Questions Incorrectly
- What to Expect After the Marriage Green Card Interview
- Appealing a Marriage-Based Green Card Denial
- Conditional Marriage-Based Green Card
- How Can IAS Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Overview of the Marriage-Based Green Card Interview Process
The Marriage-Based Green Card Interview is the last but most critical step in the marriage Green Card process. The interview can occur at a US Consulate abroad, where the citizen spouse doesn’t attend, or in the office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), where the married couple must be present.
Before considering a Green Card, you must have applied for the Conditional Resident Spouse (CR1) Visa or the permanent Immediate Relative Spouse (IR1) Visa to enter the US. After answering the Spouse Visa interview questions and obtaining your immigrant visa, you become eligible for a Green Card.
To become a lawful permanent resident (LPR) in the US, you must file Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) and correctly answer the I-130 interview questions for spouse. The Marriage-based Green Card interviews are held between 3 to 4 months after you have filed a petition to USCIS.
At the Interview
Whether interviewing in the US or abroad, an interview will be conducted by a USCIS officer who will assess your marriage’s authenticity. It is also the job of the interviewing officer to confirm whether you qualify for a Green Card.
The USCIS officer will ask questions about your relationship’s history, daily activities and future plans together. You’ll be asked to present documents or evidence to prove your marriage’s authenticity.
It is common for the USCIS to interview couples separately, so you and your spouse should prepare. In this case, an officer(s) from USCIS’ Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) unit will interview each couple in separate rooms. After the interview, your answers will be cross-checked and compared for fallacies. If your first interview raises suspicion, the officers can ask you to return for another interview – this second interview is known as a Stokes interview).
Important Documents to Bring to the Marriage-Based Green Card Interview
To prove the authenticity of your marriage at your interview, you should take the following documents along with you:
- Marriage certificate
- Bank statements
- Receipts for rent/mortgage payments
- Proof of spouse’s citizenship
- Photos of you and your spouse together
- Utility bills, joint bank, and credit card statements.
How to Answer Marriage Green Card Interview Questions Effectively
Although you may not know the exact Green Card marriage interview questions to expect from an immigration officer, you should still use the following tips:
- Prepare with your spouse using the common interview questions listed below. Also, it is best not to memorize facts because it will make you and your spouse sound rehearsed.
- Arrive on time for your interview. If you are late, you may become more tense and anxious.
- Dress formally and appropriately.
- Prepare the necessary documents and take them along with you.
- Use the help of an immigration attorney to prepare for your interview based on your situation.
Questions About How You Met Your Spouse
- Who introduced you to your spouse?
- How did you first meet?
- Did you plan to meet again after the first time?
- Could you provide details about your first date?
- Who was your spouse living with when you met?
- Where did you and your spouse go on your first date?
Questions About Your Relationship History and Love Story
- What initially drew you to your spouse?
- Where were your usual date spots?
- When did your relationship turn romantic?
- When did you both agree to tie the knot?
- How long did it take for you both to reach that decision?
- Who proposed to whom?
- Did you live together before getting married?
- Did your parents approve of your relationship? If not, what were the reasons?
Questions About Your Engagement and Wedding Planning
- What was your wedding date?
- Where was the wedding held?
- Who were the bridesmaids/groomsmen?
- Did your parents-in-law attend the wedding?
- How many people attended your wedding?
- Did you have a reception after the ceremony?
- What did you do after the wedding ceremony?
- Do you have any photos from the wedding ceremony or reception that you could share?
- Did you go on a honeymoon?
Questions About Interests and Hobbies
- Does your spouse drink?
- What is your spouse’s favorite color?
- What’s your spouse’s birthday?
- What’s your spouse’s favorite sport?
- What is your spouse’s favorite movie?
- Does your spouse drink coffee?
- What is one TV show that both of you enjoy watching together?
- What is your spouse’s most or least favorite food?
General Green Card Marriage Interview Questions
- Does your sofa have a pull-out bed, or is it a regular one? If it has a pull-out bed, have you ever had guests sleep on it?
- What size is your bed – full, queen, or king?
- Do you have a regular mattress or waterbed?
- Are there any lamps beside your bed?
- Where do you and your spouse keep your clothes?
- How many closets are in your apartment, and on which side does your spouse hang their clothes?
Questions About Your Daily Routines and Schedules
- Do you use an alarm clock to wake up in the morning?
- Who typically wakes up first, and at what time?
- What brand of toothpaste, soap, and shampoo do each of you use?
- What time do you or your spouse arrive home?
- Can you describe in detail the last time you spent the whole day together, including what you did and in what order?
Questions About Your Living Situation and Household Chores
- Who usually cooks meals?
- Who typically prepares breakfast?
- What is your spouse’s preferred morning beverage (e.g., coffee, tea, milk), and do they add cream or sugar?
- What do both of you typically have for breakfast?
- Who does the grocery shopping? How frequently do you shop, and what transportation do you use to get there?
Job and Finance Questions
- What is your spouse’s occupation and job title?
- How many years have they been working in their current position?
- How far is their workplace?
- How many joint bank accounts do you have?
- Is your spouse employed full-time or part-time?
- What is your spouse’s salary?
Questions About Your Children or Stepchildren
- How many children do you and your spouse have?
- Can you provide each child’s name, birth date, and birthplace (hospital name and city)?
- Who is your child’s best friend?
- What is the usual babysitter’s name?
- Does your child attend daycare? If so, when do they attend?
- What is the name of your child’s teacher?
- Who is responsible for picking up your children from school?
Questions About Your Extended Family
- Do you know your spouse’s family members? Which ones?
- What is your spouse’s parent’s name?
- Where do your spouse’s parents live?
- Have you met each other’s parents?
- How often do you communicate or visit your spouse’s parents?
- How many brothers and sisters does your spouse have?
- How many brothers and sisters are married?
- Name some of your spouse’s friends.
- What important family occasions do you attend?
We suggest you reach out to our experienced immigration lawyers, as they are experts in preparing couples for Green Card interviews. Contact us at +1 844 290 6312 or online.
During your interview, you should avoid making up false stories when you cannot remember the answer and not forget to take the essential documents with you. But if you make mistakes, do not panic; the officer will ask further Green Card marriage interview questions to clarify facts and confirm that you are not committing marriage fraud.
However, if an officer is still skeptical of whether you are telling the truth, they can demand another interview called the Stokes interview.
Overview of the Stokes (Marriage Fraud) Interview Process
You may get called back for another interview if there are constant contradictions and fallacies in answers, hesitation, and inability to answer questions. The officer will interview you and your spouse in separate rooms this time. After completing the separate interviews, the USCIS officer will bring your and your spouse together to explain any inconsistencies (if any). You will only be granted a Green Card if the officer is convinced and satisfied with your responses.
Common Reasons For Receiving Notice for Stokes Interview
You will be informed of the reason at the beginning of the Stokes interview. Find some of the possible reasons below.
- The language difference between you and your spouse.
- The interviewing officer is still suspicious of the legitimacy of the marriage.
- A document you submitted is inconsistent with your other information.
- A wide age difference.
- The cultural, religious, and lifestyle differences.
Common Stokes Interview Questions and Best Answers
You must prepare with your spouse if you need to attend another appointment. The following are common questions to expect in a Stokes interview:
- What types of vehicles do you drive?
- Who sleeps on which side of the bed?
- Which one of you is in charge of the finances?
- What do you both typically eat for breakfast?
- What is your spouse’s favorite food?
- What cell phone provider does your spouse use?
- What types of entertainment do you both enjoy?
If you need help succeeding with your Stokes interview, contact our immigration lawyers at +1 844 290 6312 or online.
What to Expect After the Marriage Green Card Interview
The following scenarios can happen after your interview:
Approval – you will receive personal notification from the officer that your case has been approved.
Request for Evidence (RFE) – If the officer requires more information, they will send you an RFE (Request for Evidence), which typically requests additional documents to verify the authenticity of your relationship, such as extra utility bills or bank statements.
Additional Review – The officer will inform you that your case requires further review and that you should expect to receive either a final decision or additional instructions by mail.
Stokes Interview – You may be requested to attend a second interview with the officer to discuss specific aspects of your relationship or background in greater detail.
Denial – Factors that could negatively impact the eligibility of a Green Card applicant may include inadequate documentation, background check issues, or past immigration history problems. However, it’s more common for the officer to allow you to address these issues before making a final decision.
Appealing a Marriage-Based Green Card Denial
If the USCIS denies your Marriage-Based Green Card petition claiming that the marriage is fraudulent or a sham, you can file an appeal.
The Justice’s Board of Immigration Appeals (B.I.A.) handles appeals of USCIS denial. You cannot file an appeal alone, so you must file with the District Director of the USCIS local office that denied your visa petition.
How to File
You must file Form EOIR-29 (Notice to the Board of Immigration Appeals from a Decision of an Immigration Officer) within 30 days of the I-130 denial to appeal. Within 21 days of filing the appeal, you must file a written brief supporting the EOIR-29.
Again, you cannot sign the appeal; your spouse must sign and file it. Filing an appeal costs about $110, and you cannot appeal after 30 days. The B.I.A. will likely reject it once the deadline passes, and the USCIS decision about your marriage being fraud becomes final.
To avoid frustration and extra cost, you should use the help of our expert immigration lawyers. Contact us today at +1 844 290 6312 or online.
Conditional Marriage-Based Green Card
If you were granted a conditional marriage-based Green Card, do not panic. The USCIS gives a conditional marriage-based Green Card instead of the transitional permanent residence card if your marriage is not up to two years. The conditional marriage-based Green Card cannot be renewed once it expires after two years, but you can file a petition to have the condition removed.
You will file Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence, 90 days before the card expiry to remove the condition. If, for any reason, the USCIS does not remove the condition, you will no longer be a lawful permanent resident in the US once the two years are up.
For expert advice on removing your Green Card’s conditions, contact our immigration lawyers at +1 844 290 6312 or online.
Having an interview to answer questions about your relationship can be a very worrying and stressful experience, especially when you are keen to remain with your partner in the US.
However, the main point is to ensure that you and your partner are prepared for the interview. We recommend contacting our immigration lawyers as they are experts handling marriage-based Green Card petitions and interviews. This can help prevent lengthy delays and possible refusal of your Green Card.
Based on your situation, our lawyers will create personalized advice on mistakes you should avoid and how to confidently answer the 2 or 10 year Green Card interview questions.
Contact us today at +1 844 290 6312 or online for further assistance and expert advice in handling the marriage Green Card interview.
Last modified on July 27th, 2023 at 6:44 am
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The interview duration for Green Card applicants averages 15 to 20 minutes, and the questions are generally straightforward to understand.
Yes, you can. You can bring someone over 18 years to translate for you. The person should be able to speak both your language and English well. They don’t need to have any special training or license.
It takes around six months to two years to obtain a Green Card. After submitting an I-130 petition, you will receive a receipt notice within two weeks and will have to wait 11 months for approval. After the approval of your Form I-485 petition (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status), you will receive your lawful permanent resident status immediately and a Green Card within six months.
The table below details the amount involved in obtaining a Green Card, whether in the US or abroad.
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